The biggest splash in US sport in 2004 was made by Boston landing the World Series 86 years after their last win.
The Red Sox triumphed 4-0 over St Louis - but even sweeter was their comeback from 3-0 down to see off hated rivals the Yankees to win the American League.
Sluggers Jonny Damon and David Bellhorn plus pitchers Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez were among the Boston heroes.
Schilling, playing through the pain of a bad ankle injury, epitomised Boston's determination to end their barren run.
Boston's Fall Classic victory bookended that of NFL neighbours New England, who edged Carolina 32-29 in a thrilling Super Bowl XXXVIII in February.
It was the Patriots' second Super Bowl win in three years after their 2002 triumph over St Louis - also sealed by a last-gasp Adam Vinatieri field goal.
New England began their 2004-05 season with all guns blazing, stretching their unbeaten run to a record 21 games.
It was ended by powerful Pittsburgh, while Philadelphia also look strong.
In the NBA, Detroit stunned the star-studded Los Angeles Lakers with a 4-1 win in June's best-of-seven finals.
Defeat marked the end of an era for LA, with coach Phil Jackson and mega-star Shaquille O'Neal among those departing. Kobe Bryant is happier without Shaq.
Pistons coach Larry Brown failed to work the same magic with the US 'Dream Team' at the Olympics - his blend of youth and experience won only bronze.
An Emeka Okafor-inspired UConn beat Georgia Tech to win the college crown.
Tampa Bay clinched the NHL's Stanley Cup for the first time in their 12-year history with a 2-1 victory over Calgary in the trophy's game-seven decider.
The win was good news for those keen to promote the sport outside its northern heartland, but did not translate into general interest or good TV ratings.
Tampa's triumph was soon overshadowed by a labour dispute as team owners sought to stem the sport's losses.
The 2004-05 season failed to start on time, with the players locked out.