BOSTON (WPRI) - Two historic Major League franchises are getting ready to do battle on baseball's biggest stage.
For the fourth time, The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals will face off in the World Series.
The Cardinals won the first two matchups back in 1946 and 1967, but it was the Red Sox who came on top in 2004, ending their infamous 86-year drought.
The 2004 World Series champions were a memorable bunch, consisting of players such as Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, and Johnny Damon.
One player does remain though, and he's known by many as Big Papi. It was during that playoff run when the legend of David Ortiz began, as he delivered in seemingly every clutch situation possible.
That 2004 squad also featured first-year manager Terry Francona. Boston's former pitching coach John Farrell is also in his first season as skipper, and hopes the hard work of his current team can rekindle the magic of nine years ago.
"There's a relentless approach to play a complete game every night," Farrell said. "We look to be relentless in every aspect of the game. That's a mindset and an attitude that we've worked hard at creating, and I think that attitude is what has allowed us to come back from so many deficits this year, and never give an at-bat away, and certainly play to the 27th out every night."
The matchup between the Cardinals and Red Sox seems like fate, as both teams ended this season tied for the league's best record at 97-65. The two clubs haven't played against each other since the 2008 regular season.
Jon Lester will take the hill for Boston in Game 1, while Adam Wainwright will start for St. Louis.
"Their whole pitching staff is really good, it seems like everyone throws 95 and above and has good off-speed," said Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli. "It's going to be a tough task, we're taking one game at a time, and we'll get out there and try to win Game 1."
Veteran ace Wainwright ended the 2013 season with a 19-9 record, an ERA of 2.94 and 1.07 WHIP in 34 starts. He's pitched three times so far this postseason, going 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, all while recording 20 strikeouts and only 1 walk.
As for his counterpart, in 34 starts Lester went 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He's also gone 2-1 in the playoffs this year, striking out 14, walking 7, culminating in a 1.21 WHIP and 2.33 ERA.
The opening pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. Wednesday, but a pair of famous faces will grace the field prior to that. Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, as he did for Game 1 in both the 2004 and 2007 series, and 9-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige will sing the National Anthem.