Boston Red Sox
- 1 Franchise history
- 2 Postseason series
- 3 Quick facts
- 4 Nicknames before "Red Sox"
- 5 Retired numbers
- 6 Baseball Hall of Famers
- 7 Current roster
- 8 Minor league affiliations
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Early 20th century
The Boston Red Sox won the first World Series in 1903 against the favored National League team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the following decade, the club won four World Series championships 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 as well as superstar pitcher Smokey Joe Wood.
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, the Red Sox, White Sox and Yankees had a detente, the teams being referred to as the "Insurrectos," whose actions antagonized then AL president Ban Johnson. Though Frazee owned the Boston Red Sox franchise, he did not own Fenway Park (this was owned by the Fenway Park Trust), making his ownership a precarious one--Johnson could move another team into Fenway Park in Boston. Despite the fact Ruth held the single season homerun record from 1919, Frazee sold Ruth because he needed the money to purchase Fenway Park (which he did in 1920), the Red Sox franchise was in serious debt, Ruth was a serious disciplinary problem (and continued to be one in New York), and letting the Yankees have a boxoffice attraction would help the then mediocre Yankees, who had sided with Frazee in conflicts with "the Loyal Five" other AL teams and Ban Johnson. The contract was a straight sale; the Red Sox got no players in return. This transaction would later become the source of the Curse of the Bambino legend, which suggested that the club was doomed to years of futility as a result of the sale. Frazee also unloaded a number of other Hall of Fame quality players to the Yankees for other reasons. Carl Mays quit the team in mid-game and refused to return; his trade was essentially a salvage operation. Other Frazee-era players went to New York as part of Frazee's financial strategy after he decided to leave baseball, having been driven out by Ban Johnson, including Sad Sam Jones and Waite Hoyt. These players (some of them Hall of Fame members) formed the nucleus of the first championship Yankee teams of the 1920s.
The Ted Williams Era
The Red Sox were purchased in 1933 by a wealthy, shy young man named Tom Yawkey who 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 was perhaps the most obsessive hitter in baseball history, and is generally considered the greatest hitter of all time, being able to hit for both power and average. Stories of his being able to hold a bat in his hand and correctly estimate its weight down to the ounce have floated around baseball circles for decades. Science of Hitting, his book on the subject, is considered by some as a bible of hitting theory and science. He is also the last player to hit over .400 for a full season, which he did 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. He did not hit well in the Series, gathering only five singles in 25 at-bats, for a .200 average. However, this was also likely influenced by an elbow injury he had received a few days before when he was hit by a pitch in an exhibition game.
The Red Sox featured several other very good players during the 1940s, including SS Johnny Pesky (for whom the right field foul pole in Fenway - "Pesky's Pole" - is named), 2B Bobby Doerr, and CF Dom DiMaggio (brother of Joe). Despite this, they lost the pennant by one game in each of 1948 (losing a one-game playoff to the Indians, the first in American League history) and 1949 (losing the final two games of the season to the Yankees), and Ted Williams would not play in another World Series.
The 1950s were a lean time for the Red Sox. After Williams returned from the Korean War, 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, they refused to sign black players, even passing up a chance at future Hall-of-Famers Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, both of who tried out for Boston and were highly praised by team scouts. 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. The Sox finally became the last Major League team to sign an African American player when they signed modest infielder Pumpsie Green in 1959.
Supposedly the right-field bullpens in Fenway Park were built in part for Williams' left-handed swing, and these are sometimes called "Williamsburg".
Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski and the Impossible Dream
Red Sox fans remember 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 team had finished the 1966 season in ninth 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. The 1967 season is remembered as one of the great pennant races in baseball history since four teams were in the AL pennant race until almost the last game.
Although the Red Sox would be competitive for much of the next seven seasons, they never finished higher than second. The closest they came to a divisional title was 1972, when oddly 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 ordered replayed, which caused the Red Sox to lose the division by a half-game.
The Sox won the AL pennant in 1975, 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 outfielder Dwight Evans, catcher Carlton Fisk, and pitchers Luis Tiant and the eccentric junkballer Bill Lee.
Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, against the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine," is regarded by many 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) and a sensational game-saving catch by Dwight Evans. Despite the series-tying win, the Red Sox lost Game 7, and this time it would be Yaz who never again played in a World Series.
In 1978 the Red Sox and the Yankees were involved in one of the most memorable pennant races in baseball history. Despite being 14 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in July, on September 10th, after completing a 4-game sweep of the Red Sox, the Yankees pulled into a tie for the divisional lead.
For the final three weeks of the season, the teams fought closely and exchanged the lead frequently. By the final day of the season, the Yankees magic number to win the division was one - that is, 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 5-1, forcing a one-game playoff to be held at Fenway Park on Monday, October 2nd.
Although most people remember Bucky Dent's three-run home run in the 7th inning off Mike Torrez just over the Green Monster which gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead, it was Reggie Jackson's solo home run in the 8th that proved the difference in what would be a 5-4 Yankee win, which ended with Yastrzemski popping out to third base with Rick Burleson representing the tying run at third.
The '86 World Series and Morgan's Magic
After the 1978 playoff, the Red Sox wouldn't reach the postseason for the next seven years, finishing no higher than third during this period. Yastrzemski would never again play in a postseason game following the 1975 World Series. He retired after the 1983 season in which the Red Sox finished sixth in the seven-team AL East, posting their worst record since 1966.
However, the team's fortunes changed in 1986. While its offense had remained strong with the likes of Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Don Baylor, and future Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, the team had always lacked an ace pitcher to lead the staff. That season Roger Clemens stepped into that role, posting a 24-4 record with a 2.48 ERA to win both the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards, marking the first time a starting pitcher swept those two awards since Vida Blue was named MVP in 1971. The Red Sox won the AL East for the first time in eleven seasons, drawing the California Angels in the AL Championship Series.
The Series started badly for the Red Sox. The teams split the first two games in Boston, but the Angels won the next two games at home, taking a 3-1 Series lead. As California looked to close out the series with a Game Five win, things looked grim for the Sox who trailed 5-2 heading into the ninth inning. It was then that the Red Sox started their comeback, turning the tide of the entire series. A two-run homer by Baylor cut the lead to one, then, 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. Though the Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Red Sox won it in the eleventh. Boston cruised to six and seven run wins at Fenway Park in Games Six and Seven to win the American League title for the first time since 1975. The Red Sox' win in Game Seven was the first Game Seven playoff win in the team's history.
The Red Sox faced the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series. Boston got off to a great start, winning the first two games in Shea Stadium, only to lose the next two at Fenway, evening the series at two games apiece. After a Game 5 win in Boston, the Red Sox returned to Flushing Meadows looking to wrap up their first championship in 68 years. However, Game Six would go down as one of the most devastating losses in club history. After a strong outing by Clemens, the Mets tied the game 3-3 in the eighth by scoring a run off reliever Calvin Schiraldi. The game went to extra innings, where the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the tenth. After two quick outs, the Red Sox stood just one out away from breaking their championship drought. However, things then went terribly wrong, culminating in one of the most infamous moments in major league history. After three straight singles and a wild pitch by Bob Stanley, the Mets tied the game at five. Although it looked like the Red Sox might have been able to extend the game when Mookie Wilson hit a slow ground ball to first baseman Bill Buckner for what would have been the final out of the inning, the ball rolled through Buckner's legs, allowing Ray Knight to score the winning run from third. While Buckner was singled out as the biggest goat, many observers - as well as both Wilson and Buckner - have noted that, even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, Wilson most likely would still have been safe, leaving the game-winning run at third with two out. The Red Sox would go on to lose Game Seven, concluding the devastating collapse and feeding the myth that the club was actually "cursed."
The Red Sox next returned to the postseason in 1988. With the club in fourth place, manager John McNamara was fired and replaced by Joe Morgan. 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's 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 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 Series in four games.
After the Yawkeys
Tom Yawkey died in 1976, and his wife Jean took control of the team until her death in 1992. A trust controlled by John Harrington took control of the team, ending over 60 years of Yawkey ownership. The initials of Jean and Tom Yawkey are displayed in Morse Code on the Green Monster scoreboard as a tribute to them.
Longtime Sox general manager Lou Gorman was replaced in 1994 by Dan Duquette, a Massachusetts native who had previously run the Montreal Expos. Duquette's reign began with promises to revive the flagging Sox farm system, and in fact Duquette did have some degree of success in building that area: during his tenure the farm system produced several quality players including Trot Nixon and Nomar Garciaparra. Unlike prior management, Duquette also was unafraid to grant huge contracts to major stars, most famously the eight-year, $160 million deal given to Manny Ramírez after the 2001 season - which was the first high-profile open market free agent signing by the Red Sox.
Duquette caused much angst amongst Red Sox fans with many of his personnel moves, most notably allowing beloved players Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn to leave as free agents. Although the very popular Vaughn's departure was widely decried by Red Sox fans at the time, Vaughn (who won the AL MVP in 1995) accomplished very little after leaving Boston prior to his injury-forced retirement in 2003. However, Duquette also allowed Clemens to leave Boston after the 1996 season, saying that Clemens was "in the twilight of his career." After leaving Boston, Clemens went on to win four more Cy Young awards (two with the Blue Jays, one with the Yankees, and one with the Houston Astros), as well as two World Championships with the arch-rival Yankees. Duquette was roundly criticized for allowing Clemens to leave in the wake of Clemens' post-Boston successes, even though, in the years prior to his leaving Boston, Clemens had been troubled with serious injuries, weight problems and bouts of ineffectiveness that resulted in a personal record of 39 wins and 40 losses over his last four seasons with the Red Sox.
Duquette's abrasive manner and tendency to micromanage off-the-field issues also resulted in the Red Sox suffering a public relations hit. In 1999, Duquette called Fenway Park "economically obsolete" and along with Red Sox ownership led a push for a brand new stadium to be built near the current stadium. Despite the approval of a grant by the Massachusetts Legislature and key political support, issues with buying out neighboring property and steadfast opposition within Boston's city council eventually doomed the project. Duquette was also infamously involved with a crackdown on independent sausage vendors selling outside of Fenway Park before games, which had been a tradition outside of Fenway Park since it opened in 1912 - an issue that was settled amicably in 2002, when the Red Sox agreed to let peanut and sausage vendors operate all around Fenway Park in exchange for the vendors' support for a plan to extend the ballpark's concourse onto Yawkey Way.
On the field, the Red Sox had some success during this period, but were unable to return to the World Series. In the strike-shortened 1995 season, the Sox won the newly-realigned American League East, finishing seven games ahead of the Yankees. However, they were swept in three games by the Cleveland Indians, running their postseason losing streak to 13 games, dating back to the 1986 World Series.
In 1998, the Red Sox dealt young pitchers Tony Armas, Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Montreal Expos in exchange for star pitcher Pedro Martínez, who went on to have several spectacular seasons for the Red Sox. Later that season the team won the Wild Card, but again lost the American League Division Series to the Indians. This time they lost the series 3-1 despite winning Game One 11-3 behind Martinez.
In 1999 the Red Sox got revenge on the Indians. Cleveland took a 2-0 series lead, but Boston staged an improbable comeback, winning the next three games thanks to the strong pitching of Derek Lowe, Pedro Martínez and his older brother Ramón. The series featured several memorable games. Game Four's 23-7 win by the Red Sox was the highest scoring playoff game in history. Game Five was a tense affair, with the Indians taking a 5-2 lead after two innings, but Pedro Martínez, nursing a shoulder injury, came on in the fourth inning and pitched six innings of no-hit ball while the offense rallied for a 12-8 win, behind two home runs from Troy O'Leary. The Red Sox then met the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, but came up short, losing the series four games to one.
New Ownership, New Era
In 2002, the Red Sox were sold by president and Yawkey trustee John Harrington to a consortium headed by principal owner John Henry with Larry Lucchino serving as president and CEO. Dan Duquette was fired and eventually replaced by Yale graduate Theo Epstein after Oakland's Billy Beane turned down the position. Epstein, who at age 28 became the youngest general manager in the history of the Major Leagues at that time, grew up in nearby Brookline rooting for the Red Sox.
Hopes ran high in the 2003 season, but the postseason would deliver yet another blow to Red Sox fans. The Sox rallied from a 2-0 deficit against the Oakland Athletics to win the best-of-five American League Division Series. Game Five was especially dramatic, with Derek Lowe saving a 4-3 victory by striking out the A's Terrence Long with the tying run on 3rd base. They then faced the Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. In the deciding seventh game, Boston led 5-2 in the eighth inning, but Pedro Martínez allowed three runs to tie the game, including Jason Giambi's second home run of the game. The Red Sox could not score off of Mariano Rivera over the last three innings and lost the game 6-5 on a home run by Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone off of Tim Wakefield's first pitch of the 11th inning.
Many Red Sox fans blamed the loss on their manager, Grady Little, for not removing Martínez after seven strong innings, when he began to show signs of tiring. It was viewed as the culmination of two years of questionable decision-making by Little, and shortly after the ALCS Little was fired. He would be replaced by Terry Francona, who would lead the Red Sox to not only some of the greatest moments in the franchise's history, but an epic comeback unprecedented in baseball history.
The Idiots and the 2004 World Series Championship
During the 2003-04 offseason, the Red Sox acquired another ace pitcher in Curt Schilling to bolster the pitching staff, and expectations again ran high that 2004 would finally be the year that the Red Sox ended their championship drought. The regular season did not start well, and through midseason the team had struggled mightily, falling more than ten games behind New York. Management shook up the team at the MLB trading deadline, July 31, by trading the team's popular shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Orlando Cabrera of the Montreal Expos and Doug Mientkiewicz of the Minnesota Twins in a four-team deal. The club would turn things around soon after, going on to finish within three games of the Yankees in the AL East and qualifying for the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. Players and fans affectionately referred to as "The Idiots", a term coined by Johnny Damon during the playoff push to describe the team's eclectic roster and devil-may-care attitude toward the supposed "Curse of the Bambino".
Boston began the playoffs by sweeping the AL West champion Anaheim Angels, winning Game Three by a score of 8-6 on David Ortiz's 10th inning game winning homer over the Green Monster. The Red Sox thus advanced to a rematch in the 2004 American League Championship Series against their bitter rivals, the New York Yankees.
Despite high hopes that the Red Sox would finally vanquish their nemesis, the series started disastrously for them. They were down three games to none after a crushing 19-8 loss in Game Three, in which the two clubs set the record for most runs scored in a League Championship Series game.
In Game Four of the Series, the Red Sox found themselves facing elimination, trailing 4-3 in the ninth with Yankees superstar closer Mariano Rivera on the mound. After a walk by 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. The Red Sox would win Game Five the next night, in a game that featured another rally against Rivera to force extra innings. Ortiz would again seal the win with a 14th inning RBI single. The game set the record for longest postseason game in terms of time (5 hours and 49 minutes) and for longest ALCS game (14 innings).
With the series returning to Yankee Stadium for Game Six, the improbable comeback continued with Curt Schilling pitching on an ankle that had three sutures wrapped in a bloody (literally red) sock. Schilling struck out four, walked none, and only allowed one run over seven innings to lead the team to the victory. In Game Seven, the Red Sox completed the sensational and historic comeback on the strength of Derek Lowe's pitching and Johnny Damon's two home runs. David Ortiz, who had the game winning RBI's in Games Four and Five, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player.
The Red Sox faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. The Cardinals had posted the best record in the major leagues that season, and had previously defeated the Red Sox in the 1946 and 1967 Series, with both series going seven games. The third time would be the charm, however, as the momentum and confidence Boston had built up in the ALCS would overwhelm St. Louis. The Red Sox began the Series with an 11-9 win, the highest scoring WS opening game ever (breaking the previous record set in 1932). The Red Sox would go on to win the first two games in Boston (including another sensational performance by the bloody-socked Schilling in Game Two) then would win the next two in St. Louis to sweep the World Series for their first championship since 1918. Manny Ramírez was named World Series MVP.
The Red Sox held a parade (or as Boston mayor Thomas Menino put it, a "rolling rally") on Saturday, October 30, 2004. A crowd of more than three million members of Red Sox Nation filled the streets of Boston to cheer as the team rode on the city's famous Duck Boats.
2005 and Beyond
After winning its first World Series in 86 years, Red Sox management was left with the challenge of dealing with a number of high profile free agents. Pedro Martínez, Derek Lowe, and Orlando Cabrera were replaced with former Yankee David Wells, Matt Clement, and Edgar Rentería. The club re-signed its catcher, Jason Varitek, and named him team captain.
Pitchers Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke spent large parts of the season on the disabled list, and were unable to return to their 2004 form. For much of the season Boston held first place in the AL East but down the stretch the starting pitching struggled, the bullpen remained shaky, and the offense slumped, causing Boston to squander 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. Although the Red Sox won two of the three games to finish the season with an identical 95-67 record as the Yankees, a one-game playoff was not needed since both teams had already qualified for the playoffs. The division title was decided on a head-to-head tiebreaker which the Yankees won 10-9, earning them the AL East championships while the Sox earned the AL Wild Card.
The Red Sox faced the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox, who had not won a playoff series since 1917, in the ALDS. Chicago had posted the AL's best record and caught fire down the stretch. The White Sox won Game One in a 14-2 rout. In the second game, the Red Sox led 4-0, but lost the game 5-4 after a brutal fifth inning which featured a crucial error by Tony Graffanino. Game Three in Boston ended 4-3 in favor of Chicago, thus completing the sweep.
The Red Sox face a number of impending free agents, in the 2005-06 off-season. After the announcement of a tentative contract agreement with Mike Timlin, at least three prominent Red Sox are free agents: Johnny Damon, Bill Mueller, and Kevin Millar.
On October 31, 2005, Theo Epstein resigned as general manager on the last day of his contract. He reportedly turned down a three-year, $4.5 million contract extension. He said after doing some "agonizing soul-searching" that he might take a year off, if not leave baseball entirely. However, it is expected that Epstein will be viewed as a possible GM candidate by the Los Angeles Dodgers and other clubs. Epstein's top assistant, Josh Byrnes, was hired as the GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks on October 26, 2005.
- Founded: 1899, as the Buffalo franchise in the minor Western League. Moved to Boston when that league became the major American League in 1901.
- Team Name: Boston Red Sox (see Nicknames before "Red Sox" below)
- Current ownership: John Henry and Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino, who paid $660 million and assumed $400 million in debt, in February 2002. The purchase includes Fenway Park and 82 percent of New England Sports Network. The purchase price set a record for a major league baseball franchise.
- Current payroll: For 2005, payroll was about $123.5 million, over $80 million less than that of the New York Yankees. For 2004, payroll was about $127 million, $57 million shy of the New York Yankees. In both of these years, the Red Sox had the second-highest total payroll in MLB. (NOTE: The numbers cited are actually the payroll of the team at the start of the each seaons. Payrolls can change due to mid-season personel changes, including trades, promotion of minor league players, waiver, etc.)
- Home ballpark: Fenway Park (April 20, 1912 - Present), Braves Field (1929 - 1932 Sundays, 1915 - 1916 World Series), Huntington Avenue Grounds (1901-1911). Fenway is the oldest ballpark in baseball. The Red Sox ownership group has recently committed to keeping the team at Fenway for years to come. Plans are already under way for the first ballpark centennial celebration in MLB history in 2012.
- Mascot: "Wally the Green Monster," named after both the left field Green Monster and the one-time Red Sox pitcher Wally Masterson.
- Uniform colors: Navy blue, red, gray, and white
- Logo design: Two hanging red socks with white heels and toes, over a white baseball surrounded by the words Boston and Red Sox. The word "Boston" is in navy blue outlined in red, the words "Red Sox" are in red outlined in navy blue, and the entire logo is surrounded by a thick red circle. Recently the team has begun phasing in a new logo that removes the outline, text and baseball, leaving only the pair of red socks.
- Theme Song: None officially, but several "unofficial" theme songs exist:
- played in the middle of the eighth inning at Fenway Park: Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" performed with raucous audience participation.
- played after each victory at Fenway Park: "Dirty Water" by The Standells.
- played after "Dirty Water" and for rallies during a game: The Dropkick Murphys' rewrite of "Tessie." The original "Tessie" was a Broadway tune, which Boston fans adopted during the 1903 World Series and sung regularly until 1916.
- played during David Ortiz's at-bats: "Who's Your Papi?"
- Championships and Pennants:
- Official television stations: New England Sports Network (NESN), WSBK
- Official radio stations: WEEI (flagship)
Nicknames before "Red Sox"
The name Red Sox, chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season, is based on an obsolete form of the word "socks", as in the red footwear worn by the team starting in 1908. The name originated from the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team and a member of the first (now defunct) league, the National Association of Baseball Players. The team was formed by Harry Wright in 1869, and was the first team to actually pay its players a salary, which was frowned upon at the time. The Red Stockings were able to attract the best players from around the country, and hence became one of the first dynasties in American sports. Many other clubs began to follow suit, which is how professional baseball was born.
In 1871, due to slumping attendance in Cincinatti, the team folded and then re-formed in Boston, and kept their nickname and their exemplary play. In 1876, the National League was formed and the Boston Red Stockings became a charter member, but changed their nickname to "Red Caps". Back then, the nicknames were not as important, and teams went by many different names during this time. In 1912, the team changed its official nickname to "Braves", and are today based in Atlanta. In 1901, the American League was formed by Ban Johnson to compete with the National League, and a new Boston club was formed. Prior to 1908, the A.L. team in fact wore dark blue stockings, and did not have an official nickname. They were simply "the Bostons" or "the Boston Baseball club"; some newspaper writers referred to them as the Boston "Americans", as in "American Leaguers", Boston being a two-team city. Many sources have stated for years that the early team was called the Boston "Pilgrims" or "Puritans" or "Plymouth Rocks", or "Somersets" (for their owner), but recent research into contemporary sources suggests otherwise. .
The Boston Red Sox have two requirements for a player to have his number retired:
- He must have played for the Red Sox for at least 10 years.
- He must have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Wade Boggs meets the minimum requirements to have his number retired by the Red Sox, but played with the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after leaving Boston. Jim Rice, should he be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, will also meet the requirements.
- 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 1918 World Series. Due to superstitions involving the "Curse of the Bambino" the numbers were rearranged in numerical order.
* Inducted as Red Sox
Minor league affiliations
- AAA: Pawtucket Red Sox, International League
- AA: Portland Sea Dogs, Eastern League
- Advanced A: Wilmington Blue Rocks, Carolina League
- A: Greenville Drive, South Atlantic League
- Short A: Lowell Spinners, New York-Penn League
- Rookie: GCL Red Sox, Gulf Coast League
- Rookie: VSL Red Sox, Venezuelan Summer League
- Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame
- Red Sox Nation
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- Tony Conigliaro Award
- Major League Baseball franchise post-season droughts
- Red Sox award winners and league leaders
- Red Sox statistical records and milestone achievements
- Red Sox players of note
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- Boston Red Sox official website
- Red Sox Minor League Overview
- Boston Sports Media
- Boston Dirt Dogs fan site
- Talksox - Red Sox fan discussion forum
- An Archive of Red Sox Uniform Numbers
- The Sons of Sam Horn - the top Red Sox fan site
- Red Sox Times - news, commentary, and analysis
Johnson, Richard A., Stout, Glenn, and Johnson, Dick. Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002. ISBN 0-618-08527-0
Stout, Glenn and Johnson, Richard A. Red Sox Century. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-88417-9.
Nowlin, Bill and Prime, Jim. Blood Feud: The Red Sox, The Yankees, and the Struggle of Good versus Evil. Cambridge, MA: Rounder Books, 2005. ISBN 1-57940-111-2.