Monday night we have the opportunity to see something that has only happened five times in the history of North American team sports. We could witness a team coming back from three games to zero deficit to win a postseason series.
The Boston Celtics will attempt to become the sixth when they host the Miami Heat at the TD Garden in Game seven on their Eastern Conference Finals series…
What does that have to do with baseball?
One man in the big leagues understands the city and the stakes as well as anyone.
Dave Roberts Knows Beantown Comebacks
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was an outfielder for the Boston Red Sox 19 years ago. Before the Sox won four world series titles over the span of 14 seasons, they had gone 86 years without a championship. Countless times they had their seasons ended by the New York Yankees, either in the regular season, and by the time the 2004 playoffs had arrived, twice in the postseason.
On October 17th, in the bottom of the ninth, with the red sox down three games to none, and with Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera on the mound, Roberts was sent out to pinch run for Kevin Millar.
Roberts hadn’t been used much since being included in the trade for Boston’s iconic shortstop Nomar Garciaparra earlier that season. He hadn’t played in almost two weeks.
But in that moment, with all of Fenway Park, and all of the baseball world knowing that he was going to try and steal second base.
The pitch was good, the throw by Jorge Posada was great. Dave Roberts was better. He beat the tag and he tied the game when he scored on Bill Mueller’s single.
Boston would win Game 4 in 12 innings and go on to win the series in seven, taking the final game in Yankee stadium before finally breaking the curse of the Bambino with a world series win.
Last time a Boston team made a 3-0 comeback:
⚾ The Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (2004)
In a historic playoff series, the Red Sox engineered an unforgettable 0-3 comeback against their bitter rivals, the Yankees, in the ALCS
Are the Celtics next?pic.twitter.com/9GSt5XirBC
— BetUS Sportsbook & Casino (@BetUS_Official) May 25, 2023
The Red Sox were the underdogs against the mighty Yankees, while the Celtics are favored against the Heat.
The circumstances aren’t exactly the same, but if anyone understands what the Celtics will be feeling, it’s the man holding the lineup card in the home dugout at Dodger Stadium.
Derrick White The 2023 Dave Roberts?
Perhaps Derrick White will be remembered as Dave Roberts is; for creating that one magical moment that gave a city and a team that had almost had its hope extinguished, one more chance to believe.
Derrick White was THE INBOUNDER on this play! In less than 3 seconds, he:
1) Inbounded the ball.
2) Spaced to the corner for a potential kick-back pass.
3) Read Smart's shot and crashed the glass.
4) Tipped in the game-winner.
Just an absurd basketball IQ and high-effort play. pic.twitter.com/n5xn1z7eet
— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) May 28, 2023
If the Celtics do go on to win the championship, White, just like Roberts, won’t ever have to buy a drink in Beantown again.