'It might be a goggles controversy'
The most recent additions to celebrations have been swimming and ski goggles, which are now as much a staple of the festivities as the alcohol itself. While individual players were seen wearing them sporadically over the years, beginning with Bobby Ojeda after the Mets won the World Series in 1986, the 2004 Red Sox were the first team to wear eye protection while celebrating. It has become an annual tradition, but there's a dispute as to which player on the Red Sox did it first.
Johnny Damon claimed Orlando Cabrera was the first one to sport swimming goggles postgame, but David Ortiz also has been credited for the innovation.
David Ortiz may or may not have been the first player to celebrate while wearing goggles, an innovation credited to his 2004 Red Sox team. Al Bello/Getty Images
"It might be a goggles controversy," said Kevin Millar, who was on the 2004 Red Sox team. "I would've guessed Orlando Cabrera ... might've been Ortiz. I wasn't a huge goggle guy at that point. ... I remember in '03 when we clinched something, sitting here blinking. So when he broke the goggles out [I thought]: 'What a great idea! Get the ski goggles going. Anything you can think of to protect your eyes from champagne.' If we were the guys that brought it out for everyone else, I'm proud of that."
While the sight of 25 or so players in a clubhouse wearing Oakley or Nike ski goggles might be jarring to traditionalists, it's more than just a fashion statement. The alcohol content in champagne can actually cause corneal abrasions for 48 hours, and that's not even taking into account flying corks.
"When we celebrated, we had a good time, but we didn't have goggles," Lasorda said. "We didn't do anything crazy, but I love what the guys are doing now, too."