|Home > Departments > 2004 World Champions > Players > Mark Bellhorn|
Born: August 23, 1974; Boston, MA Height: 6'1" Weight: 205
* Led league
Although Bellhorn was signed as a backup infielder, an injury to Nomar Garciaparra moved Pokey Reese to shortstop and opened the door for Mark to be the everyday second baseman. Besides starting 118 games at second, he started 13 games at third base and one at shortstop.
He led the league with 177 strikeouts, setting a new team record for strikeouts in a season and the major league record for strikeouts by a switch-hitter. But his patience at the plate resulted in a tie for third in the league in walks and a .373 on-base percentage.
Mark hit a sacrifice fly in the twelfth inning on April 24, knocking in the winning run in a 3-2 Red Sox victory in New York.
He hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth on May 7 to tie the game at 6. The Sox went on to beat Kansas City 7-6.
Bellhorn had a game-winning two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on September 21, turning a 2-1 deficit after a blown save into a 3-2 victory over the Orioles.
Mark was one of only four players on the 2004 Red Sox who had never played in the postseason before. He started off slowly, batting just .091 in the Division Series, but became an offensive hero by the end.
Bellhorn hit only .150 in the first five games of the ALCS and was dropped from second in the order to ninth. But in Game 6 he proved that while he may not have had a lot of hits, the ones he did have were very clutch. With two men on in the fourth inning, he hit a home run that bounced off a fan in the front row and back onto the field. It was originally called a double, but the umpires conferred and corrected the ruling, and replays confirmed that it had indeed hit a fan and not the top of the railing. The three-run homer gave Curt Schilling and the Sox all the runs they would need to beat the Yankees 4-2.
In the eighth inning of Game 7, he hit a solo shot off the right field foul pole. The Sox hadn't scored since the fourth inning, and the crowd had gotten back into the game after the Yankees had scored a couple in the seventh, but Mark's homer gave his team a 9-3 lead, effectively sealing the win for the Sox.
In Game 1 of the World Series, four Red Sox errors had helped them blow leads of 7-2 and 9-7, as the Cardinals tied the score each time. But Bellhorn's home run off Pesky's Pole in the bottom of the eighth was the game-winning hit, providing an 11-9 lead that they would not relinquish. It was his third straight game with a homer, and his second in a row to hit off a foul pole.
Bellhorn hit a two-run double with two outs in the fourth inning of Game 2 of the World Series, giving the Sox a 4-1 lead in a game they would go on to win 6-2.
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