Some might remember Curtis Leskanic as the guy who looked more like he should be in line at the local soup kitchen or hanging out with his buddies outside K-Mart. To Red Sox Nation, Leskanic is the guy who got the win in game four of the 2004 ALCS. Yeah, that game, the one that turned around an 86-year drought. The game famous for “THE WALK” and “THE STEAL.” But let’s not overlook Leskanic’s inning-and-a-third of work that earned him the “W.” Most important, “THE FLYOUT” in the the top of the eleventh with bases loaded and Bernie Williams at the plate.
The twelfth inning of game four would be his last appearance on the mound in the majors. As part of the World Series celebration, Leskanic charged out of the bullpen, flopped to the ground, and started making snow angels in the grass.
A little trivia from the Sons of Sam Horn Wiki page:
On April 11, 2005, Leskanic would return to Fenway Park to receive his World Series ring. He was received with a standing ovation, as did all members of the Boston Red Sox Johnny Pesky greeted him during the ring ceremony by saying,
“Leskanic! You son of a bitch”
After being taunted by fans while warming up in the bullpen during his time with the Milwaukee Brewers, Leskanic once yelled back, “Hey, I don’t yell at you when you come pick up my garbage!”
I had the chance to meet Curtis during the 2004 season when I chaperoned a trip to Camden Yards with a group of teenage patients from the Jimmy Fund Clinic. He was one of a few players (Myers, Kapler, Tek, Damon) who greeted the kids before the game in the media room. Everyone else showed up either in uniform or with their casual street clothes on. Leskanic busted in wearing flip-flops, shorts, and a gray t-shirt with the sleeves cut off and “Leskanic” scrawled on the back in Sharpie. He was phenomenal with the kids and truly seemed to be enjoying the experience.
Leskanic is currently a scout in the Red Sox organization, and was also present at the 2008 Opening Day Ceremony.
On with the final game of the Baltimore series.