When the Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino hit a grand slam over the Green Monster at Fenway Park on Saturday night, he put the Red Sox up 5-2 over the Detroit Tigers in the seventh inning. It would prove to be one of the most important hits of his career as it put the Red Sox back into the World Series for the first time since 2007.
Shane Victorino is a career .276 hitter.
How long is six years ago? Imagine this: a Republican was in the White House, there were no talks of a government shutdown, Clay Buccholz was just fresh out of the Single A's, and Shane Victorino was playing in center field.
Fast-forward to 2013. A Democrat is now in his second term, a government debt default had just been averted, Buchholz might be the starting pitcher in the World Series, and Victorino now plays right field.
That, and Victorino has amassed stolen 222 bases, 470 RBIs, and 105 homers, including a couple of grand slams with playoff implications.
Back with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008, the half-Portuguese, half-Filipino, and all-Hawai'ian Victorino hit a first-ever Major League grand slam off of CC Sabathia in Game Two of the 2008 NLDS, making him the first player to have a home run, a double, and two stolen bases in a single game.
In 2013, Victorino had another crucial grand slam, towing his team from behind into the World Series. In doing so, the Red Sox came from mediocrity -- last in the AL East in 2012 -- back to the pinnacle of baseball.
Like the Red Sox, Victorino, too, was playing hurt. He is normally a switch-hitter, but injuries to his back and hamstring meant he had to bat right-handed full-time. Facing off against right-handed pitchers while batting right-handed was one of his greatest achievements to date.
As Victorino walked around the field in celebration, Bob Marley and the Wailers reminded the faithful at Fenway Park: "Every little thing's gonna be all right."
Just a few months removed from a Marathon tragedy, Beantown is ready to party like it's 2007. And with more clutch hits like Shane Victorino's (shown below), they might just get that celebration they felt they deserve.
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