The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has a long and intense history, but one of the most memorable two-season stretches of that saga came from 2003-04, when the fortunes of the two franchises would be drastically altered for years to come.
That period of time is the focal point of Episode 5 of “The Captain,” a seven-part documentary series by ESPN on the Hall of Fame career of Derek Jeter. Episodes 5 and 6 will air Thursday night, beginning at 9 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+.
The 2003 American League Championship Series between the Yankees and Red Sox was a thrilling seven-game affair. After the Yankees had won 26 World Series titles since the last time the Red Sox had won it all, it seemed as though this was finally the year Boston would overcome its nemesis and reach the Fall Classic after finishing second to New York in the AL East in six straight seasons.
Boston had a three-run lead in the eighth inning of Game 7 at Yankee Stadium, but it all fell apart. The Yankees won on a walk-off homer by current manager Aaron Boone in the 11th inning, sending Jeter and the Bronx Bombers to the World Series for the fifth time in six years.
The high of 2003, however, would come crashing down for Jeter in ’04.
The Yankees were on their way to yet another defeat of the Red Sox, up three games to none in the 2004 ALCS and leading in the ninth inning of Game 4. That’s when pinch-runner Dave Roberts was safe at second on the most important steal in Red Sox history before coming around to score the tying run. That launched the greatest comeback — and, conversely for Jeter’s Yankees, the greatest collapse — in postseason history.
“When he came in, everyone in the stadium knew he was stealing, right? That’s tough to do,” Jeter says in Episode 5. “If the ball was six inches on the other side, he’s out. It didn’t happen and… you know, that’s the way it goes. But I don’t wanna talk about this anymore.”
Episode 6 delves into Jeter’s final World Series run and the end of his historic career, including his 3,000th hit. Behind the scenes, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the five-time World Series champion, who battled injury and other adversity to see his career through to Cooperstown.
Don’t miss Episodes 5 and 6 of “The Captain,” beginning Thursday night at 9 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN+. And don’t miss the series finale the following Thursday, when Episode 6 will re-air at 9 pm ET, followed by Episode 7 at 10 pm to conclude the docu-series of one of the greatest shortstops in baseball history.