Below are more headlines from the 2004 baseball season, including Barry Bonds's continued great performance in spite of rumors regarding his use of illegal steroids, and the Red Sox finally winning the World Series for the first time since 1918.
Barry Bonds: 232 Walks, 700th Home Run
Though Barry Bonds won a record seventh National League MVP Award in 2004, his season was tainted by allegations of illegal steroid use. During the campaign, Bonds belted 45 home runs, including his 700th career four-bagger on September 17. He also took his second batting title (.362) and drew a ridiculous 232 walks, shattering his own major-league record by 34. The steroid furor, however, further diminished the public's tepid regard for the 40-year-old superstar.
Johan Santana Rocks! Wins American League Cy Young
In his first year as a regular starter, Minnesota's Johan Santana posted ERAs of 5.40 in April 2004 and 5.79 in May. After that, he was utterly unhittable, not allowing more than two earned runs in 21 of his final 22 Starts. He was 5-0 in September, allowing just two runs overall. An easy Cy Young Award winner, the lefty went 20-6 and paced the American League in ERA (2.61) and strikeouts (265).
Houston's Killer Bs Deadly in October
While the Astros didn't get to the 2004 World Series, it certainly wasn't the fault of Lance Berkman or Carlos Belran. Berkman batted .348 in the playoffs with four homers and 12 RBI. Belran, meanwhile, blasted .455 with four homers and nine RBI in the NLDS and .417 with four more homers in a losing effort against St. Louis in the NLCS. Belran also displayed spectacular defense in center field.
Curt Schilling Bleeds for Boston
Curt Schilling could have made a fortune on eBay selling his bloody red sock. In game six of the ALCS -- despite suffering from a torn ankle tendon that eventually required surgery -- Schilling pitched seven quality innings to earn a 4-2 victory over the rival Yankees. Schilling, who led the American League with 21 wins during the regular season, also won game two of the 2004 World Series.
David Ortiz Bashes the Big Hits
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who slugged .301 with 41 homers and 139 RBI in 2004, amassed 19 RBI and cracked three game-winning hits in the 2004 postseason. First, he won the clinching game three of the American League Division Series with a walk-off homer against Anaheim. He also ended game four of the ALCS against New York with a post-midnight homer.
High-Flying Derek Lowe Wins All Three Clinchers
The 2004 regular season was a struggle for Derek Lowe, who racked up a 5.42 ERA. In October, however, he came up big. With Boston's pitching staff in tatters, Lowe won all three clinchers. First, he triumphed in game three of the ALDS in relief. Then as a starter, he defeated the Yankees in game seven of the ALCS and wrapped up the 2004 World Series in game four.
Jim Edmonds, Cardinals Fall Short in WS
Center fielder Jim Edmonds and the St. Louis Cardinals dominated the National League Central during the 2004 season, finishing 105-57. The team's top three sluggers -- Edmonds, Scott Rolen, and Albert Pujols -- rapped a combined .316 with 122 home runs and 358 RBI. The trio smashed 12 homers in the NLDS and NLCS, but in the 2004 World Series they ran out of gas, combining for just one RBI.
Finally, Red Sox Fans Can Die Happy
"Cursed" since 1918, when Boston last won the World Series, Red Sox fans finally realized their dream in 2004. On October 30, more than three million fans attended a celebratory parade through Boston. Said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner: "So many people in their 90s have come up to me and said, 'I just want to live long enough to see one championship before I die.' This is for them."
The next page highlights key events and details from the 2004 baseball season.