Trot to the finish line?
Clearly, there is one subplot to this final, depressing weekend of baseball at Fenway Park.
Trot Nixon, one of the true class acts and fierce competitors to wear the Red Sox uniform, is likely approaching his final weekend with the team.
I’m sure Nixon will get plenty of love from the crowd, particularly during Sunday’s finale. Sure, his results have been inconsistent and trending downward, particularly the last two years. But could anyone ever question the effort this guy gives on the field?
Trot has never wanted the limelight. He just wants to win.
Remember when he flipped over the water cooler in the dugout after the Boone home run in ’03? That was vintage Trot. He hates losing, and he hates being in a slump.
Aside from those two aspects, which are inevitable at times, I think Trot has enjoyed every aspect of being in a Red Sox uniform.
I put together a list of Top Seven Trot performances:
July 24, 1999 – The rookie right fielder puts his name on
the map by belting three homers at Detroit in an 11-4 win over the Tigers.
May 28, 2000 – Nixon snaps scoreless tie in epic Pedro
Martinez-Roger Clemens duel at Yankee Stadium by taking the latter deep for a
two-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth. Martinez goes the distance
to earn the 2-0 win. The next night, the Red Sox return to Fenway and Nixon
gets a huge ovation in his first at-bat.
Sept. 1, 2003 – A wild and emotional comeback struggle at
Philadelphia finally goes in Boston’s favor when Nixon snaps a 9-9 tie with a
grand slam in the top of the ninth.
October 4, 2003 – A loss in Game 3 to the A’s would have
swept the Red Sox out of this best-of-five Division Series. Instead, Nixon
belts a walkoff homer off Rich Harden in the bottom of the 11th, sparking the
win, and, eventually, a series comeback in five games.
October 15, 2003 – Nixon jumps on a Gabe White pinch and
launches two-run homer into the upper deck in right at Yankee Stadium in Game 6
of the ALCS, icing the 9-6 victory that forces Game 7. Of course, he also took Roger deep to give the Sox a solid start to Game 7 but we all know what happened after that.
October 18, 2004 –- Down 4-2 in Game 5 of the ALCS,
red-hot Hideki Matsui steps to the plate with the bases loaded and hammers a
laser toward right field. It could have been a series-icing two-run double.
Instead, Nixon makes a sliding catch to get the Red Sox out of that top of the
sixth inning. In the bottom of the eighth, Nixon belts a hit-and-run single to
move Dave Roberts to third. Roberts scored on a game-tying sacrifice fly. The
Red Sox beat the Yankees in 14 innings, and wind up becoming the first team in
postseason history to rally back from 3-0.
October 27, 2004 – Nixon opens up some breathing room for
Derek Lowe in Game 4 of the World Series, unloading on a 3-0 pitch for a
two-run double, leading the Red Sox to a 3-0 win over the Cardinals, and the
clinching victory of the club’s first World Series championship since 1918.
What are some of your favorite Trot moments? Please spend the weekend sharing them.