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About the Boston Red Sox
About New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are the most successful, popular, and venerated sports franchise in America. In their first 100 years of existence the team won 26 World Series titles, 38 American League Pennants, and sent over 40 players to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yankee Stadium, which the team played in from 1923 to 2008, was one of the shinning cathedrals of Major League Baseball.
The Yankees began life as the Baltimore Orioles in 1901. The franchise moved to New York in 1903 and changed their name to the Highlanders. In 1913, they began calling themselves the Yankees. In 1920, after years of obscurity, the Yankees bought a pitcher who had a remarkable amount of pop in his bat. That player was legendary slugger Babe Ruth. The Bambino, as Ruth was sometimes called, not only changed the fortunes of the Yankees but changed the game of baseball forever.
Since then, the Yankees have become synonymous with both winning and iconic baseball players. Legends of the game that wore pinstripes include Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, and Derek Jeter. The team has also been managed by some of the best baseball skippers of all-time most notably Casey Stengel, Billy Martin, and Joe Torre.
The Boston Red Sox are arch rivals of the Yankees and when they both made it to the playoffs in 2004, each game was unbelievable. The Red Sox fell behind the Yanks 3 games to 0. But then the Sox came back in a number of fantastic classic baseball games both in Fenway Park and in the Bronx. In fact, one of the Boston Red Sox vs. Yankees playoff games at Fenway was the longest playoff game in history going over 14 innings. Then Boston hero David Ortiz hit a home run to finally win the game.
Eventually, the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees and move on to the World Series. Boston played the St. Louis Cardinals and swept them to win the title of baseball World Champions. The Boston Red Sox made history in 2004. No one will ever forget Schilling and his ankle bleeding while on the mound while heroically pitching in the playoffs. The blood soaked through his sock, giving a new meaning to 'red socks'. And now you can buy Red Sox tickets when they battle it out again against the evil empire, the Yankees.
About the City of Boston
As the largest city in New England and one of the oldest in the U.S., Boston can never escape its history which is rich with events such as the Boston Tea Party, the Siege of Boston, and the Boston Massacre. But “Beantown” has long been on the cutting edge. The city was the first in the nation to have a public school, making it a no-brainer as to why esteemed institutions such as Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, and Boston College call Boston home. Framed by the Massachusetts Bay and the Charles River, Boston is naturally beautiful. Inhabited by multiple ethnicities and classes, it is also thoroughly soulful. And of course the greatest MLB team in the world makes its home in Boston, the talented Boston Red Sox. And here is THE place to purchase Red Sox tickets online.
The Definitive A to Z Guide to the Boston Red Sox
Below is an A to Z Guide on one of Major League Baseball’s most popular teams, the Boston Red Sox. From “American League” and “Bill Buckner” to “Varitex” and “Yaz,” our guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about one of baseball’s most storied franchises. Even if you’re not a member of Red Sox Nation, our A to Z Guide is worth your time. Much of the annuals of the Boston Red Sox are intertwined with the history of Major League Baseball.
A – American League
The Boston Red Sox were founded in 1901 as one of the eight charter members of the American League. For the first seven years of their existence they were called the “Americans,” “Beaneaters,” "Somersets" (for owner Charles Somers), "Collinsites" (for manager Jimmy Collins), and “Pilgrims.” The franchise finally settled on the epithet “Red Sox” before the start of the 1908 season. Until 1912, the team played their home games at the Huntington Avenue Grounds before moving to Fenway Park. The Red Sox at the turn of the century were pretty good. They won the American League Pennant in 1903 and 1904.
B – Bill Buckner
According to legend, the Red Sox were on the verge of winning the 1986 World Series only to have their championship hopes dashed by first baseman Bill Buckner’s error on an easy ground ball hit by Mookie Wilson of the New York Mets. It’s true that the Red Sox were as close to winning a World Series title as a team can get, but Buckner’s error was far from the only blunder in the bottom half of the 10th inning that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. There were three straight singles, a wild pitch that allowed the Mets to tie the game, and both Buckner and Wilson said it wouldn’t have matter if the ball had been fielded cleanly as the fleet-of-foot outfielder would have been safe regardless. Furthermore, it was odd that Buckner was even in the game as his poor knees made him a defensive liability. Oh yeah, the Red Sox still had a chance to win the series but they lost Game 7, 8-5. Regardless of Buckner’s true culpability, his error is probably the most famous in the history of the game and the best evidence of the so-called “Curse of the Bambino.”
C – “Curse of the Bambino”
The “Curse of the Bambino” allegedly started when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to their archrivals, the New York Yankees, in December of 1919. The trade is said to be the beginning of the Yankees dynasty (27 World Series titles) and a championship drought for the Red Sox that would eventually last until 2004. Was it really a curse? We’d call nearly a century worth of heartbreakingly bad luck a curse, but that’s just us. During the “curse years,” the Red Sox won four American League Pennants only to lose each World Series in seven games. Had they won all of those deciding games they would be tied for the second most World Series titles in Major League Baseball history.
D – “Down 0-3”
The “Curse of the Bambino” was broken in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. In order to even get to the Fall Classic, the Red Sox had to get by their New York nemesis in the American League Championship Series. In that memorable ALCS, the Red Sox found themselves down 0-3 and trailing 3-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Undeterred, the Red Sox rallied to win the game in the 12th and avoid elimination. They then won another extra-inning affair in Game 5 (14 innings). With momentum wrestled away from the Yanks, the Red Sox took the next two games in New York City to become the first team in the history of the old ballgame to comeback after being down 0-3.
E – Enos’s Slaughter’s “Mad Dash“
In the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 1946 World Series, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Enos Slaughter scored from first base on a line drive to left-center field. Playing centerfield at the time was Leon Culberson. He had just replaced Dom Dimaggio who pulled his hamstring in the previous half-inning. Culberson quickly got the ball to the cutoff man, Johnny Pesky. Here’s where the curse comes in… Pesky, either thinking Slaughter wasn’t going home, or shocked that he was, made a weak and inaccurate throw to home. Whatever the reason, Slaughter scored what would be the game-winning run. In Pesky’s defense, Enos Slaughter did ignore his third base coach who frantically signaled him to halt his “Mad Dash.”
F – Fenway Park
The story goes that when the cabbie dropped Roger Clemens off at Fenway Park for the first time the pitcher admonished the driver for taking him to a warehouse. You’ll have to excuse Fenway Park for blending in with the Kenmore Square area and looking like an industrial building. After all, that’s the way they built things in 1912. Located at 4 Yawkey Way, Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in the majors, and with just over 37,000 seats, the third smallest capacity. That’s why Red Sox tickets are so hard to come by. The popular stadium is famous for its charming quirks like Pesky Pole, the Triangle, and the Green Monster.
G – The Green Monster
The Green Monster is the name of the leftfield wall at Fenway Park. The monster is 37 feet 2 inches high and a mere 310 to 315 feet from home plate. It’s the highest wall of any major league ballpark. High walls were popular during the era when Fenway Park was constructed. They helped obstruct the playing field from non-paying spectators and cut down on cheap home runs. Over the decades, the Green Monster has robbed batters of thousands of home runs and forced countless leftfielders to memorize a plethora of caroms. Despite its name, the structure wasn’t always green. In fact, it didn’t receive that hue until 1947. Nowadays, the Green Monster is decorated with a scoreboard, advertising, and the only ladder in fair territory in Major League Baseball.
H – Henry Frazee
Broadway impresario Henry Frazee owned the Boston Red Sox from 1916 through 1926 and is best known for selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Supposedly, he pawned The Bambino to finance the musical No, No, Nanette. He actually hawked Ruth to fund the play My Lady Friends which was then turned into the aforementioned production in 1926. It’s easy to vilify Frazee and blame him for making the worst roster move in the history of professional sports, but baseball historians will tell you the situation was complex and full of nuisance. Poppycock! Frazee peddled most of Boston’s best players and it resulted in the Sox averaging 100 loses from 1925 to 1933. By the way, Frazee bought the franchise for $500,000 and sold Ruth to the Yanks for $100,000.
I – “Impossible Dream”
The 1967 Boston Red Sox season is often referred to as the “Impossible Dream.” The Red Sox came out of nowhere to win the American League Pennant (by one game over the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins). Sadly, that’s as far as the Cinderella team would go. In the World Series, the Sox succumbed to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. Although, it was more like the “St. Louis Bob Gibsons” as the hall of fame pitcher won games 1, 4, and 7. The season is now known less for the World Series defeat and more for the return of Red Sox baseball. Hitherto 1967, the team had been struggling in the standings and at the gate. In 1965, Boston lost 100 games, and in 1966 they had the third worst home attendance in the American League. Many believe the 1967 season was the start of “Red Sox Nation.”
J – Jack Hamilton
While 1967 was a watershed year for the Red Sox, it was marred by the tragic beaning of one of the team’s star players. On Aug. 18, California Angels pitcher Jack Hamilton hit Tony Conigliaro with a pitch on the left cheek. Conigliaro was knocked unconscious and carted off the field on the stretcher. He was out for the rest of the season with injuries to his cheek bone and retina. Tony C was only in his fourth year in the Majors but he was already being touted as the next Ted Williams. He was the second youngest player to hit 100 dingers and the AL’s youngest home run champ. He rejoined the Red Sox lineup more than a year later. In 1969, he was named comeback player of the year and he posted career numbers in 1970. However, his eye problems returned and he was forced to retire in 1971 after a brief stint with, oddly enough, the Angels. Conigliaro made a comeback in 1975 but after hurting himself early in the season he was replaced by Jim Rice and later released. Who knows what Conigliaro could have accomplished had he not been beaned by Jack Hamilton on that fateful summer day in 1967.
K – K
For more than a century, baseball scorekeepers have used the letter “K” to symbol a strikeout. And since 1901, Boston Red Sox pitchers have been responsible for a lot of Ks. Boston Hurlers that have led the American League in strikeouts include Tex Hughson, Jim Lonborg, Roger Clemens (x3), Pedro Martinez (x3), and Hideo Nomo. Leading the list, at least chronologically, is the AL’s very first strikeout king, Cy Young. In 1901, Young not only led the league in Ks, but wins and ERA as well—he had won the proverbial “triple crown” of pitching. In 1903, Young threw the first ever pitch in a World Series game. Baseball’s greatest pitcher remained in Beantown through the 1908 season. During his time in New England, Young collected 192 wins, posted an ERA of 2.00, and notched 1,341 Ks.
L – Last (Pumpsie Green)
In 1959, the Red Sox were dead last. Not in the standings, but in fielding an integrated team. Pumpsie Green made his debut on July 21 of that year making him the first black player to compete for the Boston Red Sox. Green was a pinch-hitting infielder who stayed with the club through the 1962 season. He’s probably best known for his disappearing act. In 1962, after the Red Sox spent the weekend getting pummeled by the Yankees, Green and teammate Gene Conley walked off a bus during a traffic jam. They were found three days later at what is now JFK Airport trying to board a flight to Israel without luggage and without a passport.
M – Memorable Moments
You don’t need to be a Red Sox historian to know that the team has been involved in several of baseball’s most memorable moments—The Mad Dash, Buckner’s error, and rallying from a 0-3 series deficit. Another memorable moment from Red Sox history came in the 12th inning of Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hit a fly ball down the leftfield line. It had the distance to be a home run but was it going to stay fair? Now one of the game’s most iconic images, television cameras caught Fisk desperately waving the ball fair. His gesture worked. The Red Sox won the game, 7-6. In true “Curse of the Bambino” fashion, Boston came up short in Game 7 falling to the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3. Still, the series is widely regarded as one of the most memorable moments in baseball history.
N – New York Yankees
The Red Sox’s rivalry with the New York Yankees is one of the greatest in all of sports. Whenever the two teams clash they attract national attention. Their rivalry is not only fierce, and responsible for more than a few fights, it’s also old—the two teams starting playing one another in April of 1901. At the end of the 2011 season, the two clubs had faced one another 2,100 times with New York winning 1,132 of them. The Red Sox and Yankees are also the league’s most popular teams. Both clubs draw tremendously well when playing away from their friendly confines. Of course, the Yankees are far more despised than the Red Sox. According to polls, fans like to root against the Evil Empire much more than they like to root against Red Sox Nation.
O – Ortiz
It’s not an official award but the sentiment meant enough for the franchise to put it on a plaque. In 2005, team ownership presented David Ortiz with an award stating that he’s “the greatest clutch-hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox.” That’s quite an honor considering the number of amazing hitters that Red Sox have had over the years—Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Tris Speaker, Jim Rice, Manny Ramirez, and Wade Boggs. Nicknamed “Big Papi,” the slugger established himself as one of the game’s premiere clutch hitters in the 2004 American League Playoffs. That postseason, Ortiz hit .409, smashed 5 homers, and was responsible for 23 RBI. He also had walk-off hits in Game 4 and 5 of the ALCS. The Dominican-American holds the franchise record for most home runs in a season (54 in 2006) and he’s the fifth player to hit 300 home runs as a Red Sox (the others are Williams, Yastrzemski, Rice, and Dwight Evans).
P – Pesky Pole
Pesky Pole is the name of Fenway Park’s right field foul pole. It’s named after Red Sox’s longtime infielder Johnny Pesky. Team lore states that during a contest pitched by Mel Parnell, Pesky hit a game-winning homer that barely missed Fenway’s shallow right field pole—just 302 feet from home plate. The story is apocryphal. Pesky only hit one home run while Parnell was pitching at Fenway and that occurred during a loss. In his career, Pesky hit six home runs at Fenway and it’s very likely several landed near the right field foul pole. However the legendary dowel got its sobriquet, Pesky is one of the Red Sox’s most popular players and his No. 6 was retired in 2008.
Q – Quantrill
Canadian pitcher Paul Quantrill broke into the majors in 1992 as a Red Sox. That’s not why he’s on our list though. In 2004, as a relief pitcher for the Yankees, Quantrill surrendered a walk-off home run to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz in Game 4 of the ALCS. The big hit began the Red Sox’s historic rally from being down 0-3 and eventually led to his former team winning their first World Series title in 86 years. Fans can watch Quantrill groove one to “Big Papi” over and over again in the 2005 film, Fever Pitch.
R – Roger Clemens
The Red Sox drafted Roger Clemens in 1983. The hard-throwing righty made his major league debut in May of 1984. During his dozen years in Boston, Clemens won 192 games, three Cy Young Awards, and the 1986 MVP Award. During the ’86 season, Clemens won 24 games to lead the Sox to the American League Pennant and a World Series appearance. At the end of the 1996 campaign, the Red Sox decided not to renew Clemens’ contract because, as General Manager Dan Duquette put it, the pitcher was in the “twilight” of his career. After leaving the Sox, Clemens won 162 more games, two World Series, four Cy Youngs, and an indictment by a federal grand jury.
S – “The Splendid Splinter “
Besides “The Splendid Splinter,” he was also called “The Kid,” “The Thumper,” “Teddy Ballgame,” and “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.” His real name was Ted Williams and he’s widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. Williams played his entire 21-year career with the Red Sox. While he was aloof and hard to like, his prowess at the plate was easy to love. He was named the AL MVP twice, won two Triple Crowns, led the league in batting on six occasions, and was selected to 19 All-Star games. He had a career batting average of .344 and was the last player to hit .400 or better for an entire season (.406 in 1941). His accomplishments may have been even greater had he not lost three seasons to military service. Williams’ never lost his knack at the plate though. His last year in the majors, 1960, when he was 41, the Splendid Splinter hit .316 and smacked 29 home runs. His 29th home run occurred on Sept. 28 and came during his very last Major League at-bat.
T – Theo Epstein
Theo Epstein was the Red Sox general manager from October of 2002 to October of 2011. During his tenure, the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years (2004) and another one in 2007. He briefly resigned his post in late 2005 but was rehired three months later. Besides acquiring players like David Ortiz and Curt Schilling, Epstein is also famous for being the youngest GM in the history of Major League Baseball. When he was hired in 2002, the Yale graduate was just 28-years old.
U – Under One “Nation”
The term “Red Sox Nation” was coined by Boston Globe writer Nathan Cobb in October of 1986. For years the term was used to describe the team’s fans but in 2004 Red Sox Nation was officially founded. That year the team began offering “citizenship.” For a nominal fee, fans received a Red Sox Nation membership card and access to sales and newsletters. In 2007, Jerry Remy, a former Red Sox player and broadcaster, was elected president. Famous historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was in the running against Remy but dropped out—probably because she was unable to plagiarize someone campaign platform.
V – Varitek
As of 2011, the Boston Red Sox have had three captains: Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, and Jason Varitek. The switch hitting catcher was the heart and soul of the Red Sox’s 2004 and 2007 World Series teams. Varitek played his entire career in Boston, from 1997 through 2011, where he was selected to three All-Star teams and caught four no-hitters. The Michigan native also played in both the College World Series and the Little League World Series. Furthermore, he competed in the Olympics, played in the World Baseball Classic, and during his senior year of high school, his baseball team won the Florida State Championship (1990).
W – World Series
Due to the “Curse of the Bambino” most baseball fans associate the Red Sox with losing World Series titles not winning them. However, the Red Sox have the sixth most Word Series championships in the majors and the third most in the American League. The Red Sox won the very first World Series ever played in 1903 and would have appeared in the 1904 Fall Classic had the New York Giants not boycotted. The team then went on to win World Series titles in 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, and 2007. Their four World Series defeats (1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986) all came in seven game series.
X – “X” in Sox
Why is there an “x” in Boston’s nickname? Why aren’t they called the “Boston Red Socks?” Newspapers headline writers shortened “Socks” to “Sox” to save money on ink. Apparently, those two extra letters are expensive. Boston adopted the name “Red Sox” before the start of the 1908 season after the National League team that was playing in Boston at the time dropped the red trim from their uniform. At the time, Red Stockings/Red Sox was a popular nickname for baseball teams. You’ll often see or hear the club referred to as “BoSox” or “Bosox.” Sometimes, you’ll even see the team called the “Sawx.” Other monikers include the “Crimson Hose” and the “Olde Towne Team.”
Y – “Yaz”
It’s quite an accomplishment to be the Red Sox’s career leader in hits, RBIs, runs, doubles, total bases, and games played when Ted Williams played for the franchise for 21 years. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Carl Yastrzemski, affectionately known as “Yaz,” did during his 23 years with the Boston-based ball club. Yastrzemski made his debut on April 11, 1961 and then took his curtain call on Oct. 2, 1983. He would have played another year had he not grown weary from a mid-season slump and if he had known how good Roger Clemens was going to be (the pitcher debuted in 1984). In 1967, Yaz led the Red Sox to their first AL Pennant in 20 years. Also that year, he won the American League MVP Award and the Triple Crown (as of 2011, he’s the last batter to win the Triple Crown in either league). Yaz finished his hall of fame career with 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, and 1,844 RBI.
Z – Zero
Zero is the number of innings Wade Boggs pitched for the Red Sox and the number of championships he won during his 11 seasons in Boston. Boggs would go on to pitch an inning of no-hit ball and win two championships as a New York Yankee. The left-hitting third baseman played with the BoSox from 1982 through 1992. While in The Hub, Boggs won five American League batting titles, collected 200 or more hits in seven consecutive seasons, and was selected to eight All-Star teams. After the Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series, Boggs was immortalized in a photographed that showed him holding back tears. We guess you could say he was going for “zero” tears. Boggs was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
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