Boston Red Sox

Wed, 22 Oct 2008 21:54

The history of the Boston Red Sox

Bet on MLB team Boston Red Sox with information and discussion.

When one mentions “American baseball,” it is hard to go on discussing the game without ever mentioning the Boston Red Sox. As evidenced by Jimmy Fallon's Red Sox memorabilia in the film Fever Pitch and Rob Mariano's trademark B insignia cap in the reality show Survivor, the Boston Red Sox is undeniably one of the most popular teams in baseball history. Red Sox fans, however, have every reason to support the Boston baseball team. Throughout its participation in the major league, the Boston Red Sox have already won a variety of championship titles and other recognitions: seven World Series titles, six division championship titles, twelve American League pennants, eighteen playoff appearances, and five wild card berths.

Aside from an impressive collection of awards and recognitions, the Boston Red Sox also has a remarkable roster history. Thirty-one Red Sox players, including Cy Young and Babe Ruth, have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Thanks to the evident prosperity of the team and the individual success of its players, the Boston Red Sox will continue to be one of the most well-loved teams not only in the history of baseball, but also in the world of sports.

Boston Red Sox history: Boston Americans

Upon the establishment of the American League in 1901, Ban Johnson christened all participating teams with the unofficial nickname “Americans.” So before it adopted its now-famous Red Sox official nickname, the Boston baseball team was simply known as the “Boston Americans.” The Boston Americans, thanks to power pitcher Cy Young, went on to capture their first ever pennant after only two years of joining. In the same year, the Boston Americans headlined the first modern World Series with its opponent: the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although the Pirates were predicted to win the series, the Boston Americans managed to prove everyone wrong by winning five games out of the best-of-nine series. The Broadway song “Tessie,” which was repeatedly chanted by the Royal Rooters fan club, was instrumental in helping the Americans win the title.

The year 1904, despite the sudden emergence of the New York Highlanders in the league, was also a good year for the Boston Americans. Although the Highlanders proved to be a strong contender for the title, the Americans still managed to win, thanks to Lou Criger's famous go-ahead run. The rivalry between the Boston Americans and the New York Highlanders is said to be the predecessor of the sports journalists-dubbed “Greatest Rivalry on Earth.”

Boston Red Sox history: the Boston Red Sox nickname

Success was not always on Boston's side. In fact, the Boston Americans suffered in the 1906 season by losing 105 games and finishing last in the league. Because of this misfortune, the team then adopted an official nickname. In honor of the red hose worn by the players as a part of their uniforms, the Boston team adopted the nickname “Red Stockings.” After realizing that the word “stockings” is too long for newspaper headlines, media people decided to adopt the word “sox” instead of “stockings.”

The adoption of the nickname “Red Sox” seemed to have worked like magic for the Boston team because of the emergence of a new breed of baseball superstars such as Tris Speaker, Duffy Lewis, Harry Hooper, and Smoky Joe Wood. The Red Sox's road to success even became brighter when owner Joseph Lannin decided to sign then-unknown Babe Ruth into the team. Babe Ruth, who is popularly known as “The Bambino,” helped the Red Sox win the 1916 and 1918 World Series against the Brooklyn Robins and the Chicago Cubs, respectively. Babe Ruth, thanks to his outstanding pitching performance with the Boston Red Sox and later on with the New York Yankees, became the arguably best player in the history of American baseball.

Boston Red Sox history: Curse of the Bambino

Despite his undeniable contribution to the success of the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth was sold to the New York Yankees in 1920. The sale of Babe Ruth to his home team's main rival became one of the most infamous trade-offs in baseball history. According to Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees is a strategic move to stabilize the finances of the Red Sox and to avoid the temper of the baseball superstar. Popular legend, however, states that the main reason Frazee decided to sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees is that he needs the money to finance the Broadway play "No, No, Nanette."

After the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees, the Red Sox failed to win the World Series for about 86 years. The World Series drought in Boston was allegedly caused by the Babe Ruth-inspired “Curse of the Bambino,” a superstition stating that the Boston Red Sox's immediate misfortune is caused by the selling of Babe Ruth to their rival team. To make things worse, Babe Ruth's entry to the New York-based team started the glory days of the Yankees. While Boston Red Sox was suffering from consecutive losses, the New York Yankees began winning games and collecting trophies. To the dismay of Boston Red Sox Fans, the New York Yankees became one of the most successful teams in major league baseball. The simultaneous misfortune of the Boston Red Sox and success of the New York Yankees not only intensified the rivalry of the two teams, but also strengthened the popularity of the Curse of the Bambino.

Although intended as a tongue-in-cheek joke, the Curse of the Bambino was taken by some die-hard Red Sox fans way too seriously. In fact, many attempts have been made just to break the alleged Curse of the Bambino: hiring Father Guido Sarducci and professional exorcists to purify Fenway Park, spray painting the Storrow Drive “Reverse Curve” street sign to “Reverse the Curse,” finding Babe Ruth's water-buried piano, and even considering to exhume Babe Ruth's body to transport it back to Fenway. Some even went as far as placing a Boston Red Sox cap atop Mt. Everest and burning a New York Yankees cap at the base camp.

Boston Red Sox history: breaking the "Curse of the Bambino"

The Curse of the Bambino, as many fans believe, has already been broken when the foul ball hit by Manny Ramirez knocked two of Lee Gavin's teeth out. Lee Gavin, a 16-year-old Boston Red Sox and Manny Ramirez fan, is a resident of Babe Ruth's Sudbury farm. Even if his idol is responsible for knocking out two of his teeth, Lee Gavin remained to be a true-blue Manny Ramirez fan. On the same day, the New York Yankees coincidentally suffered a painful 22-0 loss against the Cleveland Indians: the team's worst loss in years. Two months later, the Boston Red Sox finally ended its 86-year drought with a historic win against the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship series and against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. In honor of the Red Sox's 2004 World Series win, the “Reverse the Curse” sign on Storrow Drive was replaced with a new one.

Because of the recent reversal of the Curse of the Bambino, the Boston Red Sox boys gained enough determination and inspiration to give their fans more reason to celebrate. Their hard work and dedication paid off because in 2007, the Boston Red Sox went on to win yet another World Series title against the Colorado Rockies. Mike Lowell, the third baseman of the Boston Red Sox, was given the World Series Most Valuable Player award that year.