In Honor Of Former Journeyman, and World Champion Red Sox Shortstop Julio Lugo Passing Away, Let's Relive "The Mother's Day Miracle"
KHOU - Former Houston Astros shortstop Julio Lugo has died from an apparent heart attack at the age of 45, according to MLB and ESPN's Enrique Rojas.
The Dominican Republic native was drafted by the Astros in 1994 from Connors State College in Oklahoma, according to KHOU 11 Sports anchor Jason Bristol.
Lugo won a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2007, but is probably best known for his "Mother's Day Miracle" hit in 2006.
Along with Boston and Houston, Lugo spent time with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2003-2006), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006), St. Louis Cardinals (2009), Baltimore Orioles (2010) and Atlanta Braves (2011).
He finished his professional career with a .269 batting average, 1,279 hits, 238 doubles, 34 triples, 80 home runs, 475 RBIs, 688 runs and 198 stolen bases, according to baseball-reference.com.
Lugo would have turned 46 tomorrow. R.I.P.
Julio Lugo was one of those head-scratcher moves Theo made while in Boston. Not as bad as Edgar Renteria, but at $35.6 million for 3 years, and an ROI of .251 average, 10 home runs and 101 RBI's over those three years (COMBINED), it's definitely not up there with signing David Arias as a free agent...
But Lugo was on that fan-favorite 2007 World Series team, and he managed to endear himself to Red Sox fans when he used the hidden ball trick to nab Alberto Callaspo at second when he caught him sleeping.
But what I, and most Red Sox fans, will always associate the name Julio Lugo with, will always be "The Mother's Day Miracle."
Fenway Park, Sunday May 13, Mother's Day.
Sold out park, 36,379 people on hand.
The Red Sox were down 5-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, and Orioles righty Jeremy Guthrie was working on a three-hit shutout.
Julio Lugo actually stepped in to lead off the bottom of the ninth and grounded out to Guthrie. What were the chances he'd get the chance to play walk off hero? Zero? 1%?
When a miracle comeback occurs in the final inning, the leadoff man nearly always reaches base. That's rally baseball 101.
That was followed by Coco Crisp reaching first on a pop up to the catcher who dropped the ball in fair territory.
Righty Danys Baez came out of the bullpen to face lefty David Ortiz, who tattoo'd an RBI double that allowed Crisp to score from first.
Next up was the infamous Wily Mo Pena. He singled to left putting runners on the corners with 1 out.
J.D. Drew walked to load the bases.
Kevin Youkilis followed by also walking.
Next up was the captain Jason Varitek. He smoked a two-run double to right-center scoring 2.
This was where managing really came into play. Mike Lowell got a much-needed Sunday off that day. Hence why load Eric Hinske was playing. He was 0-3 and with Lowell unavailable, he should have been an easy out. But Baltimore intentionally walked him to again load the bases.
With the bases loaded and still only one out, Alex Cora stepped to the plate. He hit a grounder to second and they threw home to get the force out.
2 outs. 5-4 and Julio Lugo walking to the plate in front of a Fenway crowd that was surprisingly still pretty full, standing on their feet going crazy.
Lugo managed to work the count full, before hitting a grounder between first and second.
Former Sox champ, now Orioles first baseman Kevin Millar was playing far off the bag with the bases loaded when he fielded the ball. 2nd baseman Brian Roberts, who was faster, sprinted for the bag to beat Lugo in a footrace. He ended up dropping the toss from Milar as Lugo slid into the bag.
Varitek scored easily and Hinske came flying in behind him sealing one of the best come from behind wins in Red Sox history.
Those were the days.