Jonny Gomes is greeted at home by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz after his three-run home run in the sixth inning.
(Photo: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)
ST. LOUIS -- Boston Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, standing in the bathroom Sunday afternoon, combing his shaggy beard in the mirror, dropped the news on a few of his teammates.
Shane Victorino is hurt. He's just been told he's in the starting lineup.
"Oh, wow,'' Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster said, "that's cool.''
Gomes kept combing his beard, looked over his shoulder, and said, "Yep, this is my turn to shine.''
Well, five hours later, after the Boston Red Sox's 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, evening the World Series at two games apiece, there were Baseball Hall of Fame officials waiting at his locker.
Gomes was handing over his bat and batting gloves for them to display in Cooperstown.
The beard stayed.
Yes, that's how Gomes spent the greatest day of his life.
It was Gomes' three-run homer in the sixth inning that broke 1-1 tie, assuring that the World Series will be headed back to Boston after Game 5 tonight [8:07 ET] at Busch Stadium.
The Red Sox will now have the opportunity to win their first World Series championship at home at beloved Fenway Park since 1918.
Yes, the home run was that significant to this historic franchise, silencing the crowd of 47,469 at Busch Stadium, and stunning perhaps everyone but himself.
Gomes, after all, was the one who called his night of glory.
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports