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Boston Red Sox
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Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Boston, Massachusetts. They are in the American League East Division.

Founded: 1893, as the Toledo, Ohio franchise in the minor Western League. Moved to Boston when that league became the American League in 1900.
Formerly known as: Boston Americans (1901), Boston Somersets (1902), Boston Pilgrims (1903-1906).
Current ownership: John Henry and Tom Werner, who paid $660 million and assumed $40 million in debt, in February 2002. The purchase includes Fenway Park and 80 percent of New England Sports Network. The purchase price set a record for a major league baseball franchise.
Home ballpark: Fenway Park
Uniform colors: Navy blue, Red, and White
Logo design: Two hanging red socks
Wild Card titles won (3): 1998, 1999, 2003
Division championships won (5): 1975, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995
American League pennants won (10): 1903, 1904, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986
World Series championships won (5): 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918

Table of contents
1 Franchise history
2 Postseason Series of note
3 Players of note
4 External links

Franchise history

Early 20th century

The Boston Red Sox won the first World Series in 1903. In the following decade, the club won four World Series in a six-year span despite changing ownership several times.

The 1912 and 1915 clubs featured an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game: Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis.

The Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin from 1913 to 1916 and he signed Babe Ruth, commonly seen as the best player in baseball history. In 1919, the team's new owner, Harry Frazee, sold Ruth to the New York Yankees. Legend has it that he did so in order to finance a Broadway play No, No Nanette starring 'a friend', but in actual fact the play did not open on Broadway until 1925. Rather, Frazee sold Ruth, and a host of other star players such as Sad Sam Jones and Carl Mays, to Colonel Jacob Ruppert's New York Yankees, in order to pay off debts from the failures of other shows. The players formed the nucleus of the first championship Yankee teams of the 20s. Since the gutting of their championship team, the Red Sox have never won a World Series, and many in the media speak of the Curse of the Bambino - a play on one of Ruth's nicknames. The contract was a straight sale; the Red Sox got no players in return. Serious fans consider the curse to be a lot of nonsense, and take little note of such thoughts. Though Sox fans annually struggle to understand their misfortune.

Tom Yawkey and Ted Williams

Around 1930, a wealthy, shy young man named Tom Yawkey bought the Red Sox, and began pumping money into the team.

In 1939, the Red Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Ted Williams, then playing in the Pacific Coast League, ushering in an era of the team sometimes called the "Ted Sox". Williams is considered one of the greatest hitters in baseball history, hitting for both power and average. He is the last player to hit over .400 for a full season, in 1941.

With Williams, the Red Sox went to the World Series in 1946, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, in part because of the use of the "Williams Shift", in which the shortstop would move to the right side of the infield to make it harder for the left-handed-hitting Williams to hit to that side of the field. Some have claimed that Williams was too proud to hit to the other side of the field, not wanting to let the Cardinals take away his game. Nonetheless, he did not hit well in the Series.

The Red Sox featured several other very good players during the 1940s, including 2B Johnny Pesky (for whom the right field foul pole in Fenway - the "Pesky Pole" - is named), 3B Bobby Doerr, and OF Dom DiMaggio (brother of Joe). Despite this, they lost the pennant by one game in each of 1948 and 1949, and Williams never played in another World Series.

The 1950s were a bleak time for the Red Sox. Ted Williams hit .388 at the age of 38 in 1957, but there was little else for Boston fans to root for. Williams retired at the end of the 1960 season, famously hitting a home run in his final at-bat.

Supposedly the right-field bullpens in Fenway Park were built in part for Williams' left-handed swing, and these are sometimes called "Williamsburg".

Carl Yastrzemski

The 1960s also started poorly for the Red Sox, though 1961 saw the debut of Carl Yastrzemski ("Yaz"), who would become one of the best hitters of the pitching-rich decade.

Red Sox fans remember 1967 as the year of the "Impossible Dream." The team had finished the 1966 season in last place, but they found new life with Yaz leading the team to the World Series. Yaz won the American League Triple Crown and put on one of the greatest displays of hitting down the stretch in baseball history. But the Red Sox lost the series - again to the St. Louis Cardinals - again breaking the hearts of their fans. Nonetheless, the 1967 season is remembered as one of the great pennant races in baseball history since four teams were in the race until almost the last game.

The Sox won the AL pennant in 1975, this time with Yaz surrounded by other stars such as rookie outfielders Jim Rice and Fred Lynn (who won both the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP awards), veteran OF Dwight Evans, C Carlton Fisk, and pitchers Luis Tiant and the eccentric junkballer Bill Lee.

Game 6 of the World Series, against the Cincinnati Reds' so-called "Big Red Machine," is regarded by some as the greatest game in baseball postseason history, an extra-inning drama featuring dramatic home runs by Bernie Carbo and Fisk (the latter a game-winner, the famous 'body English' homerun). But the Red Sox lost Game 7, and this time it would be Yaz who never again played in a World Series.

Curse of the Bambino?

The 1986 Red Sox, led by a fireballing righthander from Texas named Roger Clemens, came within one strike of winning the World Series but lost Game 6 after a stunning series of events. This included first baseman Bill Buckner having the winning run score on a ball hit right to him, which he let go through his legs. Buckner endured years of taunts and harassment as a result of the error.

This turn of events, among the most improbable in World Series history, gave rise to the modern media's focus on the so-called "Curse of the Bambino".

The Red Sox won the American League East in both 1988 and 1990, only to get swept 4-0 by the Oakland Athletics each time.

Tom Yawkey had passed away in 1976, and his wife Jean took control of the team, until her death in 1992, ending over 60 years of Yawkey ownership. A trust controlled by John Harrington took control of the team.

After the Yawkeys

Longtime Sox GM Lou Gorman was replaced in 1994 by Dan Duquette, who had previously run the Montreal Expos. Duquette's reign began with promises to revive the flagging Sox farm system, but ended with several huge contracts to major stars and a great deal of public acrimony. The fans and local media often turned on the players; general managers humiliated the manager; managers and players sniped at each other.

In the strike-shortened 1995 season, the Sox won the newly-realigned American League East, finishing 7 games ahead of the rival Yankees. Once again, they were swept, this time 3-0 by the Cleveland Indians, running their postseason losing streak to 13 games, dating back to the 1986 World Series.

In 1998 the Red Sox traded for Expos star pitcher Pedro Martinez, and signed him to a long-term contract. Martinez would have several spectacular seasons for the Red Sox. In 1998 they lost the Divisional Series to the Indians, this time 3-1, after winning game 1 11-3 behind Martinez.

In 1999 they got revenge on the Indians, pulling off a miracle comeback, being down 2 games to 0. They won game 3, 9-3, behind the pitching of Ramon Martinez, Pedro's brother, and Derek Lowe. Game 4 was an incredible blowout, 23-7 for the Red Sox. Game 5 was a tense affair, with the Indians taking a 5-2 lead after two innings, but Pedro Martinez came on in the fourth inning and pitched six innings of no-hit ball to back the Red Sox to a 12-8 win, behind two home runs from Troy O'Leary. The Red Sox then met the hated New York Yankees and lost 4 games to 1. The sole win was a cathartic 13-1 demolition of former Red Sox Roger Clemens in Fenway Park.

The Duquette era ended in 2002, when president and Yawkey trustee John Harrington sold the Red Sox to a consortium comprised of John Henry, Tom Werner, and Les Otten, with Larry Lucchino as president and CEO. Duquette was fired, and replaced for the 2002 season by Mike Port. After almost hiring Oakland's Billy Beane during the 2002 off-season, the Red Sox promoted Yale graduate Theo Epstein to general manager. At 28, he became the youngest GM in the history of the Major Leagues.

June 27, 2003, the Red Sox established a new Major League Baseball record by scoring 10 runs against the Florida Marlins before the Marlins could get an out in the first inning.

The 2003 postseason delivered another blow to Red Sox fans. The Sox rallied from a 2-games-to-0 deficit against the Oakland Athletics to win the best-of-5 2003 American League Division Series. They then faced the Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series, and had a 5-2 lead over the Yankees in the 8th inning of game 7, but lost the game 6-5 in 11 innings, on a home run by Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone, disappointing Red Sox players and fans. Many Red Sox fans blamed their manager, Grady Little for the loss, as his decision not to take out Red Sox ace pitcher Pedro Martinez after seven strong innings led to an eighth inning in which the Yankees scored three runs to tie the game. Some Red Sox fans and columnists believe that this contentious decision by Little led to his firing the following offseason.

See also: Curse of the Bambino, Major League Baseball franchise post-season droughts, Game 6

Postseason Series of note

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Famers

Current stars

Not to be forgotten

Retired numbers

See also

External links

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