#Shortstops: September Call-Up, October Hero

Written by: Chris Wright

In the 2007 World Series, the Boston Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies en route to their second World Series title in four years. The ‘07 Sox were full of talent. Three 15-game winning pitchers, a 37-save closer, six all-stars and the Rookie of the Year.

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.

Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox used this bat to record four hits in Game 3 of the 2007 World Series. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

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.

Through three innings of a pivotal World Series matchup, Ellsbury was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run and an RBI. But he would once again be called upon to step up for the Sox in the eighth inning with Boston up one and looking for insurance.

On a one-strike breaking ball Ellsbury pulled a fly ball to right field that fell quickly, resulting in his fourth hit and third double of the night but more importantly driving in Julio Lugo and again igniting a Red Sox rally. Dustin Pedroia would score Ellsbury on a double in the subsequent at bat, capping off the young center fielder’s stat line for the evening: 4-5, three doubles, two RBI, and two runs.

This wildly impressive performance would contribute to a fantastic Fall Classic for Ellsbury. Over the four game series he would go on to hit .438 with an OPS of 1.188 and a stolen base.

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

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