Varitek won't have replay of Mientkiewicz in 2004
DENVER -- No ball flap this time.
Jason Varitek caught the final pitch from Jonathan Papelbon, a strikeout of pinch-hitter Seth Smith that sealed the second World Series title in four years for the Boston Red Sox, and the catcher tucked the ball in his back pocket.
"I'll give it back to the team," the Red Sox captain said after the 4-3 victory over Colorado on Sunday night that gave Boston a sweep of the Series. "Maybe we won't have a controversy this time."
In 2004, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz caught the final out, a grounder to pitcher Keith Foulke off the bat of the St. Louis Cardinals' Edgar Renteria. Mientkiewicz claimed the ball as his own, the Red Sox took him to court and it took 17 months to settle the dispute. After loaning the ball to the Red Sox for a year, Mientkiewicz gave it to the Hall of Fame.
Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said the team was prepared for this clincher.
"We have a club archivist who should be in here, should have retrieved it already," Lucchino said in the middle of the celebration in the visiting clubhouse in Coors Field. "An archivist made an effort the last time, unsuccessfully. But I'm sure we'll be more successful."
Varitek said he had stored the ball in a safe place.
Mientkiewicz, now with the New York Yankees, said he regretted the controversy.
"Me, my family, went through hell and back. It should have been handled differently," he said when the settlement was announced. "I can put my [World Series] ring back on with pride now."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
2007 World Series Game 4
For the second time in four years, the Boston Red Sox are World Series champions. They finished off a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-3 victory in Game 4. Story
2007 World Series page
• Stark: Powerhouse Red Sox made their mark
• Crasnick: Lester provides true inspiration
• Bryant: Rockies must build on experience
• Caple: Unhappy ending in Colorado
• Nelson: Humble Lowell earned Series MVP
• Wojciechowski: Masters of the universe
• Third baseman Lowell wins MVP award
• Varitek giving final out ball to team
• Diamond Daily: Dynasty in the making?
• Highlights: Red Sox complete sweep of Rockies
• Lowell has been Red Sox MVP all season
• Lester overcomes Rockies in Game 4
• A dream come true for Pedroia, Ellsbury
• Another title for Francona, Lowell, Ortiz
• Rockies claim layoff hurt them
• Baseball Tonight Minute: World Series recap
• Jayson Stark's post-Game 4 video blog
• Lester talks about getting the Game 4 victory
• Kielty talks about his pinch-hit home run
• Papelbon speaks after saving Game 4
• Francona talks about Boston's team effort
• Beckett talks about winning the Series
• Ortiz says character is the reason they won
• Varitek says the Red Sox needed everyone
• Ellsbury says it's unbelievable to be on the field
• GM Epstein talks about his team's hot streak
• Playoffs in Pictures