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STUDIO: Shout Factory
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 150 minutes
- Ted Williams: ESPN Baseball Magazine
- Dick Radatz: ESPN Baseball Magazine
- Carl Yastrzemski Hall of Fame Speech
- Ted Williams: All-Century Piece
- Pedro Martinez in the 1999 All Star Game
1919 – 2003 never happened.
The Red Sox, duh.
The Box Score
It’s a spotlight on the championship Red Sox teams from the early 20th Century to the championship Red Sox teams of the early 21st Century, with a few shout outs to the teams in between.
Before 2004, the title of this disc would have either been a joke or a nod to teams that hadn’t played in nearly 100 years. Because let’s face it, although there have been some legendary Red Sox players and great Sox teams in the desert between their Fall Classic victories, this was a franchise based on The Curse, shattered dreams, what ifs, missed opportunities, Game 7 heartbreaks and seeming eternal damnation at the hands of the Yankees. Even the greatest Red Sox player, The Splendid Splinter, only played in one World Series. Some teams either overachieved to get there and ultimately met with failure, or great teams got a kick in the balls from destiny and also met with failure. Greatest moments and Red Sox seemed to belong together in the same breath as mission accomplished and Iraq.
“Heh, this HGH is some pretty fun shit. What else can it do?”
First of all, regarding this DVD, which recaps the entirety of Red Sox lore, it’s immediately going to come off as inadequate when compared to other sports offerings such as this 1994 Rockets set, this 2005 White Sox set, or this 2006 Cardinals set to name a few. These are offerings that feature multiple discs breaking down championship runs of these teams down to the minutest detail. A one-disc offering covering the best of the Red Sox? You’re kidding me right? At the least, any self respecting baseball fan, and certainly any die hard Sox worshiper is going to require a box set – at the very least three or four discs – to cover the championship runs of this storied team. Not to mention another couple discs to cover the 1904, ’46, ’67, ’75 and ’86 AL Pennant-winning teams. And hell, Williams, Yastrzemski, Fisk, Tiant, Spaceman and a few other of the absolute Sox cream are also going to need their own disc or two. One disc? Uh uh, not going to cut it.
Be that as it may, there is only one disc; and it’s essentially broken into five chapters: October Heroes, Parts 1 and 2, The All-Time Team, Parts 1 and 2, and Great Characters and Rookies, which takes a look at recent players like Papelbon and Pedroia, then goes back to Spaceman, Oil Can, Dropo and others. It skims the titles won in the Sox dynasty of the first 20 years of the 20th Century, and goes into detail the 2004 and 2007 championship seasons, as one would expect. It also touches on some of the highlights of their other pennant-winning seasons, and even more recent seasons when they were in contention, such as 1990, 1999, 2003, etc. The part where it gets it right the best is the All-Time Team section, where they hit upon the greatest Red Sox players in the history of the franchise, broken down by position.
But when all is said and done, whom does Major League Baseball expect to buy this disc, really? This is more like a snippet, a trailer to better Sox offerings out there. Hell, go here or here or here to get what must certainly be more satisfying Sox fare. This disc hits the highlights, but in order to get a true appreciation of Red Sox history – and I’m not even a fan, mind you – you’re going to have to include the bad (and there’s a lot of it) with the good. Red Sox Memories doesn’t even mention the ’78 squad and Bucky Dent, and glosses over Bill Buckner. Really? I mean, really?
Do yourself a favor and pass on this. If you’re a Sox fan, save up the cash and by a truly worthy set. This disc is okay, but in the grand scheme of things, it comes off more like the tv-edited versions of the Lord of the Rings flicks when you know there are some monster collectors’ editions at the nearest DVD store.
Unfortunately for this fan, he made the mistake of wearing this out in the Bronx right after Game 7 of the ’04 ACLS. The body was identified with dental records…
Since this relies on archival footage going back sometimes a hundred years, the video quality varies accordingly. Sound is also fine in 2.0 Dolby. There’s a special features section of some Red Sox notables and key moments in Sox history. Ted Williams gets two features, Yaz gets some love with his Hall of Fame speech, and even Dick “The Monster” Radatz gets a quick shout out. There’s also a ten-minute feature on Pedro’s 1999 All Star Game performance. Some pretty good stuff to be sure, but whereas this disc really should have been Game 4 of the ’04 or ’07 Series, it’s Game 6 of the ’86 Series.
Francona: “Hey Curt, while we appreciate your dedication to the team, you know the term Red Sox isn’t meant to be taken literally.”