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Yearbook, Dec. 4: Red Sox hire Francona

Dec. 4, 2003: It ended badly, with the two sides parting ways after a stunning late-season collapse in 2011.

But this day nine years ago still brought about a special era for the Boston Red Sox: The Terry Francona Era, during which the cursed club won two World Series trophies -- including one in his first year as manager, an 86-year-drought-busting title so famously claimed thanks to the team's stunning comeback from a 3-0 ALCS deficit against the New York Yankees.

Francona's Sox won again in 2007, and he completed his Boston tenure with a 744-552 record. Now he's with the Cleveland Indians, while Boston is on its second manager since Francona left.