By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox are in the midst of their greatest season of all time. They’re two wins away from completing that feat.
And they now have an image that may crystallize the whole season.
It came in the top of the fifth inning of Game 2 of the World Series between the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. Starter David Price had gotten himself into some trouble in the fourth inning, allowing Los Angeles to take a 2-1 lead in the game. To start the top of the fifth, it looked like Price found some more trouble.
Brian Dozier ripped a 2-2 changeup on a line to deep left field to lead off the fifth. Off the bat, it looked like extra bases to most. But to Andrew Benintendi, it looked like an out.
The 24-year-old left fielder sprinted back and to his right in pursuit of the ball. And as he neared the 37-foot Green Monster that looms over all left fielders who dare retreat far enough, he went into a leap to try to make the play.
He made it, and he also helped create an image that will be seen many times over for many years.
Looks like Benintendi may be getting a call from Mr. Michael Jordan soon.
The image is perfect for a multitude of reasons. For one, he’s basically flying, as he needed every last inch in that leap to make the play. Secondly, it’s indicative of the type of effort and execution the Red Sox have displayed all year long, from spring training through the World Series. (Though, for Benintendi, this won’t even be remembered as his best or biggest catch of the past week.)
And lastly, the shot from Globe photographer Jim Davis just so happened to perfectly frame the 2018 AL East standings, which show the Red Sox sitting atop the division with a franchise-record 108 victories.
It may not be remembered like Carlton Fisk’s 1975 wave, and it certainly won’t be sold in shopping malls 40 years from now like Bobby Orr’s iconic Cup-clinching, flying-through-the-air goal.
But as far as iconic Boston sports images go, that one should be among the best. And for the 2018 Red Sox? It’s kind of perfect.