“It will be exciting to see some unfamiliar faces,” he said.
Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and many of their scraggly Boston teammates figure to get a good look at the Cardinals’ crop of young arms, led by postseason ace Michael Wacha and relievers Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist.
Ortiz is the link to the Red Sox team that swept St. Louis in the 2004 Series — Boston never trailed at any point — and ended an 86-year championship drought.
“Obviously I’m aware of the history of the two teams,” Ellsbury said. “Once the first pitch happens, all that goes out the window.”
The Red Sox are trying to win their third crown in 10 years. St. Louis is aiming to take its second title in three years and third in eight seasons.
“Some of us have some pretty bad memories of being here in 2004, and we’re looking to kind of right that ship,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
Matheny was the Cardinals’ catcher that year, backed up by rookie Yadier Molina. Now Molina is considered the best defensive catcher in baseball, charged with trying to stop Ellsbury and a Red Sox team that’s run a lot in the postseason.
“It’s fun to be part of this history, to be here in Fenway Park, to be part of this Series against Boston,” Molina said.
“It’s different to play here overall. Playing defense, offense, pitching. It’s different, but at the same time it’s fun,” he said.
David Freese grew up in St. Louis and became MVP of the 2011 Series. He heard about Stan Musial vs. Ted Williams in 1946, knew about Bob Gibson facing Carl Yastrzemski in ‘67 and recalled watching on TV when Red Sox reliever Keith Foulke fielded Edgar Renteria’s tapper to finish off 2004.
“I remember the comebacker that ended it. The sweep. You don’t expect a World Series to end in four games,” the 30-year-old third baseman said.