Boston’s trophy case may be due for an expansion soon.
The city’s pro sports teams have won championships at a break-neck pace lately, compiling nine titles since 2001 with all four major teams hoisting a trophy during that time frame.
Save for New York City (which has 35 championships between the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Dodgers) and its 54 Big 4 titles, Boston is firmly entrenched in second place with 36.
The Patriots have now won four Super Bowls, the Celtics have won 17 NBA titles, the Bruins six Stanley Cups and the Red Sox and Braves have won nine World Series titles.
With three dozen games to choose from, here’s a look at the most fantastic Bean Town finishes in Championship performances.
1. “The Goal”
Ever wonder about the Bobby Orr statue standing outside TD Bank Garden? It commemorates one of the best Boston championship finishes of all-time, an Orr overtime game-winner to clinch a sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals. Now simply called “The Goal,” the score was captured in one of the most famous hockey photos ever taken.
2. The legend begins
In 2001, Tom Brady was just a sixth-round draft pick who had an improbable run. He was filling in for Drew Bledsoe and led the Pats to face the Greatest Show on Turf (the Rams) in Super Bowl XXXVI. But with a tie game and 1:30 left, the legend began as Brady completed four passes (including a 23-yard pass to Troy Brown) to drive New England from its own 16-yardline into field goal range to set up the game winner.
3. The legend continues
The second Super Bowl for Brady and Bill Belichick came in similar fashion, with Tom Brady once again putting together a two-minute drill to set up Adam Vinatieri for a game-winning field goal and a 32-29 triumph over the Panthers and a walk-off win.
4. The remarkable Mr. Russell
The Celtics are arguably the most storied NBA franchise in history, and though their were several great championship performances in the 1980’s and 2000’s, the Bill Russell-led teams saw three incredible title-clinching moments during his tenure with the Green and White.
In 1957, his rookie season, Russell grabbed 32 rebounds (while averaging 22.9 per game) in a 125-125 Game 7 double-overtime win over the St. Louis Hawks. Half a decade later, in 1962, Russell grabbed 40 rebounds in another Game 7 win, this one by a score of 110-107 in overtime against the Elgin Baylor-led Lakers. And in 1969, Russell got his last title, once again in Game 7, 108-106 over Wilt Chamberlain’s Lakers.
5. End of the curse
The play was pretty unspectacular, a two-out weak ground ball to closer Keith Foulke, who tossed the ball underhand to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to retire Edgar Renteria. But when the city of Boston exploded in ecstasy immediately after, the play took on new meaning. The Red Sox, in wire-to-wire fashion won their first World Series title in 86 years to end the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ back in 2004. They’ve since won two more titles.
6. The “Snodgrass Muff”
Lets go way back, over 100 years ago as the New York Giants battled the Red Sox in a memorable Game 7 for a World Series title. Trailing 2-1, Clyde Engle hit a routine fly-ball to center. But when a Fred Snodgrass error followed, the Sox plated two runs to win their first World Series.