BOSTON (CBS) –National Donut Day is here again, one of the more delicious — and biggest belt-busting — days on the calendar.
As you get ready to enjoy one, two or maybe even a dozen of those circles of doughy goodness (here are some recommended spots in and around Boston, plus a few spots where you can get free donuts on Friday), enjoy our list of some of the best donuts in Boston sports. And by that, we mean shutouts, sweeps or any other goose eggs to grace the Boston sports scene.
Donuts On The Scoreboard
The Final 27:29 Minutes Of Super Bowl LI
The Patriots were shutout for nearly all of the first half of Super Bowl LI in Houston, and found themselves in that dreaded 28-3 hole in the third quarter after Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman found the end zone at the 8:31 mark. But the Falcons put a great big donut on the scoreboard the rest of the way, as the Patriots mounted the most amazing comeback in Super Bowl history.
The final 27 minutes and 29 seconds of the game will be re-watched by Patriots fans for years to come, as the New England defense kept Matt Ryan and the powerful Atlanta offense off the board and Tom Brady and the Pats offense got on a roll, en route to 31 unanswered points and the team’s fifth Super Bowl title. James White’s game-winning touchdown run in overtime should mean he gets a lifetime of free donuts in Boston — at least, after his playing days are over.
Tim Thomas Shuts Out Canucks In Game 7 Of Stanley Cup Final
The Bruins, once trailing 2-0 in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final to the Vancouver Canucks, forced a deciding Game 7 with a convincing 5-2 win in Game 6. But that meant the B’s were heading back to Rogers Arena, where they hadn’t won a game yet in the series.
Tim Thomas continued to be Super Man that night (we’d say Donut Man, but that actually happened much later in his career), stopping all 37 shots the Canucks sent his way. Thomas also shut out Vancouver in Game 4, and finished the Cup Final with 238 saves on 246 shots — allowing just eight goals to the league’s highest scoring team that season.
At 37, Thomas became the oldest player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the playoffs.
Bonus: Game 7 vs Lightning
Bruins fans felt confident in Thomas during Game 7 in Vancouver because he had just put up a deciding-game donut a few weeks prior, earning the Bruins a trip the Cup Final.
In front of the TD Garden crowd, Thomas stopped all 24 shots the Lightning sent his way, making Nathan Horton’s third period goal all the Bruins would need to advance to the Final.
Derek Lowe Shuts Out Cardinals As Sox Win 2004 World Series
Tim Thomas isn’t the only Boston athlete to put donuts on the board to clinch a championship. Derek Lowe got the start in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series, giving Boston seven shutout innings in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Bronson Arroyo and Alan Embree combined for a scoreless eighth inning, and Keith Foulke closed things out to end an 86-year title drought for the Red Sox.
Patriots Shut Out Dolphins In The Snow In 2003
Over two feet of snow fell in New England in the days leading up to and during the Patriots’ home showdown with the Dolphins in 2003, and it led to one of the more memorable scenes at Gillette Stadium.
New England didn’t take full control of their 12-0 win until Tedy Bruschi picked off Jay Fiedler and took it back five yards for a touchdown with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter. Bruschi low-stepped his way to paydirt, and as he and the team celebrated in the end zone, Patriots fans threw the freshly-fallen snow into the air. They did so again after the game as well, with Bruschi joining in on the fun.
The Patriots had shut out the Dallas Cowboys, 12-0, just three weeks prior, and the team had another one up their sleeves to close the regular season.
Patriots stomp Bills 31-0 to end 2003 regular season
The Patriots started the 2003 season by getting stomped by the Bills 31-0 in Buffalo. This came just a few days after Lawyer Milloy signed with Buffalo following his release by New England.
But the Pats returned the favor in Foxboro in the regular season finale, shutting out the Bills 31-0 and securing the top seed in the AFC in the process. Tom Brady threw four touchdowns, while the Patriots defense picked off Buffalo QBs Drew Bledsoe and Travis Brown once each while recording four sacks.
The Patriots went on to win their second Super Bowl in three years.
Tuukka’s Shutouts In 2013 vs. Penguins
We head back to the ice to talk some Tuukka. Not many gave the Boston Bruins much of a chance against the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, but Boston went on to sweep the series.
Rask had a pair of shutouts in the series; a 3-0 win in Game 1 and a 1-0 win in Game 4. He made 55 saves between those two games, though Game 4 was much more difficult with Pittsburgh facing elimination. But Rask only needed one goal from the B’s offense to send them back to the Cup Final, where they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
All The Donuts From Pedro Martinez
Pedro should have a donut named after him, because he had a knack for putting them up on the scoreboard during his time with the Red Sox.
Where do we start? Everything begins with the regular season, and we have eight shutouts to pick from during Pedro’s career in Boston.
It was very fitting that Pedro threw seven shutout innings in his first start for Boston, striking out 10 in Oakland against the Athletics. Two starts later, in front of the Fenway faithful for the first time, he struck out 12 Mariners and allowed just two hits in his first complete game shutout in a Red Sox uniform.
Martinez had four shutouts in the 2000 season alone, including a seven strikeout, one-hitter against the Devil Rays in which he lost a no-no in the ninth inning (he hit Gerald Williams, the first batter of the game, sparking a brawl and ending the chance at a perfect game).
And we can’t forget that magical 1999 season from Pedey, when he absolutely owned the American League, put on a dazzling performance in the All Star game at Fenway, and pitched six innings of no-hit ball in the ALDS against the Indians — as a reliever.
He had just one shutout during that season (September 21 against the Blue Jays), but went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts. He saved his donuts for the All Star game at Fenway Park and for the postseason.
In front of the Fenway fans and the entire country, Martinez showed his sheer dominance in the 1999 All Star game, striking out five of the best National League hitters in his two innings of work. The only batter to reach base against Pedro was Matt Williams, who reached on an error but was caught stealing after Pedro struck out Jeff Bagwell.
He became the first pitcher to start the game by striking out the side, and he tied an AL record with his five strikeouts. Earning the victory in the AL’s 4-1 win made Pedro the first AL starter to win an All-Star game in his own park.
In the playoffs, Martinez continued his dominance (it’s just a shame the rest of the staff didn’t show up), and most of that came in a relief appearance. In the deciding Game 5 of the ALDS in Cleveland, Pedro came in to an 8-8 game in the fourth inning and allowed no hits over six shutout innings, striking out eight Indians. The Red Sox won the series, and Pedro had seven more shutout innings in the barrel for Game 3 of the ALDS against the Yankees. Martinez out-dueled Roger Clemens in that game, allowing just two hits and striking out 12 in Boston’s only win of the series.
Pedro definitely needs his own donut. Really Juicy Mango sounds about right.
How Sweep It Is
Red Sox Sweep World Series In 2004, 2007
The Red Sox went 86 years without winning a World Series, and then won two in four seasons — with both series ending by way of a Boston sweep.
After their dramatic comeback from a 3-0 series hole against the Yankees, the Red Sox made quick work of the Cardinals in the Fall Classic. They scored four runs in the first inning of Game 1 at Fenway Park and had a 7-2 lead by the fourth inning. The Cardinals came back to tie it 7-7, and answered again when Boston added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. But that tie didn’t last very long. Boston won the game thanks to a two-run homer off the bat of Mark Bellhorn that hit Pesky’s Pole in right. Despite four errors, Boston walked away with an 11-9 win.
Things were much smoother in Games 2 and 3, with a bloody-socked Curt Schilling and Pedro picking up wins in each game thanks to solid performances on the mound (they combined for 13 shutout innings). The Red Sox clinched the series with a 3-0 win in Game 4 in St. Louis. Johnny Damon led things off with a solo home run and Derek Lowe provided them with seven shutout innings to end that long title drought.
Overall, Boston outscored the Cardinals 24-12 in the series.
The Sox had another World Series sweep in 2007 against the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies came into the Fall Classic winning 21 of their last 22 games and a sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLCS. The Red Sox earned their trip with a 3-1 series comeback against the Indians in the ALCS.
But Colorado didn’t stand a chance against the Sox, who pounced early with a 13-1 win in Game 1 (they scored three in the first inning alone). That was all Josh Beckett would need to earn his fourth win of the postseason. The Rockies scored a run in the first inning of Game 2, but Curt Schilling (5.2 innings) and the Sox bullpen didn’t allow a run after that. A Jason Varitek sac fly in the fifth and Mike Lowell RBI double in the sixth gave Boston the lead, and Jonathan Papelbon got a five-out save to put Boston up 2-0 in the series.
In Colorado, a 10-5 win in Game 3 put Boston on the verge of another title. The Red Sox put up another first-inning run in Game 4, and a Mike Lowell homer in the seventh put Boston on top 3-0. But it was Bobby Keilty’s solo homer in the eighth that would go on to be the difference, as Colorado added a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 4-3 game. But Papelbon was able to get the final five outs for his third save of the series.
The Red Sox made things look easy keeping their opponents winless in those two trips to the World Series, putting up eight donuts in the loss column.
Red Sox Sweep Angels In ALDS — Twice
The Angels really didn’t like facing the Red Sox in the playoffs, as they were swept out of the postseason by them in the 2004 and 2007 ALDS.
In 2004, after Boston took the first two games with relative ease (the Angels led for just one inning), they needed some walk-off magic in Game 3 at Fenway. The Angels scored five runs in the top of the seventh to tie things up at 6-6. That lasted until the bottom of the 10th, when David Ortiz sent a Francisco Rodriguez offering over the Monster seats to give Boston an 8-6 win and a series sweep.
They did the same thing a few years later, starting with a complete game shutout from Beckett in Game 1. He struck out eight halos in that contest, a 4-0 Boston win.
Despite a bad start from Daisuke Matsuzaka in Game 2, the Sox were able to walk off with a 6-3 win thanks to a ninth inning, three-run homer off the bat of Manny Ramirez.
The Angels didn’t stand a chance in Game 3, with Schilling keeping them off the scoreboard until the ninth. But that one run meant very little after Boston scored seven runs in the eighth, and they completed another first-round sweep of the Angels with a 9-1 victory.
The Angels were sick of the Sox after that second sweep, and likely became sick of donuts in the process.
Bruins Sweep Flyers In Second Round Of 2011 Cup Run
After the Bruins collapsed in the 2010 playoffs against the Flyers, who came back from a 3-0 series hole, they were determined to knock the Flyers out of the postseason the following season.
The best way to do that is by keeping them from winning any games, so a series donut is what the B’s delivered (MMMmmm… donut delivery.)
Boston came out strong with a 7-3 win in Game 1, and after a 3-2 overtime win in Game 2, the series shifted to the TD Garden where the B’s closed out the series with a pair of 5-1 wins. They outscored Philadelphia 20-7 in the series, as the Flyers couldn’t overcome several issues in net (three different netminders saw time in net throughout the series).
Bruins Sweep Penguins In 2013 Eastern Conference Finals
The Penguins were heavy favorites entering this series, but the Bruins made their four game sweep look pretty easy.
They actually had a better time in Pittsburgh, outscoring the Pens by a 9-1 margin in Games 1 and 2. Games 3 and 4 in Boston were a little more dramatic, as the B’s needed double overtime to come away with a 2-1 in Game 3 (Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winner), and Game 4 wasn’t decided until Adam McQuaid found the back of the net in the third period. That was all they would need in Game 4, skating away with a 1-0 win, with Rask stopping all 26 shots for his second donut of the series.
In all, Rask stopped 134 of the 136 shots he saw in those four games.
One more donut to pass along: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both went scoreless in the series, and were a combined minus-7.
Unfortunately, the Bruins lost to the Blackhawks in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.
Celtics Sweep Lakers In 1959 NBA Finals
We’ll close this section with a trip in the way-back machine to 1959 — nine years after Dunkin Donuts was founded. Two years after the franchise’s first championship (and a year after a Finals loss), the Celtics were back in the NBA Finals for the third straight year. Bill Russell wouldn’t be denied, and averaged 29.5 rebounds per game as the Celtics swept the Minneapolis Lakers in four games. Led by Tommy Heinsohn’s 24.3 points per game, Boston averaged 121.8 points throughout the brief series.
That was just the beginning of eight straight titles for Boston, and 11 in 13 years.
Famous No. 0’s And 00’s
You don’t find many players donning a donut on their back these days, but it’s a pretty sweet number to wear. It’s just a shame it’s no longer allowed in the NFL (as of 1973) and the NHL, who stopped allowing those numbers back in 1998 because of a glitch in the league’s new stat tracking program.
In Major League Baseball, only a handful of players have worn No. 0 or No. 00, and no member of the Red Sox has ever worn either of the two. But both numbers seem to be very prevalent in the NBA, with some very notable Celtics rocking the donut — and even a couple double donuts.
“The Chief” made the 00 jersey famous in Boston, winning three titles alongside Larry Bird and Kevin McHale in the 1980’s. A nine-time All Star, he was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield in 2003.
Bradley has gotten better every year, and he was finally healthy for Boston’s playoff run this season. He didn’t disappoint either, delivering one of the big highlights of their postseason and the Celtics’ only win against the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals:
Tommy Heinsohn isn’t the only one to shout, “I LOVE WALTA!” at the top of his lungs, as Boston’s No. 0 was a fan favorite during his eight years with the team. You can continue to shout out your love for Walta, as he now serves as an assistant coach under Brad Stevens.
He only lasted two seasons in Boston, but Montross is another one of those 00 guys in the NBA.
The ninth overall pick in the 1994 draft, Montross averaged 8.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 139 games. He wasn’t very good though (or at all) and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 1996 along with a first-round pick for a pair of first-rounders that later become Antoine Walker and Ron Mercer.
Last but certainly not least is Leon Powe, a zero and a hero.
Powe put up monster numbers in Game 2 of the 2008 NBA Finals against the Lakers, scoring 21 points in just 15 minutes of play. He shot 6-for-7 from the floor and 9-for-13 at the charity stripe in his limited time on the court, with his aggressiveness in attacking the basket leading to more free throw attempts than the Lakers, who shot just 10 freebies in the 108-102 win by Boston.
Powe, a late second-round pick in 2006, was a fan favorite in Boston because of his aggressive style of play.
The Celtics hired Powe in 2014 as an assistant to Danny Ainge. It’s good to see one of Boston’s donuts return to where he had the most success.
What is your favorite “Donut” in Boston sports? Let us know in the comments section!