#Shortstops: September Call-Up, October Hero
Yet one of the biggest heroes for the Sox in the Fall Classic was a 24-year-old September call up who had played a mere 33 regular season games. His opportunity to introduce himself as a star in front of a national audience would take place on late October nights. The Oregon native was up to the challenge.
On Oct. 27, 2007, Coors Field played host to almost 50,000 fans braving the 45-degree cold for Game 3, while more than 14 million people watched from their homes. Jacoby Ellsbury would provide the performance of a lifetime. The 33.5 inch, 32 ounce bat he used that night resides in Cooperstown at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Leading off the game with a slow roller down the third base line, Ellsbury showcased his speed by racing down to first base so quickly that third baseman Garrett Atkins would not even attempt a throw to first to try and record an out.
Leading off the third inning, Ellsbury’s speed was again on display. The lefty slapped an outside fastball down the left field line that was cut off well before the wall by Matt Holiday, who quickly fired a strike into second base only to watch Ellsbury slide in just before the tag.
That hustle double would be the spark plug for a big inning for the Red Sox, as they would break the scoreless tie, scoring five runs before the lineup turned over and Ellsbury came to bat for a second time that inning, this time with two outs and men on first and third. With two strikes, Jacoby ripped a tailing line drive into center field past a diving Cory Sullivan resulting in an RBI double.
Ellsbury would go on to become a mainstay at the top of the Red Sox order for the next six years, and his play in the ‘07 World Series was a fantastic preview to an incredible tenure as the Boston center fielder.
Mike Lowell would win the 2007 World Series MVP award, but the play of Jacoby Ellsbury was a pleasant surprise and highlight of the postseason for many baseball fans. Before he had officially become a rookie, Jacoby Ellsbury had a ring on his finger, and the attention of a nation.
Chris Wright is a 2022 public programs intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development