Boston Red Sox

From BR Bullpen

Also known as Boston Americans (1901-1907) and unofficially known as Boston Pilgrims or Boston Somersets

BR Page

Franchise Record: (through 2021) 9,719-9,014-81-1 (.519)

Postseason Record: 109-91-1 (.545)

World Series Titles: 9 (1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018)

American League Pennants: 14 (1903, 1904, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018)

Postseasons: 24 (1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1946, 1967, 1975, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021)

Ballparks: Huntington Avenue Grounds (May 8, 1901-Oct. 7, 1911) (11,500); Fenway Park (Apr. 20, 1912-Present) (33,993)

Franchise Players: Jimmy Collins, Cy Young, Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Carl Yastrzemski, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mookie Betts

Retired Numbers 1: Bobby Doerr; 4: Joe Cronin; 6: Johnny Pesky; 8: Carl Yastrzemski; 9: Ted Williams; 14: Jim Rice; 26: Wade Boggs; 27: Carlton Fisk; 34: David Ortiz; 42: Jackie Robinson (retired throughout baseball); 45: Pedro Martinez

Boston Red Sox logo

Team History[edit]

This was the Red Sox logo used in 1908.

The Boston Red Sox were created in 1901 in the American League, when the league decided to claim Major League status as a rival to the National League. They were not known as the Red Sox until 1908; before that time, they were refered to by various unofficial names such as the Boston Americans, Boston Pilgrims or Boston Somersets. Early in the century, the Red Sox won World Series titles in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, and 1918. They won the AL pennant in 1904, but New York Giants manager John McGraw refused to play the American League champions in a World Series that year. The 1903 title came in the first modern World Series and was an upset of the National League's Pittsburgh Pirates thanks to the pitching of Cy Young and Bill Dinneen. That win did much to secure the American League's claim as a worthy rival of the senior circuit. Other early stars were outfielders Tris Speaker and Harry Hooper, third baseman Jimmy Collins - also the team's first manager - and pitchers Smokey Joe Wood and Babe Ruth.

After this early success, the franchise unravelled when owner Harry Frazee began trading or selling most of his top players to the New York Yankees beginning in 1920, in order to meet financial pressures. The most infamous of these deals was the sale of pitcher turned outfielder Ruth to the New York Yankees, a deal that changed the fate of two franchises. The Yankees won their first pennant in 1921 and immediately became perennial World Series participants, while the Red Sox sank to the bottom of the standings, and did not emerge again as a competitive force until the second half of the 1930s. Leading the team back to respectability were Joe Cronin, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove, all acquired from other teams at the height of the Great Depression.

Boston Red Sox logo used from 1976-2014

The Red Sox got back to the World Series in 1946, but lost in 7 games. In 1948, they tied the Cleveland Indians in the regular season, forcing a one-game playoff, which they lost in part because of Joe McCarthy's controversial decision to start unheralded Denny Galehouse in the deciding game; the loss cost the city of Boston the chance to have an all-local World Series, since the crosstown rival Braves won their last pennant in Boston that year. Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr were the team's big stars in the 1940s, with Williams, the last .400 hitter in major league history in 1941, playing until 1960. The Bosox returned to the Fall Classic in 1967, 1975, and 1986, losing each series in 7 games as well. In 1978, the Red Sox blew a nine-game lead over the New York Yankees and lost a one-game playoff, which featured Bucky Dent's 7th-inning three-run homer off Mike Torrez over Fenway Park's Green Monster. Carl Yastrzemski was the iconic figure in the 1960s and 1970s, almost single-handedly steering the "Impossible Dream" Sox to the 1967 Series with a Triple Crown season. The 1975 team was highlighted by two great rookies - Fred Lynn and Jim Rice - and the pitching of Luis Tiant. The 1986 team featured an aging Rice, but was driven by the great pitching of Roger Clemens and the hitting of Wade Boggs. The Red Sox lost the ALCS in 1988 and 1990 in four-game sweeps to the Oakland A's, the 1995 ALDS to the Cleveland Indians and the 1999 and 2003 ALCS to the Yankees. The 1990s teams had fewer superstars, although Pedro Martinez, acquired in 1998, was the best pitcher in baseball for a few years after joining the team.

In 2004, the Yankees took a three games to none lead over the Red Sox in the ALCS. However, the Red Sox came back to tie Game 4 in the 9th inning (at Fenway Park) off Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera, highlighted by Dave Roberts's steal of second base followed by a game-tying single from Bill Mueller. Later, David Ortiz won the game with a home run in the bottom of the 12th inning. Boston staged another late-inning rally in Game 5, with Roberts again scoring the tying run. Ortiz won that game with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the 14th inning. The series then moved to Yankee Stadium and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, who had a severe ankle injury, was able to win Game 6. The Red Sox would then beat the Yankees in Game 7 to win the ALCS, then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series to win their first World Championship since 1918.

The Sox were a wild-card entry in the post-season 2005 and lost to the Chicago White Sox in the Division Series. The team finished second in the AL East for 7 consecutive seasons (from 1998 to 2004), and in 2005 tied the Yankees for first in the division, but were awarded the wild card due to a 9-10 head-to-head record against their rivals.

After missing the postseason altogether in 2006, the Sox finished first in the AL East in 2007, going on to sweep the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies. They won the AL wild card in 2008 but fell to the upstart Tampa Bay Rays in a seven-game ALCS match-up. In 2009, they started the season on fire, but were eventually caught and passed by the Yankees in August, ending up once again as the wild card; in the Division Series, they once again faced the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to which they had never lost in the postseason, but this time were swept in three games, ending a disappointing season but still completed their most successful decade since the 1910s. The stars of that team were Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek.

The Red Sox missed the postseason in 2010 but were back in an epic race with the Yankees in 2011, led by newly-acquired Adrian Gonzalez and a the home-grown Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia. They seemed to have a postseason slot wrapped up heading into the last two weeks of the season, but suffered a memorable collapse to be passed by the Rays on the season's last day. After that disappointment, the Red Sox replaced manager Terry Francona, who had been at the helm for both of their recent World Series titles, and replaced him with Bobby Valentine. General manager Theo Epstein, who built those winning teams, also left, being replaced by Ben Cherington. Other significant departures after that season were that of closer Jonathan Papelbon, who held the franchise record with 219 saves, via free agency, and the retirement of knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, with the most games started and innings pitched, and of Varitek, who had caught more games than anyone in team history. Youkilis soon joined them, being traded early in the 2012 season. That season turned out to be a disaster, with the Red Sox finishing in last place and Valentine losing his job at the end of the season. In August of that year, the Sox made a huge trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sending Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford to L.A. in return for a package of youngsters, the trio representing over $250 million in future salary commitments.

With former pitching coach John Farrell now at the helm, the Red Sox came back to win a third World Series in ten seasons in 2013. The city of Boston was the victim of a brutal terrorist attack at the finish line of its annual marathon that April, and its baseball team helped to rally the people, with David Ortiz giving a rousing speech just after the tragic events. With newcomers Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew and Shane Victorino joining holdovers Ortiz, Pedroia, Ellsbury and Jon Lester, the Red Sox cruised to a division title and through the postseason to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in six games in the Series. That season was followed by another last-place finish in 2014, in which the Red Sox traded a number of players in order to rebuild. After another poor season in 2015, marked by Farrell taking some time off to recover from cancer, they came back to win back-to-back division titles in 2016 and 2017. A new generation of players was propulsing these teams, especially the outfield of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley and Andrew Benintendi, as well as SS Xander Bogaerts. They managed to overcome the retirement of Ortiz following the 2016 season, but both years, they were quickly ousted from the postseason after losing the Division Series. Farrell paid the price after the second of these, being replaced by Alex Cora, who made his managerial debut in 2018. The addition of slugger J.D. Martinez seemed to energize the team that year and they set a team record with 108 wins during the regular season. They then breezed through the postseason, losing but one game in each of the three rounds and defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series for their fourth title since breaking the curse. The postseason was highlighted by Cora's brilliant use of his starters in key outings to complement his relief pitchers, and his knack for finding the right substitute at the right time. Characteristically, it was a role player, platoon 1B Steve Pearce, who was the Series MVP. Even before the Sox could hold their championship parade, many observers went so far as calling the this the greatest team in franchise history.

The Red Sox fell back in the standings in 2019, fired GM David Dombrowski in September, then after the season decided to trade Betts and P David Price to the Dodgers in return for young OF Alex Verdugo and a few others. The trade was clearly a cost-cutting move, and the mood of fans did not improve when manager Cora was forced to resign shortly afterwards due to his role in an illegal sign-stealing scheme implemented by the Houston Astros when he was still their bench coach. It turned out the Red Sox had implemented a similar although more limited scheme when they had won the World Series in 2018, tainting their latest victory. They then lost another top pitcher, Chris Sale, to Tommy John surgery before the start of the 2020 season.

Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame[edit]

The Boston red Sox created their Hall of Fame in 1995. Members of the Baseball Hall of Fame at the time (in bold in the list below) were automatically included, while other members were admitted through annual votes by a selection committee.


Famous Feats[edit]

Team Executives[edit]

Red Sox General Managers
Team Years
Eddie Collins 1933 to 1947
Joe Cronin 1948 to January 15, 1959
Bucky Harris January 15, 1959 to September 27, 1960
Dick O'Connell September 27, 1960 to October 6, 1962
Pinky Higgins October 6, 1962 to September 16, 1965
Dick O'Connell September 16, 1965 to October 24, 1977
Haywood Sullivan October 24, 1977 to February 2, 1984
Lou Gorman February 2, 1984 to 1993
Dan Duquette January 27, 1994 to 2002
Mike Port (interim) 2002 to November 25, 2002
Theo Epstein November 25, 2002 to October 31, 2005
Ben Cherington/Jed Hoyer 2005 to 2006
Theo Epstein 2006 to 2011
Ben Cherington 2011 to 2015
Dave Dombrowski 2015
Mike Hazen 2015 to 2016
Dave Dombrowski 2016 to 2019
Brian O'Halloran 2019 to present

Spring Training Locations[edit]

Location Years
Charlottesville, VA 1901
Augusta, GA 1902
Macon, GA 1903-1906
Little Rock, AR 1907-08
Hot Springs, AR 1909-10
Redondo Beach, CA 1911
Hot Springs, AR 1912-18
Tampa, FL 1919
Hot Springs, AR 1920-23
San Antonio, TX 1924
New Orleans, LA 1925-27
Bradenton, FL 1928-29
Pensacola, FL 1930-31
Savannah, GA 1932
Sarasota, FL 1933-42
Medford, MA 1943-44
Atlantic City, NJ 1945
Sarasota, FL 1946-58
Scottsdale, AZ 1959-65
Winter Haven, FL 1966-92
Fort Myers, FL 1993-present

Further Reading[edit]

  • Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, eds.: Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2012. ISBN 978-1933599243
  • Steve Babineau and Mike Shalin: The Hometown Team: Four Decades of Boston Red Sox Photography, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2018. ISBN 9781683580935
  • Charlie Bevis: Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans’ Hearts, 1901–1952, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2017. ISBN 978-0-7864-9664-8
  • Jon Chattman and Allie Tarantino: How the Red Sox Explain New England, Triumph Books LLC, Chicago, IL, 2013. ISBN 978-1-60078-802-4
  • Evan Drellich: The Big 50: Boston Red Sox, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2018. ISBN 978-1-6293-7565-6
  • Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1993.
  • Peter Gammons: Beyond the Sixth Game, Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY, 1985. ISBN 978-0395353455
  • Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer, ed.: The Ultimate Red Sox Companion: A Complete Statistical and Reference Guide, Maple Street Press, Hingham, MA, 2007.
  • Peter Golenbock: Fenway: An Unexpurgated History of the Boston Red Sox, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, NY, 1992. ISBN 978-0399137136
  • Peter Golenbock: Red Sox Nation: The Rich and Colorful History of the Boston Red Sox, Triumph Books LLC, Chicago, IL, 2015. ISBN 978-1-62937-050-7
  • Jerry M. Gutlon: It was Never About the Babe: The Red Sox, Racism, Mismanagement, and the Curse of the Bambino, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2009.
  • Donna L. Halper: "Broadcasting Red Sox Baseball: How the Arrival of Radio Impacted the Team and the Fans", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 46, Number 2 (Fall 2017), pp. 17-25.
  • Donald Honig: The Boston Red Sox: An Illustrated History, Prentice Hall Direct, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1990. ISBN 013080326X
  • Donald Honig: The Boston Red Sox: An Illustrated Tribute, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY, 1984. ISBN 0312093179
  • Donald Hubbard: The Red Sox Before the Babe: Boston's Early Days in the American League, 1901-1914, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2009.
  • David Laurila: Interviews from Red Sox Nation, Maple Street Press, Hingham, MA, 2006.
  • William F. McNeil: Red Sox Nation Guide to the Players, Northeastern University Press, Boston, MA, 2008.
  • Michael Mitchell: "'Recorded Games of Frustration': Win Expectancy and the Boston Red Sox", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 42, Number 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 83-86.
  • Bill Nowlin: Red Sox Threads: Odds and Ends from Red Sox History, Rounder Books, Burlington, MA, 2008.
  • Bill Nowlin, Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin, eds.: New Century, New Team: The 1901 Boston American, Society for American Baseball Research, Phoenix, AZ, 2013. ISBN 978-1-933599-58-8
  • Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: Blood Feud: The Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Struggle of Good versus Evil, Rounder Books, Burlington, MA, 2005. ISBN 978-1579401115
  • Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: The Boston Red Sox World Series Encyclopedia, Rounder Books, Burlington, MA, 2008.
  • Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: Amazing Tales from the Red Sox Dugout, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1613210239
  • Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime: From the Babe to the Beards: The Boston Red Sox in the World Series, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2014. ISBN 978-1-6132-1727-6
  • Bill Nowlin and Matthew Silverman: Red Sox by the Numbers: A Complete Team History of the Boston Red Sox by Uniform Number, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1-60239-995-2
  • Joshua R. Pahigian: The Red Sox in the Playoffs: A Postseason History, 1903-2005, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
  • Chaz Scoggins: Game of My Life: 20 Stories of Red Sox Baseball, Sports Publishing LLC, Champaign, IL, 2006.
  • Dan Shaughnessy: At Fenway: Dispatches from Red Sox Nation, Three Rivers Press, new York, NY, 1996. ISBN 978-0517701041
  • Troy Soos: Before the Curse: The Glory Days of New England Baseball, 1858-1918, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006.
  • Mark Stang: Red Sox Review: 110 Years of Boston Red Sox Photos, St. Johann Press, Haworth, NJ, 2012.
  • Todd Stanley: They Wore Red Socks and Pinstripes: Players Who Went to the Enemy, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2017. ISBN 978-0-7864-9751-5
  • John Thorn: Total Baseball, Total Sports Publishing, 1989, 1995
  • Thomas J. Whalen: When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball's First Dynasty, 1912-1918, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 2011. ISBN 978-1-56663-745-9
  • Josh Wilker: Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards, Seven Footer Press, New York, NY, 2010. ISBN 1934734160



Atlanta Braves
Miami Marlins
New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies
Washington Nationals


Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals


Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants


Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays


Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Guardians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins


Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers

Postseasons | Awards | Ballparks | Minor Leagues