Boston Red Sox
2008 Boston Red Sox season
Boston Red Sox Established 1901
Team Logo †
Major league affiliations
††† * American League (1901Ėpresent)
††††††††† o East Division (1969Ėpresent)
Retired Numbers †1, 4, 8, 9, 27, 42
††† * Boston Red Sox (1908Ėpresent)
††† * Boston Americans (1901-1907)
††† * The Sox, The BoSox, The Olde Towne Team
††† * Fenway Park (1912Ėpresent)
††† * Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds (1901-1911)
Major league titles
World Series titles (7) †2007 ē 2004 ē 1918 ē 1916 ē 1915
1912 ē 1903
AL Pennants (12) †2007 ē 2004 ē 1986 ē 1975 ē 1967
1946 ē 1918 ē 1916 ē 1915
1912 ē 1904 ē 1903
East Division titles (7) †2007 ē 1995 ē 1990 ē 1988 ē 1986
Wild card berths (5) †2005 ē2004 ē 2003 ē 1999
Owner(s): John Henry and Tom Werner
Manager: Terry Francona
General Manager: Theo Epstein
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and are the reigning World Series Champions. The Red Sox are a member and current champions of both the Major League Baseballís American League Eastern Division and of the American League itself. From 1912 to the present, the Red Sox have played in Fenway Park.
The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature. They are nicknamed "the BoSox," a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (as opposed to the "ChiSox"), and "the Olde Towne Team." Most fans simply refer to them as "the Sox."
One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Boston in 1901. Then known as the Boston Americans, they played at Huntington Avenue Grounds, and met the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series. In 1918, the team won its fifth World Series, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history. Many attributed the phenomenon to the "Curse of the Bambino" said to have been caused by the trade of Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. The drought was ended, and the "curse" reversed in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series Championship.
The Red Sox lead all MLB teams in average road attendance, while the small capacity of Fenway causes them to rank 11th in home attendance. Every home game since May 15, 2003 has been sold outóa span of over four years.
Red Sox History
In 1900, the minor Western League, led by Ban Johnson, declared its equality with the National League, then the only major league in baseball. Johnson changed the name of the league to the American League. Competing in the streets, the upstart placed franchises in two of the largest and most important National League cities, Philadelphia and Boston. Playing their home games at Huntington Avenue Grounds, one of these two franchises often called the Boston Americans finished second and third before capturing their first pennant in 1903 and repeating the next year. Those teams were led by manager and star third baseman Jimmy Collins and by pitcher Cy Young, whose 1901 to 1904 seasons rank among the best four-year runs ever. In addition, the Americans received significant contributions from outfielders Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty. In 1903, the Americans participated in the first modern World Series, beating the favored Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of the NL pennant by six and a half games, winning the best-of-nine series five games to three. The Americans, aided by the modified chants of "Tessie" by the Royal Rooters fan club and by its stronger pitching staff, managed to overcome the odds, winning the first modern World Series.
The Red Sox logo used in 1908
The 1904 club was almost as good as the previous team, but due to the surprise emergence of the New York Highlanders, the Americans found themselves in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. A predecessor to what would become a storied rivalry, this race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub. However, perhaps the climax of the season occurred on the last, dramatic doubleheader at the Highlandersí home stadium, Hilltop Park. In order to win the pennant, the Highlanders needed to win both games. With Jack Chesbro, the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, the Highlanders seemed to have a good chance of winning the first game. However, with the score tied 2-2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro and Lou Criger scored the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history. Unfortunately, the NL champion New York Giants declined to play any postseason series, fearing it would give their New York rivals credibility (they had expected the Highlanders to win), but a sharp public reaction led the two leagues immediately to make the World Series a permanent championship, starting in 1905.
These successful times soon ended, however, as the Americans lost 100 games in the 1906 season. But several new star players helped the newly renamed Red Sox improve almost immediately.
Team renamed: Red Sox
By 1909, the legendary center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, and the Red Sox worked their way to third place. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season, finishing with a club record .691 winning percentage. Anchored by an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game ó Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis ó and superstar pitcher Smokey Joe Wood, the Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4-3-1 in the classic 1912 World Series best known for Snodgrassís Muff. From 1913 to 1916 the Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin, who signed Ruth, soon the best-known and one of the best players ever. Another 101 wins in 1915 propelled the Red Sox to the 1915 World Series, where they beat the Philadelphia Athletics four games to one. The 1916 team repeated the pennant, though Tris Speaker, a fixture for six years, was traded to the Cleveland Indians in the off-season. His departure was more than compensated for, however, by the emergence of star pitcher Ruth. Once again, the Red Sox won the 1916 World Series, this time defeating the Brooklyn Robins. By 1918, the team found itself at the top of the heap again, led by Ruth to the 1918 World Series championship over the Chicago Cubs.
Sale of Ruth
After three seasons in Boston, Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the rival New York Yankees on January 2, 1920. Ruth had just broken the single-season home run record, hitting 29 in 1919. Legend has it that Frazee did so in order to finance the Broadway play No, No, Nanette, starring "a friend," but the play did not open on Broadway until 1925.
During that period, the Red Sox, White Sox and Yankees had a detente; they were called "Insurrectos" because their actions antagonized league president Johnson. Although Frazee owned the Boston Red Sox franchise, he did not own Fenway Park (it was owned by the Fenway Park Trust), making his ownership a precarious one; Johnson could move another team into the ballpark. His club was in debt, but Frazee felt the need to purchase its playing site (which he did in 1920). Further, providing the Yankees with a box office attraction would help that mediocre club, which had sided with him against Johnson and "the Loyal Five" clubs. Finally, Ruth was considered a serious disciplinary problem, a reputation to be replicated in New York. Frazee moved to stabilize finances and cut distractions. It was a straight sale, no players in return.
After New York achieved great success and Boston did not win for a few decades, the sale of Ruth came to be viewed as the beginning of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, described as the "Greatest Rivalry on Earth" by some journalists. Plus, years later, many thought the sale was the cause of the "Curse of the Bambino."
After the sale of Ruth to the Yankees, Frazee continued to sell many of his star players. In the winter of 1920, Wally Schang, future star pitcher Waite Hoyt, Harry Harper, and Mike McNally were traded to the Yankees for Del Pratt, Muddy Ruel, John Costello, Hank Thormahlen, Sammy Vick and cash. The following winter, iron man shortstop Everett Scott, and pitchers Bullet Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones were traded to the Yankees for Roger Peckinpaugh (who would be immediately shipped to the Washington Senators), Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, Bill Piercy and $50,000. One particularly controversial deal was that of Joe Dugan and Elmer Smith, who were traded to the Yankees on July 23, 1922, for Elmer Miller, Chick Fewster, John Mitchell, and future superstar Lefty O'Doul, who was at the time a mediocre pitching prospect. The trade of Dugan helped the Yankees edge the St. Louis Browns in a tight pennant race, and the resulting uproar helped create a June 15 trading deadline that went into effect the next year. Perhaps an even more outrageous deal was the trade of Herb Pennock, occurring in early 1923. Pennock was traded by the Red Sox to the Yankees for Camp Skinner, Norm McMillan, George Murray and $50,000.
A couple of notable trades involving Frazee and the Yankees occurred before the Ruth sale. On December 18, 1918, outstanding outfielder Duffy Lewis (mentioned above), pitcher Dutch Leonard, and pitcher Ernie Shore were traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ray Caldwell, Slim Love, Roxy Walters, Frank Gilhooley and $15,000. As all three players were well-regarded in Boston ó Lewis had been a key player on the 1910s championship teams, Shore had famously relieved Ruth and retired 27 straight, and Leonard had only four years before set a modern record for earned run average ó this trade was regarded as not such a good one in Boston, Then, on July 13, 1919, submarine-style pitching star Carl Mays was traded to the Yankees for Bob McGraw, Allan Russell and $40,000. Mays would go on to have several good years for the Yankees.
Following these trades, the Red Sox finished in the second division with poor records in the 1920s and 1930s. Over an eight-year period from 1925 to 1932, the Red Sox averaged over 100 losses in a season. One of the few bright spots on these teams was Earl Webb, who set the all-time mark for most doubles in a season in 1931 with 67. The Red Soxí fortunes began to change in 1933, however, when Tom Yawkey bought the Red Sox. Yawkey would acquire Lefty Grove, one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, Joe Cronin, an outstanding shortstop and manager, Jimmie Foxx, the slugging first baseman, and Wes Ferrell, an outstanding pitcher. These moves paid off, as the Red Sox were once again competitive in the late thirties.
Ted Williams era 1939Ė1960
In 1939, the Red Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Ted Williams from the San Diego Padres Pacific Coast League, ushering in an era of the team sometimes called the "Ted Sox." Williams is generally considered one of the greatest hitters of all time, because he consistently hit for both high power and high average. Stories of his ability to hold a bat in his hand and correctly estimate its weight down to the ounce have floated around baseball circles for decades. His book The Science of Hitting is widely read by students of baseball. He is also the last player to hit over .400 for a full season, hitting .406 in 1941. Williams feuded with sports writers his whole career, calling them "The Knights of the Keyboard," and his relationship with the fans was often rocky as he was seen spitting towards the stands on more than one occasion.
With Williams, the Red Sox reached the 1946 World Series, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games, 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. Williams did not fare well in the series, gathering only five singles in 25 at-bats, for a .200 average. However, his performance may have been affected by an elbow injury he had received a few days before when he was hit by a pitch in an exhibition game. Williams would never play in a World Series again. Williams served two stints in the United States Marine Corps as a pilot and saw active duty in both World War II and the Korean War, and missed at least five full seasons of baseball. One can only wonder what his stats would have been had he played the whole time.
The loss to the Cardinals in game 7 of 1946 World Series is not without controversy as the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter scored the go ahead run all the way from first base on a base hit to left field. The throw from Leon Culberson was cut off by shortstop Johnny Pesky who relayed the ball to the plate just a hair too late. Some say Pesky hesitated or "held the ball" before he turned to throw the ball, but this has been disputed.
The right-field bullpens in Fenway Park were built in part for Williams' left-handed swing, and are sometimes called "Williamsburg." Before this addition to right field, it was over 400 feet in that area of the ballpark.
The Red Sox featured several other players during the 1940s, including SS Johnny Pesky (for whom the right field foul pole in Fenway ó "Pesky's Pole" ó is affectionately named by fans, and in 2006 the Red Sox officially named it such), 2B Bobby Doerr, and CF Dom DiMaggio (brother of Joe DiMaggio).
The Red Sox narrowly lost the AL pennant in 1948 and 1949. In 1948, they finished in a tie with Cleveland, and their loss to Cleveland in a one-game playoff ended hopes of an all-Boston World Series. Curiously, manager Joseph McCarthy chose journeyman Denny Galehouse to start the playoff game when the young lefty phenom Mel Parnell was available to pitch. In 1949, the Sox were one game ahead of the New York Yankees, with the only two games left for both teams being against each other, and they lost both of those games.
The 1950s were viewed as a time of tribulation for the Red Sox. After Williams returned from the Korean War in 1953, many of the best players from the late 1940s had retired or been traded. The stark contrast in the team led critics to call the Red Sox' daily lineup "Ted Williams and the Seven Dwarfs." Also, unlike many other teams, owner Tom Yawkey refused to sign players of African descent, even passing up chances at future Hall-of-Famers Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, both of whom tried out for Boston and were highly praised by team scouts. Jackie Robinson was even worked out by the team at Fenway Park, however it appeared that owner Tom Yawkey did not want an African American player on his team at that time. 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 as memorialized in the John Updike story "Hub fans bid Kid adieu" The Sox finally became the last Major League team to field an African American player when they promoted infielder Pumpsie Green from their AAA farm team in 1959.
1960s: Yaz and the impossible dream
The Impossible Dream (1967)
The 1960s also started poorly for the Red Sox, though 1961 saw the debut of Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski, (uniform #8) who developed into one of the better hitters of a pitching-rich decade.
Red Sox fans refer to 1967 as the year of the "Impossible Dream." The slogan refers to the hit song from the popular musical play "Man of La Mancha." The 1967 season is remembered as one of the great pennant races in baseball history because four teams were in the AL pennant race until almost the last game. The team had finished the 1966 season in ninth place, but they found new life with Yastrzemski as the team went to the 1967 World Series. Yastrzemski won the American League Triple Crown (the most recent player to accomplish such a feat) and put forth what is considered one of the best seasons in baseball history. But the Red Sox lost the series ó again to the St. Louis Cardinals, in seven games. Legendary pitcher Bob Gibson stymied the Sox winning three games.
Also during the 1960s, a local Bostonian named Tony Conigliaro slugged 24 home runs as an 18-year-old rookie in 1964. "Tony C" became the youngest player in Major League Baseball to hit his 100th home run, a record that stands today. However, he was struck just above the left cheek bone by a fastball thrown by Jack Hamilton in August 1967. Conigliaro sat out the entire next season with headaches and blurred vision and although he did have a productive season in 1970, he was never the same.
1970s: Red Hat era
Soon after the Impossible Dream, the team began to wear a red hat with a navy blue B and a navy blue brim ó sporting them for four seasons from 1975 to 1978 ó in contrast to the traditional navy hat with a red B.
Although the Red Sox played competitive baseball for much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, they never finished higher than second place in their division. The closest they came to a divisional title was 1972, when they lost by a half-game to the Detroit Tigers. The start of the season was delayed by a players' strike, and the Red Sox further lost a game to a rainout that was never replayed, which caused the Red Sox to lose the division by a half-game. On October 2, 1972, they also lost the second to last game of the year to the Tigers, 3-1, when Luis Aparicio fell rounding third after Yastremski hit a triple in the third inning, Aparicio tried to scamper back to third but this created an out as Yastremski was already on third.
The Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1975, with Yastrzemski surrounded by other players such as rookie outfielders Jim Rice and Fred Lynn the "Gold Dust Twins," veteran outfielder Dwight Evans "Dewey," catcher Carlton Fisk "Pudge," and pitchers Luis Tiant "Louie" and eccentric junkballer Bill Lee "The Spaceman." With many different personalities in the clubhouse, the 1975 Red Sox were as colorful as they were talented. Fred Lynn won both the American League Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award, a feat which had never been accomplished at that time and was not duplicated until Ichiro Suzuki did it in 2001. . In the playoffs, the Red Sox swept the Oakland A's.
In the 1975 World Series, they faced the Cincinnati Reds, also known as The Big Red Machine, a team considered a baseball dynasty during the 1970s. Luis Tiant won games 1 and 4 of the World Series but after five games, the Red Sox trailed the series 3 games to 2. Game 6 played at Fenway Park is thought to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, game in postseason history. The Sox were down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth when pinch hitter Bernie Carbo hit a three run homer into the center field bleachers off Reds fireman Rawly Eastwick to tie the game. In the top of the eleventh inning, right fielder Dwight Evans made a spectacular catch of a Joe Morgan line drive and doubled Ken Griffey Sr. at 1st base to preserve the tie. The Red Sox ultimately prevailed in the bottom of the twelfth inning when Carlton Fisk hit a deep fly ball which sliced towards the left field foul pole above the Green Monster. As the ball sailed into the night, Fisk waved his arms frantically towards fair territory, seemingly pleading with the ball not to go foul. The ball hit probably six inches to the fair side of the foul pole and bedlam ensued at Fenway as Fisk rounded the bases to win the game 7-6. Footage of the Fisk home run is shown again and again on ESPN classic.
The Red Sox lost game 7, 4-3 even though they had an early 3-0 lead. Starting pitcher Bill Lee threw a slow looping curve which he called a "Leephus pitch" or "space ball" to Reds first baseman Tony Perez who hit the ball over the Green Monster and across the street. The Reds scored the winning run in the 9th inning. Carlton Fisk said famously about the 1975 World Series, "We won that thing 3 games to 4."
1978 American League playoff
In 1978, the Red Sox and the Yankees were involved in a tight pennant race. The Yankees were 14Ĺ games behind the Red Sox in July, and on September 10, after completing a 4-game sweep of the Red Sox (known as "The Boston Massacre"), the Yankees tied for the divisional lead.
For the final three weeks of the season, the teams fought closely and the lead changed hands several times. By the final day of the season, the Yankees' magic number to win the division was one ó which meant either a win over Cleveland or a Boston loss to Toronto would clinch the division for the Yankees. However, New York lost 9-2 and Boston won 5-0, forcing a one-game playoff to be held at Fenway Park on Monday, October 2.
Although Bucky Dent's three-run home run in the 7th inning off Mike Torrez just over the Green Monster ó which gave the Yankees their first lead ó is the most remembered moment from the game, it was Reggie Jackson's solo home run in the 8th that proved the difference in the Yankees' 5-4 win, which ended with Yastrzemski popping out to Graig Nettles with Rick Burleson representing the tying run at third.
1986 World Series and Game Six
After the 1978 playoff game, the Red Sox did not reach the postseason for the next seven years. Carl Yastrzemski retired after the 1983 season, during which the Red Sox finished sixth in the seven-team AL East, posting their worst record since 1966.
However, in 1986, it appeared that the team's fortunes were about to change. The team's offense had remained strong with Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Don Baylor, and future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs. Roger Clemens led the pitching staff, going 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA to win both the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. Clemens became the first starting pitcher to win both awards since Vida Blue in 1971. A starting pitcher has not won the MVP award in either league since. 
The Red Sox won the AL East for the first time in 11 seasons, prompting a playoff series against the California Angels in the AL Championship Series. The teams split the first two games in Boston, but the Angels won the next two games at their home stadium, taking a 3-1 lead in the series. With the Angels poised to win the series, the Red Sox trailed 5-2 heading into the ninth inning of Game 5. A two-run homer by Baylor cut the lead to one. With two outs and a runner on, and one strike away from elimination, Dave Henderson homered off Donnie Moore to put Boston up 6-5. Although the Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox won in the 11th on a Henderson sacrifice fly off Moore. The Red Sox then found themselves with six- and seven-run wins at Fenway Park in Games 6 and 7 to win the American League title.
Bill Buckner after his infamous error during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
In the 1986 World Series the Red Sox played the New York Mets. Boston won the first two games in Shea Stadium but lost the next two at Fenway, knotting the series at 2 games apiece. After Bruce Hurst recorded his second victory of the series in Game 5, the Red Sox returned to Shea Stadium looking to garner their first championship in 68 years. However, Game 6 would go down as one of the most devastating losses in club history. After pitching seven strong innings, Clemens was lifted from the game with a 3-2 lead. Years later, Manager John McNamara said Clemens was suffering from a blister and asked to be taken out of the game, a claim Clemens denied.  The Mets then scored a run off reliever Calvin Schiraldi to tie the score 3-3. The game went to extra innings, where the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th on a solo home run by Henderson, a double by Boggs and an RBI single by second baseman Marty Barrett. After recording two outs in the bottom of the 10th, the Red Sox were one strike away from breaking their championship drought. The champagne was on ice in the Red Sox clubhouse, a graphic appeared on the NBC telecast hailing Barrett as the World Series MVP, and a message even appeared briefly on the Shea Stadium scoreboard congratulating the Red Sox as world champions. After so many years of abject frustration, Red Sox fans around the world could taste victory. However, after three straight singles off Schiraldi and a wild pitch by Bob Stanley, the Mets tied the game at 5. It looked as though the Red Sox would record the third out leaving the score tied when Mookie Wilson hit a slow ground ball to first; the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run from second. While Buckner was singled out as responsible for the loss, many observers ó as well as both Wilson and Buckner ó have noted that even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, Wilson possibly would still have been safe, leaving the game-winning run at third with two out. Many observers questioned why Buckner was in the game at that point considering he had bad knees and that Dave Stapleton had come in as a late-inning defensive replacement in prior series games. It appeared as though McNamara was trying to reward Buckner for his long and illustrious career by leaving him in the game. After falling behind 3-0, the Mets then won Game 7, concluding the devastating collapse and feeding the myth that the Red Sox were "cursed."
1988Ė1991 Morgan Magic
The Red Sox returned to the postseason in 1988. With the club in fourth place midway through the 1988 season at the All-Star break, manager John McNamara was fired and replaced by Joe Morgan on July 15. Immediately the club won 12 games in a row, and 19 of 20 overall, to surge to the AL East title in what would be referred to as Morgan Magic. But the magic was short-lived, as the team was swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. Ironically, the MVP of that Series was former Red Sox pitcher and Baseball Hall of Fame player Dennis Eckersley, who saved all four wins for Oakland. Two years later, in 1990, the Red Sox would again win the division and face the Athletics in the ALCS. However, the outcome was the same, with the A's sweeping the ALCS in four straight.
1992Ė2001 mixed results
Tom Yawkey died in 1976, and his wife Jean Yawkey took control of the team until her death in 1992. Their initials are shown in two stripes on the Left field wall in Morse code.  After Jean Yawkey's death, control of the team passed to the Yawkey Trust, led by John Harrington. The trust sold the team in 2002, concluding 70 years of Yawkey ownership.
In 1994, General Manager Lou Gorman was replaced by Dan Duquette, a Massachusetts native who had worked for the Montreal Expos. Duquette revived the team's farm system, which during his tenure produced players such as Nomar Garciaparra, Carl Pavano, and David Eckstein. Duquette also spent money on free agents, notably an eight-year, $160 million deal for Manny RamŪrez after the 2000 season.
Many fans were upset when Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn left the team as free agents. After Clemens had turned 30 and then had four seasons, 1993-96, which were by his standards mediocre at best, Duquette said the pitcher was entering "the twilight of his career."Clemens went on to pitch well for another ten years and win four more Cy Young awards. In 1999, Duquette called Fenway Park "economically obsolete" and, along with Red Sox ownership, led a push for a new stadium. Despite support from the Massachusetts Legislature and other politicians, issues with buying out neighboring property and steadfast opposition within Boston's city council eventually doomed the project.
On the field, the Red Sox had some success during this period, but were unable to return to the World Series. In 1995, they won the newly-realigned American League East, finishing seven games ahead of the Yankees. However, they were swept in three games in a series against the Cleveland Indians. Their postseason losing streak reached 13 straight games, dating back to the 1986 World Series.
The 1996 season certainly had its individual highlights. Roger Clemens tied his major league record by fanning 20 Detroit Tigers on September 18 in what would prove to be one of his final appearances in a Red Sox uniform. Mo Vaughn had another All-Star season (.326 batting average, 44 home runs, 143 runs batted in) and newcomer Heathcliff Slocumb saved 31 games. Unfortunately, the Red Sox lost 19 of their first 25 games and finished third with an 85-77 record. They led the league in unearned runs. Even so, home attendance increased over 1995, to 2.3 million fans. Out of contention in 1997, the team traded closer Slocum to Seattle for catching prospect Jason Varitek and righthanded pitcher Derek Lowe.
In 1998, the Red Sox dealt pitchers Tony Armas, Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Montreal Expos in exchange for pitcher Pedro MartŪnez. MartŪnez became the anchor of the team's pitching staff and turned in several outstanding seasons. In 1998, the team won the American League Wild Card, but again lost the American League Division Series to the Indians.
A year later, the 1999 Red Sox were finally able to overturn their fortunes against the Indians. Cleveland took a 2-0 series lead, but Boston won the next three games behind strong pitching by Derek Lowe, Pedro MartŪnez and his brother Ramůn MartŪnez. Game 4's 23-7 win by the Red Sox was the highest-scoring playoff game in major league history. Game 5 began with the Indians taking a 5-2 lead after two innings, but Pedro MartŪnez, nursing a shoulder injury, came on in the fourth inning and pitched six innings without allowing a hit while the team's offense rallied for a 12-8 win behind two home runs and seven RBI's from outfielder Troy O'Leary . After the ALDS victory, the Red Sox lost the American League Championship Series to the Yankees, four games to one. The one bright spot was a lopsided win for the Sox in the much-hyped Martinez-Clemens game, although many Red Sox fans remember the series as one in which the umpires made several suspicious calls in the Yankees' favor.
In 2000 and 2001, the Red Sox failed to take advantage of Nomar Garciaparra's career year and Pedro Martinez's historic season (18-6, 1.74 ERA, and his third Cy Young Award). Despite a few other standouts, they stumbled to an 85-77 clip. In 2001, though the Red Sox got an outstanding performance from new acquisition Manny Ramirez and a good year from Trot Nixon, Garciaparra played only a meager 21 games, and Martinez pitched just 116 innings. To top it off, the Red Sox fired manager Jimy Williams and replaced him with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, under whom they went 17-26.
2002 onward: second golden era
2002: Henry comes to Boston
In 2002, the Red Sox were sold by Yawkey trustee and president Harrington to a consortium headed by principal owner John Henry. Tom Werner served as executive chairman, Larry Lucchino served as president and CEO, serving as vice chairman was Les Otten. Within twenty-four hours, Dan Duquette was fired as GM of the club on February 28, with former Angels GM Mike Port taking the interim helm for the 2002 season. A week later manager Joe Kerrigan was fired and replaced by Grady Little.
While nearly all offseason moves were made under Dan Duquette, such as signing outfielder Johnny Damon away from the Oakland A's, the new ownership made additions after their purchase of the team, including trading for outfielder Cliff Floyd and relief pitcher Alan Embree. Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramirez, and Floyd (in limited time) all hit well, while Pedro Martinez put up his usual outstanding numbers. Derek Lowe, newly converted into a starter, won 20 games -- becoming the first player to save 20 games and win 20 games in back-to-back seasons. The Red Sox won 93 games but they finished 10 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the division and 6 behind the Angels for the wild card.
In the off season, Port was replaced by Yale graduate Theo Epstein after Oakland's Billy Beane turned down the position. At the age of 28, Epstein became the youngest general manager in the history of the Major Leagues up to that point. He was raised in Brookline.
The "Idiots" of 2004 arose out of the "Cowboy Up" team of 2003, a nickname derived from first baseman Kevin Millar's challenge to his teammates to show more determination. In addition to Millar, the team's offense was so deep that eventual 2003 batting champion Bill Mueller was 7th in the lineup behind sluggers Manny Ramirez and the newly acquired David Ortiz.
Ortiz started the season as a platoon player with Mueller, Shea Hillenbrand, and Jeremy Giambi, collectively playing first and third base. However, Hillenbrand became upset with his lack of playing time. GM Theo Epstein, noting that Mueller was hitting very well in his limited role, traded Hillenbrand to the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim. Receiving much more playing time following the trade, Ortiz settled down and contributed significantly in the second half of the season. Epstein's decision ended up greatly benefiting the team, as the Red Sox broke many batting records and won the AL Wild Card on September 25 with a victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway.
In the 2003 American League Division Series, the Red Sox rallied from a 2-0 series deficit against the Oakland Athletics to win the best-of-five series. Derek Lowe, who had become a starter after several years as a relief pitcher, returned to his former role to save Game 5, a 4-3 victory, by striking out the A's Terrence Long with the tying run on third base. The team then faced the New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. In the deciding seventh game, Boston led 5-2 in the eighth inning, but Pedro MartŪnez, who was still pitching into the 8th inning, allowed three runs to tie the game, including a two-run bloop double by Jorge Posada. The Red Sox could not score off Mariano Rivera over the last three innings and eventually lost the game 6-5 when Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone hit a solo home run off Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield.
Some placed the blame for the loss on manager Grady Little for failing to remove MartŪnez in the 8th inning after some observers believe he began to show signs of tiring. Others credited Little with the team's successful season and dramatic come-from-behind victory in the ALDS. Nevertheless, Boston's management decided a change was in order. Little's contract expired after the season, and the organization decided not to exercise his option. He was replaced by former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry Francona.
2004: World Champion "Idiots"
2004 Boston Red Sox season
A 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series Ring. Ring courtesy of Red Sox Vice-Chairman Les Otten
During the 2003-04 offseason, the Red Sox acquired another ace pitcher, Curt Schilling, and a closer, Keith Foulke. Expectations once again ran high that 2004 would be the year that the Red Sox ended their championship drought. The regular season started well in April, but through mid-season the team struggled due to injuries, inconsistency and defensive woes.
Management shook up the team at the MLB trading deadline on July 31, when they traded the team's popular yet often injured shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra, to the Chicago Cubs, receiving Orlando Cabrera of the Montreal Expos and Doug Mientkiewicz of the Minnesota Twins in return. In a separate transaction, the Red Sox also traded minor leaguer Henri Stanley to the Los Angeles Dodgers for center fielder Dave Roberts. Many Sox fans initially blasted the trade as bringing the team inadequate compensation for Garciaparra. However, the club would turn things around soon after, winning twenty-two out of twenty-five games and qualifying for the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. Players and fans affectionately referred to the players as "The Idiots," a term coined by Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar during the playoff push to describe the team's eclectic roster and devil-may-care attitude toward their supposed curse.
Boston began the postseason by sweeping the AL West champion Anaheim Angels in the ALDS. However, Curt Schilling suffered a torn ankle tendon in Game 1 when he was hit by a line drive. The injury was exacerbated when Schilling fielded a ball rolling down the first base line. In the third game of the series, what looked to be a blowout turned out to be a nail-biter, as Vladimir Guerrero hit a grand slam off Mike Timlin in the 7th inning to tie the game. However, David Ortiz hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to win the game. The Sox advanced to a rematch in the 2004 American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.
The series started very poorly for the Red Sox. Schilling, pitching with an injured ankle, was routed for six runs in three innings. Yankees starter Mike Mussina had six perfect innings, and despite Boston's best efforts to come back, they ended up losing 10-7. In Game 2, with his Yankees leading 1-0 for most of the game, John Olerud hit a two-run home run to put New York up for good. Following this, the Red Sox were down three games to none after a crushing 19-8 loss in Game 3 at home. In that game, the two clubs set the record for most runs scored in a League Championship Series game. At that point in the history of baseball, no team had come back to win from a 3-0 series deficit. In Game 4, the Red Sox found themselves facing elimination, trailing 4-3 in the ninth with Yankees closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. After Rivera issued a walk to Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came on to pinch run and promptly stole second base. He then scored on an RBI single by Bill Mueller which sent the game to extra innings. The Red Sox went on to win the game on a two-run home run by David Ortiz in the 12th inning. In Game 5, the Red Sox were again down late (by the score of 4-2) as a result of Derek Jeter's bases-clearing triple. But the Sox struck back in the eighth, as Ortiz hit a homer over the Green Monster to bring the Sox within a run. Then Jason Varitek hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Dave Roberts, scoring the tying run. The game would go for 14 innings, featuring many squandered opportunities on both sides. In the bottom of the 14th, Ortiz would again seal the win with an RBI single that brought home Damon. The 14-inning game set the record for the longest American League Championship Series game ever played.
With the series returning to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, the comeback continued with Schilling pitching on a bad ankle. The three sutures in Schilling's ankle bled throughout the game, making his sock appear bloody red. Schilling struck out four, walked none, and only allowed one run over seven innings to lead the team to victory. Mark Bellhorn also helped in the effort as he hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees staged a rally and brought former Red Sox player Tony Clark to the plate as the potential winning run. Keith Foulke, pitching for the third day in a row, struck out Clark to end the game and force the deciding Game 7. In this game, the Red Sox completed their historic comeback owing to the strength of Derek Lowe's one-hit, one-run pitching and Damon's two home runs (including a grand slam in the second inning). The New York Yankees were defeated 10-3. Ortiz, who had the game winning RBI's in Games 4 and 5, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders as the only professional sports teams in history to win a best-of-seven games series after being down three games to none.
The Red Sox faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. The Cardinals had posted the best record in MLB in 2004, and had previously defeated the Red Sox in the 1946 and 1967 World Series. The Sox began the series with an 11-9 win, marked by Mark Bellhorn's game-winning home-run off of Pesky's Pole. It was the highest scoring World Series opening game ever (breaking the previous record set in 1932). The Red Sox would go on to win Game 2 in Boston thanks to another great performance by the bloody-socked Curt Schilling. In Game 3, Pedro Martinez (in his first World Series performance) shut out the Cardinals for seven innings and led Boston to a 4-1 victory. In Game 4, the Red Sox did not allow a single run, and the game ended as Edgar Renteria hit the ball back to closer Keith Foulke. After Foulke lobbed the ball to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, the Sox had won their first World Championship in 86 years. Boston held the Cardinals' offense to only three runs in the final three games and never trailed in the series. Manny RamŪrez was named World Series MVP. To add a final, surreal touch to Boston's championship season, on the night of Game 4 a total lunar eclipse colored the moon red over Busch Stadium. The Red Sox won the title about eleven minutes before totality ended.
The Red Sox held a "rolling rally" for the team on Saturday, October 30, 2004. A crowd of more than three million people filled the streets of Boston to celebrate as the team rode on the city's famous Duck Boats. The Red Sox earned many accolades from the sports media and throughout the nation for their incredible season. In December, Sports Illustrated named the Boston Red Sox the 2004 Sportsmen of the Year.
2005Ė2006: "Idiots" disband
2005 Boston Red Sox season and 2006 Boston Red Sox season
After winning its first World Series in 86 years (since 1918), Red Sox management was left with the challenge of dealing with a number of high profile free agents. Pedro MartŪnez, Derek Lowe, and Orlando Cabrera were replaced with David Wells, a former Yankee, Matt Clement, and Edgar RenterŪa respectively. The club re-signed its catcher, Jason Varitek, and named him team captain.
On April 11, the Red Sox opened their home season with a ring ceremony and the unveiling of their 2004 World Series Championship banner. Their opponent that day was the New York Yankees- the team the Red Sox had won four straight games against in 2004 to win the ALCS.
Pitchers Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke, key players in the previous year's playoff drive, spent large parts of the season on the disabled list, and were unable to return in good form. More of the team's struggles stemmed from the declining performances of some of its key role players: first baseman Kevin Millar (only 9 home runs), second baseman Mark Bellhorn (struck out once every 2.6 AB), and setup man Alan Embree (7.65 ERA). Without Foulke and Embree anchoring the pen, Theo Epstein took a chance on a number of journeymen who failed to bring stability. Veteran Mike Timlin did an admirable job leading the shaky relief corps, at one point assuming the role of closer.
For much of the season Boston held first place in the AL East but down the stretch the team struggled, squandering its lead over the Yankees and allowing the Cleveland Indians to close the gap in the Wild Card race.
The division crown would be decided on the last weekend of the season, with the Yankees coming to Fenway Park with a one-game lead in the standings. The Red Sox won two of the three games to finish the season with the same record as the Yankees, 95-67. However, a playoff was not needed. The Indians had a record of 93-69, thus qualifying both the Yankees and Red Sox for the playoffs. The division title was officially a tie under major league rules; however, since the Yankees had won the season series, 10-9, they won the division, whereas the Red Sox settled for the Wild Card.
In the playoffs The Red Sox faced the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox and were swept in three games.
On October 31, 2005, general manager Theo Epstein resigned on the last day of his contract, reportedly turning down a three-year, $4.5 million contract extension.
On Thanksgiving evening, the Red Sox officially announced the acquisition of pitcher Josh Beckett from the Florida Marlins. Boston also added Gold Glove Award winning third baseman Mike Lowell and right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota in the deal, while sending minor league prospects shortstop Hanley RamŪrez and right-handed pitchers AnŪbal SŠnchez, Jesķs Delgado and Harvey GarcŪa to the Marlins. On December 7, the Sox traded backup catcher Doug Mirabelli to the San Diego Padres for second baseman Mark Loretta. On December 8, the Sox gave up on Edgar Renteria, trading him and cash to the Atlanta Braves for third base prospect Andy Marte.
On December 20, Johnny Damon declined arbitration and a few days later signed a four-year, $52 million deal with the New York Yankees. With Mike Lowell now on board, the Sox let Bill Mueller go, via free agency, to the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Kevin Millar was not offered arbitration and signed with the Baltimore Orioles.
On January 19, 2006, the Red Sox announced that Theo Epstein would be rejoining the Red Sox in a "full-time baseball operations capacity" and, five days later, he was renamed General Manager. The Sox signed Bronson Arroyo to a three-year contract, but later traded him to the Reds for outfielder Wily Mo PeŮa. The team also filled the vacancy in center field left by Johnny Damon's departure by trading Mota, Marte, catching prospect Kelly Shoppach and a player to be named later to the Cleveland Indians for center fielder Coco Crisp, relief pitcher David Riske, and backup catcher Josh Bard. Veteran Venezuelan shortstop Alex GonzŠlez was signed to a one-year contract to replace Edgar Renteria
One of the brightest spots of the season was the surprising emergence of new closer Jonathan Papelbon. The 25-year old rookie fireballer was given the chance to save the April 5 game against the Texas Rangers. Two months later, he had saved 20 games in a row. On September 1, Papelbon left the game after experiencing shoulder pain. He would eventually be shut down for the rest of the season. Papelbon ended up setting a Red Sox rookie record with 35 saves while recording a minuscule 0.92 ERA, earning an All-Star appearance.
Coco Crisp fractured his left index finger after playing only five games. Crisp would miss over 50 games during the season and did not play up to expectations.
During Spring Training, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield needed to find a new "personal catcher" with Mirabelli now in San Diego. Several catchers were tested, and the job eventually fell to Josh Bard. After a month, the experiment seemed to be a failure, with Bard leading the league in passed balls. On May 1, Theo Epstein traded Bard - along with minor-league pitcher Cla Meredith and $100,000 - to the San Diego Padres to reacquire Doug Mirabelli. The team arranged a private plane and a car ride from the airport with police escort and a re-issued uniform to take Mirabelli to the park for the game. Despite all the fuss, Mirabelli would have an off year, hitting under .200.
Third baseman Mike Lowell rediscovered his offense after a difficult season in Florida, and together with shortstop Alex Gonzalez, second baseman Mark Loretta, and new first baseman Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sox had one of the best-fielding infields in Major League Baseball. On June 30, Boston set a major league record of 17 straight errorless games, breaking the record of 16 games set by the St. Louis Cardinals from July 30 to August 16, 1992. This streak helped the Red Sox commit the fewest errors in the American League. During this span, they also recorded 12 consecutive victories, all in interleague play. The winning streak was the third longest in club history, behind only the 15 wins posted by the 1946 club and 13 victories in 1948.
The Red Sox were well represented in the 2006 All-Star Game. David Ortiz and Mark Loretta started for the American League squad. Manny Ramirez, though elected to a starting role, did not appear due to a knee injury.
The turning point of the season took place during an unusual five game series at Fenway Park beginning on August 18 between the Sox and their key rivals, the New York Yankees. The Sox and Yankees were battling for the AL East with the Sox trailing the Yankees by 1 1/2 games. The Yankees won all 5 games by a combined score of 49-26. A five-game sweep of the Red Sox had not happened since 1954, and the press dubbed it the second "Boston Massacre" (the first happening in 1978). They would compile a 9-21 record in the month of August, with two six-game losing streaks included during that stretch.
Down the stretch, the Sox wilted under the pressure of mounting injuries and poor performances. Despite Curt Schilling's resurgence in the starting rotation (15-7, 3.97 ERA), Josh Beckett had an inconsistent season, winning 16 games but allowing 36 homers and posting a 5.01 ERA. Injuries to Tim Wakefield, rookie Jon Lester (diagnosed with lymphoma), and Matt Clement left the rotation with major holes to fill. Injuries to Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, Wily Mo Pena, and Manny Ramirez severely hurt the offense.
On September 21, 2006, David Ortiz provided a needed late-season highlight when he broke Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record by hitting his 51st home run off Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins. He would finish with 54 homers.
On October 1, the last day of the season, Double-A callup Devern Hansack pitched no-hit ball for five innings, before the game against the Baltimore Orioles was called because of rain, giving Boston a 9-0 win. The rookie did not receive official credit for a no-hitter, due to a rule change in 1991.
The Red Sox finished 2006 with an 86-76 record and third place in the AL East, their lowest placing in nine seasons.
2007: World Champions again
2007 Boston Red Sox season
Pitchers Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Eric Gagnť, pitching coach John Farrell and Curt Schilling, prior to a Red Sox game at Seattle during the weekend of August 3-4-5, 2007
General Manager Theo Epstein's first major step toward restocking the team for 2007 was to pursue one of the most anticipated acquisitions in recent history. On November 14, Major League Baseball announced that the Red Sox had won the bid for the rights to negotiate a major league contract with Japanese superstar pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston placed a bid of $51.1 million, and had 30 days to complete a deal. On December 13, just before the deadline, Matsuzaka signed a 6-year, $52 million contract.
In the hopes of solidifying the starting rotation, the team announced that closer Jonathan Papelbon would become a starter in 2007, partly to protect his arm from the workload that had sidelined him near the end of his rookie season. With Papelbon becoming a starter and 2004 World Series hero Keith Foulke declining arbitration and leaving the team, the Red Sox began building up their bullpen in search of a new closer. Japanese lefty reliever Hideki Okajima (formerly of the Nippon Ham Fighters), and Puerto Rican lefty J.C. Romero were signed. Brendan Donnelly was added in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Reliever Joel PiŮeiro (formerly of the Seattle Mariners) was signed to a 1 year, $4 million contract.
However, no clear closer candidate emerged during Spring Training. Eventually, Papelbon wanted to return to the closer role, and Sox officials believed Papelbon had rehabilitated himself so well in the offseason that his health of this shoulder was no longer a concern. The Red Sox had a star closer once again.
Shortstop Alex GonzŠlez was allowed to leave via free agency for the Cincinnati Reds. The Sox replaced him with Julio Lugo, from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mark Loretta also was allowed to leave, joining Houston, opening a spot for youngster Dustin Pedroia.
Fan favorite Trot Nixon filed for free agency, and agreed on a deal with the Cleveland Indians. With an opening in right field, the Sox pursued J.D. Drew, who had recently opted out of the remainder of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers to become a free agent. However, the Red Sox medical staff had concerns about Drew's previously injured shoulder. On January 25, 2007, the Red Sox and Drew agreed to a 5-year, $70 million contract. Under the terms, the Red Sox have the option to opt out of either of the final two years of the contract if Drew spends a certain amount of time on the disabled list because of the shoulder. Another fan favorite, outfielder Gabe Kapler, announced his retirement at age 31 to fulfill his life long dream of becoming a manager. The Red Sox named him manager of their Low A affiliate, the Greenville Drive.
With the final cuts of the spring, the 2007 Red Sox carried 13 pitchers and 12 position players. The starting lineup included Jason Varitek (C), Kevin Youkilis (1B), Dustin Pedroia (2B), Julio Lugo (SS), Mike Lowell (3B), Manny RamŪrez (LF), Coco Crisp (CF), J.D. Drew (RF), and David Ortiz (DH). The bench included OF/1B Eric Hinske, infielder Alex Cora, outfielder Wily Mo PeŮa, and catcher Doug Mirabelli. The starting rotation included Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and JuliŠn TavŠrez with a bullpen of Jonathan Papelbon, Joel PiŮeiro, Brendan Donnelly, Mike Timlin, J.C. Romero, Hideki Okajima, Kyle Snyder, and Javier Lůpez.
The Red Sox started quickly, moving into first place in the AL East by mid-April and never relinquishing their division lead. While Ortiz and Ramirez provided their usual offense, it was the hitting of Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia that surprisingly anchored the club through the first few months. While J.D. Drew, Coco Crisp, and Julio Lugo struggled to provide offense, Lowell and Youkilis more than made up for it with averages well above .300 and impressive home run and RBI totals. Pedroia started badly, hitting below .200 in April. Manager Terry Francona stuck with him and his patience paid off as Pedroia hit over .400 in May and finished the first half over .300.
On the mound, Josh Beckett emerged as the ace of the staff, starting the year 9-0 and finishing 12-2 at the break. His success was needed as Schilling, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, and Tavarez provided consistent and occasionally good starts, but all struggled at times. The Boston bullpen, on the other hand, was there to pick up the starters often, anchored once again by Papelbon, a more experienced Manny Delcarmen, and Japanese lefty Hideki Okajima. While Papelbon served as the stopper, the rise of Okajima as a legitimate setup man and occasional closer was a boon for the Sox, giving them more options late in the game. Okajima posted an ERA of 0.88 through the first half and was voted into the All-Star Game by the fans as the final selection.
By the All-Star break, Boston had the best record in baseball and held their largest lead in the American League East, 10 games over inter-division rivals the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees.
In the second half, more stars emerged for the Sox as they continued to lead the AL East division. Beckett continued to shine, reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career. At one point, veteran Tim Wakefield found himself atop the American League in wins, posting decisions in his first 26 starts, and finishing with a 17-12 record. However, as Wakefield, Matsuzaka, and Okajima tired down the stretch, minor league callup Clay Buchholz provided a spark on September 1 by pitching a no-hitter in his second career start. Another callup, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, was thrust into the starting lineup while Manny Ramirez rested through most of September. Ellsbury played brilliantly during the month, hitting .361 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Mike Lowell continued to carry the club, hitting cleanup in September and leading the team in RBI for the season, setting a team record for a third baseman with 120 runs driven in.
In late August, The Red Sox showed off their offensive prowess during a series sweep of the Chicago White Sox as they became only the fourth team in MLB history to score double digits in each game of a four-game series. It was also the first time it had happened in the American League in 85 years, the previous time being the St. Louis Browns in 1922. The success wouldn't last long as the Sox traveled to Yankee Stadium for a three-game series against New York and were swept themselves reducing their lead in the AL East from 8 games to 5.
The Red Sox became the first team to clinch a playoff spot for the 2007 season on September 22 with a come from behind defeat of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Boston captured their first AL East title since 1995 after a win on September 28 against the Minnesota Twins and a loss by the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles.
In the playoffs, the Red Sox swept the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS. Facing the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS, Josh Beckett won Game 1 but the Sox stumbled, losing the next three games. Facing a 3-1 deficit and a must-win situation, Beckett pitched eight shutout innings and struck out 11 in a masterful Game 5 win. The Sox captured their twelfth American League pennant by outscoring the Indians 30-5 over the final three games, winning the final two games at Fenway Park.
In the 2007 World Series, the Red Sox faced the Colorado Rockies. Beckett once again set the tone, pitching seven strong innings as the offense provided more than enough in a 13-1 victory. In Game 2, Curt Schilling, Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon held the Rockies to one run again in a 2-1 game. Moving to Colorado, the Sox offense made the difference again in a 10-5 win. Finally, in Game 4, Jon Lester took Tim Wakefield's spot in the rotation and gave the Sox an impressive start, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings. The Rockies threatened, but led by World Series MVP Mike Lowell and aided by a pinch-hit home run by outfielder Bobby Kielty, Papelbon registered another save the Red Sox swept the Rockies in four games. The Red Sox captured their second title in four years.
Now that the World Series has concluded, the Red Sox have two potential high-profile free agents: third baseman Mike Lowell and starter Curt Schilling.
The name Red Sox, chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season, refers to the red hose in the team uniform beginning 1908. Actually, Sox was adopted by newspapers needing a headline-friendly form of Stockings, as "Stockings Win!" in large type would not fit on a page. The Spanish language media sometimes refers to the team as Medias Rojas for Red Stockings.
The name originated with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1867-1870 member of the pioneering National Association of Base Ball Players. Managed by Harry Wright, Cincinnati adopted a uniform with white knickers and red stockings, and earned the famous nickname, a year or two before hiring the first fully professional team in 1869. When the club folded after the 1870 season, Wright was hired to organize a new team in Boston, and he did, bringing three teammates and the "Red Stockings" nickname along. (Most nicknames were then only nicknames, neither club names nor registered trademarks, so the migration was informal.) The Boston Red Stockings won four championships in the five seasons of the new National Association, the first professional league. The success of the two teams in Cincinnati and Boston gave "Red Stockings" and other "Red" nicknames some historical and profitable grounding there and probably grounded other "Stockings" nicknames in other cities.
Boston and a new Cincinnati club were charter members of the National League in 1876. Perhaps in deference to the Cincinnati history, many people reserved the "Red Stockings" nickname for that city; the Boston team is commonly called "Red Caps" today. Other names were sometimes used before Boston officially adopted the nickname "Braves" in 1912; that club is now based in Atlanta.
In 1901, the American League led by Ban Johnson declared itself equal to the National League and established a competing club in Boston. For seven seasons, the AL team wore dark blue stockings and had no official nickname. They were simply "Boston" or "the Bostons"; or the "Americans" or "Boston Americans" as in "American Leaguers", Boston being a two-team city. Their 1901-1907 jerseys, both home and road, simply read "Boston", except for 1902 when they sported large letters "B" and "A" denoting "Boston" and "American". The National League club, though seldom called the "Red Stockings" anymore, still wore red trim. In 1907, they adopted an all-white uniform, and the American League team saw an opportunity. On December 18, 1907, Taylor announced that the club had officially adopted red as its new team color. The 1908 uniforms featured a large icon of a red stocking angling across the shirt front. For 1908, the National League club returned to wearing red trim, but the American League team had become "The Red Sox" for good.
The Red Sox are one of two teams in the American League with Sox in their name, the Chicago White Sox being the other.
For years many sources have called the early Boston AL teams "Pilgrims" or "Puritans" or "Plymouth Rocks," or "Somersets" for owner Charles Somers, but Bill Nowlin has demonstrated that none of those names was used much and that "Pilgrims," the most popular today, was barely used at all.
††† * Called "Bostons" or "Boston Americans" or (in Boston) "Americans" from 1901 to 1907
††† * Called "Boston Red Sox" or "Red Sox" from 1908 to present
††† * Name often shortened to "Bosox" or "BoSox" by headline writers - to distinguish from the Chicago White Sox (or "ChiSox") - and also called simply "The Sox" by the team's fans.
The Boston Red Sox have two official requirements for a player to have his number retired:
†† 1. Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame
†† 2. At least 10 years played with the Red Sox 
The Red Sox previously had a requirement that the player "must have finished their career with Red Sox." (While Carlton Fisk actually retired with the White Sox, Dan Duquette hired him for one day as a special assistant which allowed Fisk to technically end his career with the Red Sox.) It is a topic of debate now between Red Sox fans on whether the "must retire a Red Sox" rule is still in place. One indication suggesting it may be is that Wade Boggs' number 26 has not been retired by Boston, despite the fact that he qualifies for the other 2 requirements.
The numbers honored are as follows:
Retired 1988 †
Retired 1984 †
OF, 1B: 1961-83
Retired 1989 †
Retired 1984 †
Retired 2000 †
Wade Boggs, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005, has met the criteria to have his #26 retired, but has yet to be honored with a ceremony and no future plans have been announced by the team. However, the Red Sox have not issued #26 to anyone since his election.  Boston did enshrine him into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004.
Should former outfielder and hitting coach Jim Rice be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame before his eligibility ends after the 2009 vote, would meet the requirements to have his number 14 retired, having played every season from 1974 until his retirement in 1989 with the Red Sox. In 2006, Rice received 64.8 percent of the vote, falling 53 votes shy of election.
The Red Sox have not issued several numbers since the departure of prominent players who wore them, specifically: Nomar Garciaparra (5), Roger Clemens (21), and Pedro Martinez (45). All of these players have yet to formally retire from baseball; but, only Clemens has met the "10 years with Red Sox" requirement for official retirement, though Clemens had stated he would go into the Hall of Fame as a New York Yankee . However, the Hall of Fame, not the player, controls which team a player represents in the Hall after previous controversies (Gary Carter, for example, asked to be inducted with the New York Mets, yet was inducted as a member of the Montreal Expos due to having played longer there and more people considering him an Expo than a Met.) No pitcher has ever entered the Hall not wearing the cap of a team he owned the record for wins with the exception being Cy Young, who, at the time, held the record for two teams.
Retired numbers in Fenway Park
Retired numbers in Fenway Park
The number 42 was officially retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, but Mo Vaughn was one of a handful of players to continue wearing #42 through a grandfather clause. He last wore it for the team in 1998.
Until the late 1990s, the numbers originally hung on the right-field facade in the order in which they were retired: 9-4-1-8. It was pointed out that the numbers, when read as a date (9/4/18), marked the eve of the first game of the 1918 World Series, the last championship series that the Red Sox won before 2004. After the facade was repainted, the numbers were rearranged in numerical order.
There is also considerable debate in Boston media circles and among fans about the potential retiring of other numbers:
††† *† 6 -- Johnny Pesky, for his 50+ years of service to the Red Sox as a player, coach and manager. Since Rico Petrocelli wore it for 13 seasons the number 6 has been sparingly issued to players for the past few decades. The last player to be assigned #6 was Gary Gaetti. Gary, who primarily wore #8 for Minnesota and Kansas City, played 10 games for the Red Sox in April 2000 before retiring from baseball.
††† * 25 -- Tony Conigliaro, who set the record for the fastest to reach 100 home runs in a career, had his promising career cut short when he was hit by a pitch to the face. Despite the controversy, the number has been worn consistently by Sox members since Conigliaro's last season in Boston, 1970. It is currently worn by the team's third baseman, Mike Lowell.
Baseball Hall of Famers
††† * Luis Aparicio
††† * Wade Boggs *
††† * Lou Boudreau
††† * Jesse Burkett
††† * Orlando Cepeda
††† * Jack Chesbro
††† * Jimmy Collins *
††† * Joe Cronin *
††† * Bobby Doerr *
††† * Dennis Eckersley
††† * Rick Ferrell **
††† * Carlton Fisk **
††† * Jimmie Foxx **
††† * Lefty Grove **
††† * Harry Hooper *
††† * Waite Hoyt
††† * Ferguson Jenkins
††† * George Kell
††† * Heinie Manush
††† * Juan Marichal
††† * Herb Pennock
††† * Tony Pťrez
††† * Red Ruffing
††† * Ruth
††† * Tom Seaver
††† * Al Simmons
††† * Tris Speaker
††† * Ted Williams *
††† * Carl Yastrzemski *
††† * Cy Young
††† * Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
††† * Inducted as Red Sox
††† ** Wears Red Sox cap on Hall Of Fame plaque, but spent more time on other teams
Notable seasons and team records
††† * Cy Young in 1901 won 41.8% of the team's 79 games. He won the pitching Triple Crown with 33 wins, 1.62 ERA and 158 strikeouts. * Dutch Leonard posted a modern record 0.96 ERA in 1914. 
††† * Earl Webb set the single-season doubles record in 1931 with 67. 
††† * Jimmie Foxx hit 50 home runs in 1938, which would stand as a club record for 68 years. Foxx also drove in a club record 175 runs. 
††† * Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941, the last time a major leaguer has hit above .400 in a full season. Williams also established club records in slugging percentage (.741) and on base percentage (.553). * In 1967, Carl Yastrzemski became the last major leaguer to win the Triple Crown, hitting .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBI's. He finished one vote short of a unanimous MVP selection, as, in a famous controversy, a Minnesota sportswriter placed Twins center fielder Cesar Tovar first on his ballot. * In 1975, twenty-three year old Fred Lynn became the first player in major league history to win the MVP award and the Rookie of the Year award in the same season. 
††† * In 1986, Roger Clemens won the Cy Young and MVP, finished with a 2.48 ERA, and had a 20-strikeout game. 
††† * In 1995, Mo Vaughn won the MVP award. He is the last Red Sox player to do so.
††† * Pedro Martinez in 2000 had one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time ó a 1.74 ERA in a hitter's park in a big-hitting era. 
††† * Nomar Garciaparra hit .372 in 2000, the club record for a right-handed hitter. 
††† * In 2004 & 2007 the Red Sox won the World Series.
††† * David Ortiz in 2005 had 47 home runs and 148 RBI's. He also had many game winning and timely hits and came in second in the MVP voting to the New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez. 
††† * David Ortiz had a franchise record-breaking 2006 season with 54 home runs in the regular season
††† * In 2006, The Boston Red Sox had the highest payroll of any team in Major League history to not make the playoffs. 
††† * On April 22, 2007, Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek hit four consecutive home runs in the 3rd inning, the first time in Red Sox history this feat has occurred. All four home runs were off of 10 pitches from Chase Wright of the New York Yankees in his second Major League start and his fourth above Single-A ball. This was the fifth time in Major League history that such a feat had occurred. Additionally notable, J.D. Drew, then with the Dodgers, previously contributed to a four consecutive home run series as had Red Sox manager Terry Francona's father, Tito Francona.
††† * The overall regular season winning percentage since club inception in 1901 is .513, a record of 8497-7960 (as of the 2007 All Star Break). They started 2007 with winning percentage of .512 (8444-7960). 
††† * On September 1, 2007, Clay Buchholz no-hit the Baltimore Orioles in his second Major League start. He is the first Red Sox rookie and 17th Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter.
††† * On September 22, 2007, with a victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Red Sox clinched a spot in the postseason for the fourth time in five years, the first time in club history this has happened. Also, with this postseason berth, manager Terry Francona becomes the first manager in team history to lead the club to three playoff appearances.
Boston Red Sox roster
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Active roster †Inactive roster †Coaches/Other
††† * 19 Flag of the United States Josh Beckett
††† * 54 Flag of the United States Craig Breslow
††† * 61 Flag of the United States Clay Buchholz
††† * 41 Flag of the United States Bryan Corey
††† * 17 Flag of the United States Manny Delcarmen
††† * 31 Flag of the United States Jon Lester
††† * 48 Flag of Puerto Rico Javier Lůpez
††† * 18 Flag of Japan Daisuke Matsuzaka
††† * 37 Flag of Japan Hideki Okajima
††† * 58 Flag of the United States Jonathan Papelbon (CL)
††† * 38 Flag of the United States Curt Schilling
††† * 39 Flag of the United States Kyle Snyder
Ü 15-day disabled list
Roster updated 2007-10-30
Transactions ē Depth Chart
††† * -- Flag of the United States Dusty Brown
††† * 33 Flag of the United States Jason Varitek
††† * 13 Flag of Puerto Rico Alex Cora
††† * 23 Flag of the Dominican Republic Julio Lugo
††† * 15 Flag of the United States Dustin Pedroia
††† * 20 Flag of the United States Kevin Youkilis
††† * 10 Flag of the United States Coco Crisp
††† *† 7 Flag of the United States J. D. Drew
††† * 46 Flag of the United States Jacoby Ellsbury
††† * 24 Flag of the Dominican Republic Manny RamŪrez
††† * 34 Flag of the Dominican Republic David Ortiz
††† * 43 Flag of Nicaragua Devern Hansack
††† * 56 Flag of the United States Craig Hansen
††† * -- Flag of the United States Kyle Jackson
††† * -- Flag of the United States Jay Marshall
††† * 74 Flag of Venezuela Edgar MartŪnez
††† * 62 Flag of the United States David Pauley
††† * 51 Flag of the Dominican Republic JuliŠn TavŠrez
††† * 49 Flag of the United States Tim Wakefield
††† * 72 Flag of Canada George Kottaras
††† * 44 Flag of the United States Brandon Moss
††† * 47 Flag of the United States Terry Francona
††† * 16 Flag of Puerto Rico Luis Alicea (First Base)
††† * 52 Flag of the United States John Farrell (Pitching)
††† * 35 Flag of the United States DeMarlo Hale (Third Base)
††† * 29 Flag of the United States Dave Magadan (Hitting)
††† *† 2 Flag of the United States Brad Mills (Bench)
††† * 57 Flag of the United States Gary Tuck (Bullpen)
60-day disabled list
††† * 53 Flag of the United States Brendan Donnelly
Radio and television
Currently, the flagship radio station of the Red Sox is WRKO, 680 AM. Joe Castiglione, in his 25th year as the voice of the Red Sox, serves as the lead play-by-play announcer, along with the rotating team of Dave O'Brien and Glenn Geffner. Some of Castiglione's predecessors include Curt Gowdy, Ken Coleman, and Dick Stockton. He has also worked with play-by-play veterans Bob Starr and Jerry Trupiano. Many stations throughout New England and beyond pick up the broadcasts. In addition WEEI 850 AM, WRKO's sister station and former Red Sox flagship station, broadcast all day games and Wednesday night games.
All Red Sox telecasts not shown nationally on FOX or ESPN are seen on New England Sports Network (NESN) with Don Orsillo calling play-by-play and Jerry Remy, former Red Sox second baseman, as color analyst. Tina Cervasio holds the duties of field reporter. NESN became exclusive in 2003; before then, games were shown on such local stations as WBZ, WSBK, WLVI, WABU, and WFXT at various points in team history.
Minor league affiliations
††† * Triple-A: Pawtucket Red Sox, International League
††† * Double-A: Portland Sea Dogs, Eastern League
††† * Advanced-A: Lancaster JetHawks, California League
††† * Single-A: Greenville Drive, South Atlantic League
††† * Short-A: Lowell Spinners, New York-Penn League
††† * Rookie: GCL Red Sox, Gulf Coast League
††† * Rookie: Dominican Summer League Red Sox, Dominican Summer League
††† * Nowlin, Bill and Prime, Jim (2005). Feud: The Red Sox, The Yankees, and the Struggle of Good versus Evil. Rounder Books. ISBN 1-57940-111-2.
††† * Stout, Glenn and Johnson, Richard A. (2000). Red Sox Century. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-88417-9.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Boston Red Sox
††† * Boston Red Sox official website
††† * "Official" Red Sox Nation Website
††† * The Remy Report Jerry Remy's Sox Page
Blogs and Messageboards
††† * Boston Herald's Clubhouse Insider
††† * Boston Herald's Bradford Files
††† * Burt Talks Sports - Official Red Sox Blog of the Eagle Tribune
††† * Boston Dirtdogs.com - Official Red Sox Blog of the Boston Globe
††† * Fenway Faithful.net
Sabermetrics and Statistics
††† * Season-by-Season Records
††† * Have the Sox Become the Yanks? on Time.com (a division of TIME Magazine)
††† * Search Red Sox Audio
††† * Red Sox MLB News Blog
††† * Search Red Sox Video New Clips
None (First World Series) †World Series Champions
Boston Red Sox
1903 †Succeeded by
New York Giants
1910 and 1911 †World Series Champions
Boston Red Sox
1912 †Succeeded by
Preceded by Boston Braves
1914 †World Series Champions Boston Red Sox
1915 and 1916 †Succeeded by Chicago White Sox
Preceded by Chicago White Sox
1917 †World Series Champions
Boston Red Sox
1918 †Succeeded by
2003 †World Series Champions
Boston Red Sox
2004 †Succeeded by
Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
2006 †World Series Champions
Boston Red Sox
2007 †Succeeded by