Former Red Sox Player Dave McCarty Dead at 54

Dave McCarty, who was part of the Boston Red Sox's curse-breaking 2004 World Series championship team, has passed away. He was 54 years old. Find out more about his life and career.

By Corinne Heller Apr 20, 2024 10:44 PMTags
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Red Sox Nation is in mourning again.

Dave McCarty, a retired first baseman and outfielder who was part of the Major League baseball team during their historic 2004 World Series victory, has died. He was 54.

The Boston Red Sox announced in a press release that the athlete passed "due to a cardiac event" in Oakland, Calif. April 20. "Our hearts are heavy with the passing of Dave McCarty," the team said on X, formerly Twitter. "Playing 3 seasons with the Red Sox, he will forever be a part of the curse-breaking 2004 World Series championship team. We send our love to his wife, Monica, and their children, Reid and Maxine."

McCarty died one month after he joined several of his past teammates at the Red Sox's home of Fenway Park for a 20-year reunion and tribute ceremony for the 2004 World Series team, held before the 2024 Opening Day game.

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Also in attendance at the April 9 event: Brianna Grace Wakefield and Trevor Wakefield, who were invited to help honor their father Tim Wakefield, who had pitched in the championship game and died of brain cancer at age 57 in October, and their mom Stacy Wakefield, who passed away in February.

McCarty, a native of Houston, Texas, played in the MLB between 1993 and 2005 and was first drafted into the league by the Minnesota Twins. He was a member of the team for two years and later played for the San Francisco Giants, the Seattle Mariners, the Kansas City Royals, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A's before joining the Red Sox in 2003. He retired from professional baseball in 2005 and later worked as a Red Sox baseball analyst for NESN until 2008.

Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The athlete was one of few MLB players who batted left handed but threw left-handed. As a position player, he pitched three games for the Red Sox in 2004 during the regular season, with his third appearance as a reliever in the last game.

He did not play in the post season, including in the World Series. It marked their first such victory since 1918 (breaking what fans called the "Curse of the Bambino," named after baseball legend Babe Ruth, who was traded from Boston to the team's arch rival, New York Yankees.)

Instagram / Johnny Damon

However, as a member of the team, McCarty did earn a championship ring. In an interview released last November, he looked back at his experience with the Red Sox fondly.

"I loved the energy in Boston," McCarty told BallNine, "and going on to win the World Series in 2004 made the whole journeyman experience worth it for me."

He continued, "When the Red Sox designated me for assignment, they had a deal in place to trade me to another team, but that was the first year when I went to spring training where my kid said, 'Dad, we don't want you to go.' We had just won the World Series in 2004 and I said to myself, 'You know, I'd just rather go out on top as a member of the Red Sox.' So that's what I did."

Following his death, several of his past teammates paid tribute to him on social media. "Crushed to hear of the passing of Dave," fellow 2004 World Series champion Johnny Damon wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of the two. "RIP."

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