As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, the 2012 season had been a bitter disappointment. Bobby Valentine had been brought in as manager after a monumental collapse the previous season led to ownerships decision to part ways with beloved manager Terry Francona. The Bobby Valentine experiment had been a disaster almost from the first day of spring training, as players and coaches didn’t appear to be on the same page from the start. The team finished a disappointing 69-93, last in the American League East. To no one’s surprise, Valentine was fired right after the season ended. The Sox pursued Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell for the job. Having served as pitching coach under Terry Francona before departing for Toronto, Boston executives were convinced Farrell would be the perfect fit for the team. With Farrell on board, G.M. Ben Cherington moved forward, signing a series of veteran players including Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, and Koji Uehara.

Of course, given how lousy 2012 had been this was a roster that already had significant talent—David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz—who had simply performed way below their abilities. If these guys could get anywhere near the numbers they had put up before the incredible crash at the end of the 2011 season, there was no telling what the Red Sox could do.

Fans and experts alike didn’t know what to make of the 2013, squad, but few expected much. The team started out surprisingly well, with an 18-8 record in April. Mike Napoli had 27 RBI’s, making him an instant fan favorite. Fans got a little uneasy in early May, as the team hit a bit of a slide, losing 9 of 11 games. However, the team recovered nicely, finishing a pedestrian 15-15, which would be their worst month of the season.

David Ortiz had played just 90 games the previous season due to an Achilles’ injury that lingered into this season. Expectations were tempered, but “Big Papi” was instrumental in the team’s success, batting .309 with 29 homers, and 96 RBI’s. Napoli would finish the season with an impressive 93 RBI’s, and 23 home runs. Right fielder Shane Victorino contributed solid offensive numbers, and won a Gold Glove despite dealing with hamstring and back issues throughout the season. And Dustin Pedroia, he was a steady presence the entire season, despite an opening day thumb injury that would have sent many players to the disabled list for an extended period. Other player’s fine seasons and knack for timely hitting complemented a strong starting rotation led by Jon Lester, and virtually unhittable closer, Koji Uehara.

Finishing the regular season with 97 wins—tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the best record in baseball—the Red Sox faced the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division series. In the best of 3 out of 5 format, the Sox looked strong in dispatching the Rays in four games. Next, were presumptive favorites, the Detroit Tigers, led by power hitting Miguel Cabrera who followed up a Triple Crown (leader in homers, RBI and batting average), MVP-winning season with a similar one which earned him a second consecutive trophy, they also had two of the best pitchers in the game, Justin Verlander (though he was coming off a bit of a down year by his standards), and Max Scherzer, who boasted a 21-3 record. To the delight of Boston fans (and I’ll admit, some surprise), the Red Sox beat Scherzer in two different outings, and Verlander in a third and defeated the Tigers four games to two to win the ALCS, and earn a trip to the World Series to face the St. Louis Cardinals.

It seemed fitting that the two teams with the best records in baseball should battle it out for the championship. As is the case when the Sox travel to a National League park, there were questions before the series started as to whether David Ortiz, a Designated Hitter by trade, should sit for those games because he would be such a defensive liability playing first base. Those questions were quickly answered when the series became “The David Ortiz Show.” From the start, Papi was hitting at a torrid pace, with a batting average topping .700! No Cardinal picture could get this guy out! Ortiz was so locked in, that when the Cardinals tied Game 5 at one run apiece, Ortiz brought the team together on the dugout bench and gave them a serious spirited pep talk. The team responded winning the fifth game, and clinching the Series in Game 6 at Fenway Park, the team’s third World Series win of the decade. Ortiz finished the Series with a .688 average, two home runs and six RBI, and took home the World Series MVP.

For Red Sox fans this release is awesome. It gives you the chance to relive each game of the Series, and the ALCS clincher. Statistics and trivia for each game is included inside the case as part of an enclosed booklet.

Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p presentation looks as sharp as you would expect from such a recent event. Detail is strong, showing off the player’s postseason beards, and the dirt on their uniforms. Blacks, prevalent in evening games, are consistent and inky.

You get a DTS-HD MA 2.0 channel track as your default, and the action sounds quite good. Though largely relegated to the front of the soundstage, things are robust enough to put you in the center of the action. As in the case with recent World Series releases, the set comes with the Spanish language broadcast audio and the two teams’ respective radio teams’ call of the action as alternate tracks.

The included bonus disc includes all of the Red Sox walk-off victories, various pitcher and hitter milestones reached during the season, and relevant postseason highlights in the games leading up to the Red Sox World Series appearance. They can be played individually or all at once.