For the Boston Red Sox and their faithful, the 2004 postseason was one that will live in infamy. From near naked parties in a jacuzzi to the bloody sock, what happened to the “idiots” will never be forgotten. However, one piece of info that never really made the public eye was that the Sox started a small tradition prior to their historic comeback against the New York Yankees.
Down 3-0 in the series, the Red Sox were all out of options, so what do you do when your chip are down? You drink, of course.
Speaking to former ace Pedro Martinez, Amanda Rykoff of Sports on Earth discovered that Martinez and the rest of his teammates decided to take shots of Mama Juana before each game, starting with Game 4 of the said ALCS. Mama Juana, as Wikipedia tells me, is a drink from the Dominican Republic that is concocted by allowing rum, red wine, and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs.
“Everybody took a little bit from the top of the shot after we won the first game,” Martinez said. “Somebody did it before the game — it was Ellis Burks who wasn’t on the roster at the time who took the first shot. And then Millar jumped in. And then Johnny Damon jumped in. And everybody started jumping in, so we did it as a team unity to actually keep the same tradition going for the team. So we had to do it for the four games we beat the Yankees.
“We started when we were down 3-0,” Martinez continued. “And Ellis decided to taste it to see what it tastes like, then Millar wants to taste it and everybody wants to taste it so we all do it. And the hell with it. And we ended up winning.”
After their Game 4 victory, the Sox didn’t want to break their momentum, so they drank it again for Game 5. And Game 6. And Game 7. They continued all the way through the World Series, where they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals for their first World Series title in 86 years.