Boston Red Sox
Also known as Boston Americans
Franchise Record: (through 2016) 9,317-8,708-81-1 (.517)
Postseason Record: 91-80-1 (.532)
Franchise Players: Jimmy Collins, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Carl Yastrzemski, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury
Retired Numbers 1: Bobby Doerr; 4: Joe Cronin; 6: Johnny Pesky; 8: Carl Yastrzemski; 9: Ted Williams; 14: Jim Rice; 26: Wade Boggs; 27: Carlton Fisk; 34: David Ortiz; 42: Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball); 45: Pedro Martinez
The Boston Red Sox were created in 1901 in the American League, when the league decided to claim Major League status as a rival to the National League. They were not known as the Red Sox until 1908; before that time, they were refered to by various unofficial names such as the Boston Americans, Boston Pilgrims or Boston Somersets. Early in the century, the Red Sox won World Series titles in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, and 1918. They won the AL pennant in 1904, but New York Giants manager John McGraw refused to play the American League champions in a World Series that year. The 1903 title came in the first modern World Series and was an upset of the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates thanks to the pitching of Cy Young and Bill Dinneen. That win did much to secure the American League's claim as a worthy rival of the senior circuit. Other early stars were outfielders Tris Speaker and Harry Hooper, third baseman Jimmy Collins - also the team's first manager - and pitchers Smokey Joe Wood and Babe Ruth.
After this early success, the franchise unravelled when owner Harry Frazee began trading or selling most of his top players to the New York Yankees beginning in 1920, in order to meet financial pressures. The most infamous of these deals was the sale of pitcher turned outfielder Ruth to the New York Yankees, a deal that changed the fate of two franchises. The Yankees won their first pennant in 1921 and immediately became perennial World Series participants, while the Red Sox sank to the bottom of the standings, and did not emerge again as a competitive force until the second half of the 1930s. Leading the team back to respectability were Joe Cronin, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove, all acquired from other teams at the height of the Great Depression.
The Red Sox got back to the World Series in 1946, but lost in 7 games. In 1948, they tied the Cleveland Indians in the regular season, forcing a one-game playoff, which they lost in part because of Joe McCarthy's controversial decision to start unheralded Denny Galehouse in the deciding game; the loss cost the city of Boston the chance to have an all-local World Series, since the crosstown rival Braves won their last pennant in Boston that year. Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr were the team'a big stars in the 1940s, with Williams, the last .400 hitter in major league history in 1941, playing until 1960. The Bosox returned to the Fall Classic in 1967, 1975, and 1986, losing each series in 7 games as well. In 1978, the Red Sox blew a nine-game lead over the New York Yankees and lost a one-game playoff, which featured Bucky Dent's seventh-inning three-run homer of Mike Torrez over Fenway Park's Green Monster. Carl Yastrzemski was the iconic figure in the 1960s and 1970s, almost single-handedly steering the "Impossible Dream" Sox to the 1967 Series with a Triple Crown season. The 1975 team was highlighted by two great rookies - Fred Lynn and Jim Rice - and the pitching of Luis Tiant. The 1986 team featured an aging Rice, but was driven by the great pitching of Roger Clemens and the hitting of Wade Boggs. The Red Sox lost the ALCS in 1988 and 1990 in 4 game sweeps to the Oakland A's, the 1995 ALDS to the Cleveland Indians and the 1999 and 2003 ALCS to the Yankees. The 1990s teams had fewer superstars, although Pedro Martinez, acquired in 1998, was the best pitcher in baseball for a few years after joining the team.
In 2004, the Yankees took a three games to none lead over the Red Sox in the ALCS. However, the Red Sox came back to tie Game 4 in the 9th inning (at Fenway Park) off Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera, highlighted by Dave Roberts's steal of second base followed by a game-tying single from Bill Mueller. Later, David Ortiz won the game with a home run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Boston staged another late-inning rally in Game 5, with Roberts again scoring the tying run. Ortiz won that game with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 14th inning. The series then moved to Yankee Stadium and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who had a severe ankle injury, was able to win Game 6. The Red Sox would then beat the Yankees in Game 7 to win the ALCS, then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series to win their first World Championship since 1918.
The Sox were a wild-card entry in the post-season 2005 and lost to the Chicago White Sox in the Division Series. The team finished second in the AL East for 7 consecutive seasons (from 1998 to 2004), and in 2005 tied the Yankees for first in the division, but were awarded the wild card due to a 9-10 head-to-head record against their rivals.
After missing the postseason altogether in 2006, the Sox finished first in the AL East in 2007, going on to sweep the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies. They won the AL wild card in 2008 but fell to the upstart Tampa Bay Rays in a seven-game ALCS match-up. In 2009, they started the season on fire, but were eventually caught and passed by the Yankees in August, ending up once again as the wild card; in the Division Series, they once again faced the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to which they had never lost in the postseason, but this time were swept in three games, ending a disappointing season but still completed their most successful decade since the 1910s. The stars of that team were Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek.
The Red Sox missed the postseason in 2010 but were back in an epic race with the Yankees in 2011, led by newly-acquired Adrian Gonzalez and a the home-grown Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. They seemed to have a postseason slot wrapped up heading into the last two weeks of the season, but suffered a memorable collapse to be passed by the Rays on the season's last day. After that disappointment, the Red Sox replaced manager Terry Francona, who had been at the helm for both of their recent World Series titles, and replaced him with Bobby Valentine. General manager Theo Epstein, who built those winning teams, also left, being replaced by Ben Cherington. Other significant departures after that season were that of closer Jonathan Papelbon, who held the franchise record with 219 saves, via free agency, and the retirement of knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, with the most games started and innings pitched, and of Varitek, who had caught more games than anyone in team history. Youkilis soon joined them, being traded early in the 2012 season. That season turned out to be a disaster, with the Red Sox finishing in last place and Valentine losing his job at the end of the season. In August of that year, the Sox made a huge trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sending Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to L.A. in return for a package of youngsters, the trio representing over $250 million in future salary commitments.
With former pitching coach John Farrell now at the helm, the Red Sox came back to win a third World Series in ten season in 2013. The city of Boston was the victim of a brutal terrorist attack at the finish line of its annual marathon that April, and its baseball team helped to rally the people, with David Ortiz giving a rousing speech just after the tragic events. With newcomers Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew and Shane Victorino joining holdovers Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury and Jon Lester, the Red Sox cruised to a division title and through the postseason to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games in the Series. That season was followed by another last-place finish in 2014, in which the Red Sox traded a number of players in order to rebuild and make another run at the flag the following season.
Other Notable Players
- Josh Beckett
- Wade Boggs
- Rick Burleson
- Bill Carrigan
- Roger Clemens
- Jimmy Collins
- Tony Conigliaro
- Johnny Damon
- Dom DiMaggio
- Dennis Eckersley
- Dwight Evans
- Rick Ferrell
- Dave Ferriss
- Jimmie Foxx
- Nomar Garciaparra
- Larry Gardner
- Billy Goodman
- Lefty Grove
- Harry Hooper
- Tex Hughson
- Bruce Hurst
- Jackie Jensen
- Jon Lester
- Duffy Lewis
- Jim Lonborg
- Derek Lowe
- Fred Lynn
- Frank Malzone
- Pedro Martinez
- Bill Monbouquette
- David Ortiz
- Jonathan Papelbon
- Mel Parnell
- Dustin Pedroia
- Johnny Pesky
- Rico Petrocelli
- Dick Radatz
- Manny Ramirez
- Pete Runnels
- Babe Ruth
- Curt Schilling
- Reggie Smith
- Tris Speaker
- Bob Stanley
- Luis Tiant
- Jason Varitek
- Tim Wakefield
- Smoky Joe Wood
- Kevin Youkilis
- Cy Young
|Red Sox General Managers|
|Eddie Collins||1933 to 1947|
|Joe Cronin||1948 to January 15, 1959|
|Bucky Harris||January 15, 1959 to September 27, 1960|
|Dick O'Connell||September 27, 1960 to October 6, 1962|
|Pinky Higgins||October 6, 1962 to September 16, 1965|
|Dick O'Connell||September 16, 1965 to October 24, 1977|
|Haywood Sullivan||October 24, 1977 to February 2, 1984|
|Lou Gorman||February 2, 1984 to 1993|
|Dan Duquette||January 27, 1994 to 2002|
|Mike Port (interim)||2002 to November 25, 2002|
|Theo Epstein||November 25, 2002 to October 31, 2005|
|Ben Cherington/Jed Hoyer||2005 to 2006|
|Theo Epstein||2006 to 2011|
|Ben Cherington||2011 to Present|
Spring Training Locations
|Little Rock, AR||1907-08|
|Hot Springs, AR||1909-10|
|Redondo Beach, CA||1911|
|Hot Springs, AR||1912-18|
|Hot Springs, AR||1920-23|
|San Antonio, TX||1924|
|New Orleans, LA||1925-27|
|Atlantic City, NJ||1945|
|Winter Haven, FL||1966-92|
|Fort Myers, FL||1993-present|
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- Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer, ed.: The Ultimate Red Sox Companion: A Complete Statistical and Reference Guide, Maple Street Press, Hingham, MA, 2007.
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- Bill Nowlin, Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin, eds.: New Century, New Team: The 1901 Boston American, Society for American Baseball Research, Phoenix, AZ, 2013. ISBN 978-1-933599-58-8
- Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: Blood Feud: The Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Struggle of Good versus Evil, Rounder Books, Burlington, MA, 2005. ISBN 978-1579401115
- Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: The Boston Red Sox World Series Encyclopedia, Rounder Books, Burlington, MA, 2008.
- Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: Amazing Tales from the Red Sox Dugout, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1613210239
- Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: From the Babe to the Beards: The Boston Red Sox in the World Series, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2014. ISBN 978-1-6132-1727-6
- Bill Nowlin and Matthew Silverman: Red Sox by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Boston Red Sox by Uniform Number, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1-60239-995-2
- Joshua R. Pahigian: The Red Sox in the Playoffs: A Postseason History, 1903-2005, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
- Chaz Scoggins: Game of My Life: 20 Stories of Red Sox Baseball, Sports Publishing LLC, Champaign, IL, 2006.
- Dan Shaughnessy: At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation, Three Rivers Press, new York, NY, 1996. ISBN 978-0517701041
- Troy Soos: Before the Curse: The Glory Days of New England Baseball, 1858-1918, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
- Mark Stang: Red Sox Review: 110 Years of Boston Red Sox Photos, St. Johann Press, Haworth, NJ, 2012.
- Todd Stanley: They Wore Red Socks and Pinstripes: Players Who Went to the Enemy, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2017. ISBN 978-0-7864-9751-5
- John Thorn: Total Baseball, Total Sports Publishing, 1989, 1995
- Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company (March 1993)
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