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Boston Red Sox

(Boston Red Sox)







Boston Red Sox

(Boston Red Sox)


Season Recap: Boston finished atop the AL East for the second year in a row. Young hitters Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogarts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts helped the team score many late-inning comebacks in the season’s final weeks. Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz tied for the club lead with 17 victories. The Red Sox lost to the Astros in the first round of the playoffs.

September 20, 2017: Chris Sale fanned 13 Orioles to become the first AL pitcher with 300 strikeouts in the 21st century. He would finish with 308 for the season.

May 31, 2017: Chris Sale tied his own AL record by striking out 10 or batters for the eighth game in a row.

November 1, 2016: The Red Sox scored almost 200 more runs than they allowed in 2016 and won the AL East. Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley and Rick Porcello emerged as major stars, while old-timer David Ortiz had one of history’s greatest “farewell” seasons with 38 home runs and 127 RBIs. Porcello led the league with 22 victories and won the Cy Young Award. Boston looked like a sure thing to win the pennant until the playoffs, when the Red Sox lost to the red-hot Cleveland Indians.  

May 14, 2016: David Oritz smacked his 600th double in a game against the Astros. He joined Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds as the only players in history with 500 homers and 600 doubles.

October 6, 2015: The Red Sox struggled for the second year in a row. David Oritz led the club with 37 homers and 108 RBIs, while Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts had breakout years. However, Boston missed pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey, who helped their new teams reach the playoffs.

April 5, 2015: The Red Sox have several talented pitchers, but will one step up to become the ace of the staff? Newcomers Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez will give the team a hitting boost, and young Mookie Betts is ready to become a star. It will probably come down to pitching for Boston this year.

November 1, 2014: Defending a championship is one of the toughest challenges in baseball. The Red Sox found out just how tough when they won a mere 71 games after their World Series victory in 2013. David Ortiz and Duston Pedroia swung hot bats, but their teammates failed to live up to expectations. Late in the year, the team traded John Lackey and Jon Lester. The players they received in return should help them return to form in 2015.

March 31, 2014: David Ortiz drove in his 1,500th run in a game against the Blue Jays. Only 52 other players had reached this mark.

March 31, 2014: One of the hardest things to do in baseball is win back-to-back championships. The Red Sox should get good pitching again this year, but the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees and the age of stars David Ortiz and Koji Uehara could prevent Boston from finishing atop the AL East.

October 30, 2013: After two disappointing seasons, the Red Sox bounced back to win the World Series. They became the second team in history to go from "worst to first" by beating the Cardinals 4 games to 2. The team had a new hero almost every game, but their standout performers in the postseason included Koji Uehara, David Ortiz and John Lackey. Lackey became the first pitcher to win clinching World Series games for two different teams, while Oritz batted .688 against St. Louis and was named World Series MVP. The Red Sox celebrated their first World Series win at Fenway Park since 1918.

September 7, 2013: Seven different Red Sox hit home runs in a victory over the Detroit Tigers. This tied the AL record. The Reds still hold the major league record with eught players homering in one game.

July 10, 2013: David Ortiz stroked a double against the Mariners for his 1,699th hit as a Designated Hitter. That broke the all-time record held by Harold Baines.

March 30, 2013: Rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. made headlines with a monster spring training, but it will be veterans like Justin Pedroia and David Ortiz—and newcomers Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino—who the club will depend on most. Fans hope that ace Jon Lester regains the form he had before a poor 2012 season.

October 3, 2012: The Red Sox finished fifth in the AL East after a long and difficult season. Injuries struck the lineup hard, and by the end of the summer three of their best players—Adrian Hernandez, Carl Crawford, and Kevin Youkilis—had been traded away. Boston will look to rebuild for 2013 around experienced stars like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jon Lester.

August 21, 2012: Eight days after Boston legend Johnny Pesky passed away, every player on the Red Sox took the field against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim wearing Pesky's old uniform number 6.

July 4, 2012: David "Big Papi" Ortiz socked the 400th homer of his career in a game against the Oakland A's. The last player to hit his 400th in a Boston uniform was Manny Ramirez in 2005.

April 20, 2012: Fenway Park turned 100 years old. The Green Monster has been part of the ballpark since it opened in 1912, but it was not painted green until 1947. Before that, the wall had been covered by advertising signs.

March, 2012: The Red Sox remade their bullpen over the winter. Jonathan Papelbon is now pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies. In his place are Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon. They saved a total of 44 games for the Oakland A's and Houston Astros in 2011.

Cy Young

Cy Young holds one of the many trophies he won during his career. Back then Boston actually had a Red Sock on its uniform. (Author's Collection)



Larry Gardner
The Red Sox had a lot of famous players in their early days, but when you read old newspaper articles about the team, Larry Gardner's name comes up again and again. Other teams really respected him as a hitter. (Recruit)



Babe Ruth

This is a great old picture of Babe Ruth taken when he was in his early 20s. Ever wonder what would have happened had the Red Sox not sent him to New York? (Author's Collection)



Bobby Doerr

This Bobby Doerr card is from 1950, when not very many people had TVs. It was made by Drake's, which still makes Yodels and Ring-Dings—you know, health food! (Hostess Brands)



Jackie Jensen

Americans were totally fascinated by Jackie Jensen. How many athletes end up on magazine covers with their wife and child in a swimming pool? (JTE Multimedia)



Pete Runnels
Pete Runnels supposedly gave a young teammate named Carl Yastrzemski some good tips on raising his batting average. Way to go, Pete! (Topps, Inc.)



Luis Tiant

Luis Tiant was supposed to be washed-up when he got to Boston. Tell that to the Cincinnati Reds—Tiant beat them twice in the 1975 World Series. (Topps, Inc.)



Dwight Evans
If I had a vote, I'd put Dwight Evans in the Hall of Fame. He was a lot better ballplayer than a lot of guys in there now. Plus I have his autograph, so it would be worth a lot more! (Author's Collection)



Nomar Garciaparra

My friends who are Red Sox fans loved Nomar Garciaparra as much as any player since Carl Yastrzemski. They used to call him "NO-mah." (Black Book Partner/John Klein)



Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury takes a hack during the 2007 World Series. Boston fans were disappointed when he didn't win the AL MVP Award in 2011. (Author's Collection)


Cy Young — Pitcher
Born: 3/29/1967
Died: 11/4/1955
Played for Team: 1901 to 1908
When Cy Young joined the team in 1901, it was one of the great triumphs for the new American League. Although the superstar pitcher was already in his mid-30s, Young led the AL in wins three years in a row threw 38 shutouts for Boston during his eight seasons.

Buck Freeman — Outfielder & First Baseman
Born: 10/30/1871
Died: 6/25/1949
Played for Team: 1901 to 1907
Buck Freeman was a small player with a big bat. He was the AL's top power hitter in its early years. Freeman led the league in triples, homers, RBIs, and total bases during his years in Boston and helped the club win two pennants.

Tris Speaker — Outfielder
Born: 4/4/1888
Died: 12/8/1958
Played for Team: 1907 to 1915
Many fans regarded Tris Speaker as the AL's best all-around player when he was with the Red Sox. More than a century later, historians still rank him among the Top 20 players in history.

Larry Gardner — Third Baseman
Born: 5/13/1886
Died: 3/11/1976
Played for Team: 1908 to 1917
Larry Gardner was a hard-hitting third baseman with great speed and a good glove. He got the winning hit in the 1912 World Series.

Joe Wood — Pitcher
Born: 10/25/1889
Died: 7/27/1985
Played for Team: 1908 to 1915
"Smokey Joe" Wood used his blazing fastball to pitch 10 shutouts and win 34 games in 1912. An arm injury the following year robbed him of his best pitch, but he was still one of the AL's best hurlers for many years. Wood gave up pitching after Boston traded him to the Cleveland Indians—and became one of the game's best right fielders!

Babe Ruth — Pitcher & Outfielder
Born: 2/6/1895
Died: 8/16/1948
Played for Team: 1914 to 1919
Before Babe Ruth was the AL's top slugger with the New York Yankees, he was the league's best left-handed pitcher with the Red Sox. Ruth went 89–46 with a 2.19 ERA for Boston. He gave up three runs in 31 innings in World Series play. In 1918 and 1919, the Red Sox let Ruth split time between the mound and the outfield. He led the AL in homers both years.

Lefty Grove — Pitcher
Born: 3/16/1900
Died: 5/22/1975
Played for Team: 1934 to 1941
Lefty Grove no longer had his overpowering fastball when he joined the Red Sox, but he still knew how to get batters out. Grove led the league in ERA four times with Boston despite pitching in one of baseball's smallest parks.

Bobby Doerr — Second Baseman
Born: 4/7/1918
Played for Team: 1937 to 1951
Bobby Doerr joined the Red Sox as a teenager and quickly became one of their most valuable players. He reached double-figures in doubles, triples and homers four different times and knocked in over 100 runs in six seasons. Doerr was an All-Star nine times for the Red Sox.

Mel Parnell — Pitcher
Born: 6/13/1922
Played for Team: 1947 to 1956
Mel Parnell was the team's best pitcher in the years after World War II and one of baseball's top left-handers. He won 25 games in 1949 and 21 in 1953. From 1948 to 1953, Parnell had 109 victories.

Vern Stephens — Shortstop
Born: 10/23/1920
Played for Team: 1948 to 1952
Vern Stephens loved hitting with runners on base. In his first three season with the Red Sox, he drove in 440 runs and led the AL in RBIs twice.

Jackie Jensen — Outfielder
Born: 3/9/1927
Died: 7/14/1982
Played for Team: 1954 to 1961
Jackie Jensen could have been a superstar in the NFL, but he chose a baseball career instead. He used his power and speed to become an All-Star. He led the league in RBIs three times with the Red Sox and was named AL MVP in 1958. Jensen quit baseball at age 34 because he was terrified of flying and could no longer make road trips with the team.

Pete Runnels — First Baseman & Second Baseman
Born: 1/28/1928
Died: 5/20/1991
Played for Team: 1958 to 1962
Pete Runnels won two batting championships during his five years with the Red Sox. He was a master at waiting for exactly the pitch he wanted and then slapping it through a hole in the defense.

Rico Petrocelli — Shortstop & Third Baseman
Born: 6/27/1943
Played for Team: 1963 to 1976
Rico Petrocelli was one of Boston's most beloved athletes. He was the AL's best power-hitting shortstop in the 1960s. He also led the league in fielding twice. Petrocelli set a record for shortstops when he hit 40 homers in 1969. After moving to third base, he became one of the top-fielding players at that position.

Tony Congliaro — Outfielder
Born: 1/7/1945
Died: 2/24/1990
Played for Team: 1964 to 1970 & 1975
After Tony Conigliaro led the AL in homers at the age of 30, many experts believed he would finish his career with 500 or more home runs. His career almost ended in 1967 when he was hit in the eye by a pitch. "Tony C" made a heroic comeback, but his eyesight never recovered and he retired at the age of 30.

Reggie Smith — Outfielder
Born: 4/2/1945
Played for Team: 1966 to 1973
Reggie Smith's quick bat and powerful throwing arm helped him become an All-Star for the Red Sox. He led the AL in doubles twice and had the most total bases in 1971.

Luis Tiant — Pitcher
Born: 11/23/1940
Played for Team: 1971 to 1978
The Red Sox took a chance on 31-year-old Luis Tiant after he hurt his arm. He rewarded them with 121 victories from 1972 to 1978. Tiant drove hitters crazy with his strange and unpredictable pitching style.

Dwight Evans — Outfielder
Born: 11/3/1951
Played for Team: 1972 to 1991
"Dewey" Evans played 19 years in Boston and retired as one of the team's greatest all-around players. He won eight Gold Gloves as a right fielder and was also a patient hitter. Evans retired with 379 home runs as a member of the Red Sox—fourth behind Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice.

Fred Lynn — Outfielder
Born: 2/3/1952
Played for Team: 1974 to 1980
After Fred Lynn was named Rookie of the Year and AL MVP in the same season, Boston fans believed that he would follow in the footsteps of Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. Lynn won a batting title and four Gold Gloves with the Red Sox, but his fearless play led to injuries that shortened his career.

Nomar Garciaparra — Shortstop
Born: 7/23/1973
Played for Team: 1996 to 2004
Like Fred Lynn, Nomar Garciaparra also battled injuries during his time in Boston. When he was healthy, he was spectacular. Garciaparra led the AL in hits in his first full season and won batting championships in 1999 and 2000.

Johnny Damon — Outfielder
Born: 11/5/1973
Played for Team: 2002 to 2005
Johnny Damon looked like a caveman but ran like a gazelle. He scored 461 runs in four seasons with the Red Sox and was the leader of Boston's remarkable 2004 championship team.

Kevin Youkilis — First Baseman & Third Baseman
Born: 3/15/1979
Played for Team: 2004 to 2012
Coaches often yell, "A walk is as good as a hit!" That old saying fit Kevin Youkilis perfectly. He became an All-Star with his ability to reach base.

Jon Lester — Pitcher
Born: 1/7/1984
Played for Team: 2006 to 2014
Jon Lester beat cancer as a rookie, so beating major-league opponents didn't seem that hard once he returned to the mound. Within a year after rejoining the Red Sox, he twirled a no-hitter and established himself as the league's top lefty. Entering 2012, Lester never had a losing season in the big leagues.

Jacoby Ellsbury — Outfielder
Born: 9/11/1983
Played for Team: 2007 to 2013
When the Red Sox scouted Jacoby Ellsbury in college, they believed he would combine speed and power like few other players in baseball. In 2011, he proved them right. Ellsbury smashed 32 homers and stole 39 bases and led the AL with 364 total bases.

Ted Williams
If you got in a car to buy this Ted Williams product, would that be considered a Line Drive? (Author's Collection)

When Nomar Garciaparra arrived in Boston, many fans wondered where he got his unusual name. Nomar is actually the backwards spelling of his father's name, Ramon.

Pete Runnels never got tired of collecting base hits. That is how he won two batting titles with the Red Sox. However, he nearly wore himself out in a 1960 doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Runnels went 6-for-7 in the first game, and then 3-for-4 in the second game. His 9 hits that day tied a big-league record.

When Jon Lester threw a no-hitter in 2008, catcher Jason Varitek was behind the plate. This was nothing new for the veteran catcher. He had already caught Red Sox no-hitters by Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, and Clay Buchholz. Varitek became the first player to catch four no-hitters in major league history.

Ted Williams was famous for his hitting on the baseball diamond and his flying during World War II and the Korean War. After he retired, however, Williams became just as famous for being a sports fisherman. He hosted his own television show and was inducted into the Fishing Hall of Fame in Florida.

Tony Conigliaro

I spent a week in Tony Conigliaro's hometown during the summer of 1970, when he was one of the hottest hitters in the AL. People there were going nuts. (Topps, Inc.)



Bill Mueller

I'm still not sure how Bill Mueller won the batting championship in 2003. I think he batted 8th or 9th in the lineup most of the year. (Topps, Inc.)



Ken Harrelson

Ken Harrelson signed this card—one of the few that shows him in a Red Sox uniform. He led the AL in RBIs in 1968 and finished third behind Denny McLain and Bill Freehan in the MVP voting. It was his only full season with the Red Sox. (Pacific Trading Cards)



Josh Beckett

This photo of Josh Beckett was obviously taken on one of his days off. He is normally a very intense competitor. (Black Book Partners)



Tex Hughson
Tex Hughson was the team's best pitcher during the 1940s. This picture is from a Cuban magazine. (Author's Collection)



Pedro Martinez
Some say Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher the Red Sox ever had. They may have a point. (Black Book Partners)

Home Runs
1903 — Buck Freeman — 13
1910 — Jake Stahl — 10
1912 — Tris Speaker — 10
1918 — Babe Ruth — 11
1919 — Babe Ruth — 29
1939 — Jimmie Foxx — 35
1941 — Ted Williams — 37
1942 — Ted Williams — 36
1947 — Ted Williams — 32
1949 — Ted Williams — 43
1965 — Tony Conigliaro — 32
1967 — Carl Yastrzemski — 44
1977 — Jim Rice — 39
1978 — Jim Rice — 46
1981 — Dwight Evans — 22*
1983 — Jim Rice — 39
1984 — Tony Armas — 43
2004 — Manny Ramirez — 43
2006 — David Ortiz — 54

* The 1981 season was shortened by a labor dispute.

Batting Average
1932 — Dale Alexander — .367*
1938 — Jimmie Foxx — .349
1941 — Ted Williams — .406
1942 — Ted Williams — .356
1947 — Ted Williams — .343
1948 — Ted Williams — .369
1950 — Billy Goodman — .354
1957 — Ted Williams — .388
1958 — Ted Williams — .328
1960 — Pete Runnels — .320
1952 — Pete Runnels — .326
1963 — Carl Yastrzemski — .321
1967 — Carl Yastrzemski — .326
1968 — Carl Yastrzemski — .301
1979 — Fred Lynn — .333
1981 — Carney Lansford — .336
1983 — Wade Boggs — .361
1985 — Wade Boggs — .368
1986 — Wade Boggs — .357
1987 — Wade Boggs — .363
1988 — Wade Boggs — .366
1999 — Nomar Garciaparra — .357
2000 — Nomar Garciaparra — .372
2002 — Manny Ramirez — .349
2003 — Bill Mueller — .326

* Dale Alexander also played with the Detroit Tigers in 1932.

Runs Batted In
1902 — Buck Freeman — 121
1903 — Buck Freeman — 104
1938 — Jimmie Foxx — 175
1939 — Ted Williams — 145
1942 — Ted Williams — 137
1947 — Ted Williams — 114
1949 — Ted Williams & Vern Stephens — 159
1950 — Walt Dropo & Vern Stephens — 144
1955 — Jackie Jensen — 116
1958 — Jackie Jensen — 122
1959 — Jackie Jensen — 112
1963 — Dick Stuart — 118
1967 — Carl Yastrzemski — 121
1968 — Ken Harrelson — 109
1978 — Jim Rice — 139
1983 — Jim Rice — 126
1984 — Tony Armas — 123
1995 — Mo Vaughn — 126
2005 — David Ortiz — 148
2006 — David Ortiz — 137
2016 — David Ortiz — 127* 

*Tied with another player

Stolen Bases
1928 — Buddy Myer — 30
1934 — Bill Werber — 40
1935 — Bill Werber — 29
1937 — Ben Chapman — 35
1950 — Dom DiMaggio — 15
1954 — Jackie Jensen — 22
1973 — Tommy Harper — 54
2008 — Jacoby Ellsbury — 50
2009 — Jacoby Ellsbury — 70
2013 — Jacoby Ellsbury — 52

* Ben Chapman also played with the Washington Senators in 1937.

1901 — Cy Young — 33
1902 — Cy Young — 32
1903 — Cy Young — 28
1912 — Joe Wood — 34
1935 — Wes Ferrell — 25
1942 — Tex Hughson — 22
1949 — Mel Parnell — 25
1955 — Frank Sullivan — 18
1967 — Jim Lonborg — 22
1986 — Roger Clemens — 24
1987 — Roger Clemens — 20
1999 — Pedro Martinez — 23
2004 — Curt Schilling — 21
2007 — Josh Beckett — 20
2016 — Rick Porcello — 22

1901 — Cy Young — 158
1942 — Tex Hughson — 113
1967 — Jim Lonborg — 246
1988 — Roger Clemens — 291
1991 — Roger Clemens — 241
1996 — Roger Clemens — 257
1999 — Pedro Martinez — 313
2000 — Pedro Martinez — 284
2001 — Hideo Nomo — 220
2002 — Pedro Martinez — 239
2017 — Chris Sale — 308

Earned Run Average
1901 — Cy Young — 1.62
1914 — Dutch Leonard — 0.96
1915 — Joe Wood — 1.49
1916 — Babe Ruth — 1.75
1935 — Lefty Grove — 2.70
1936 — Lefty Grove — 2.81
1938 — Lefty Grove — 3.08
1939 — Lefty Grove — 2.54
1972 — Luis Tiant — 1.91
1986 — Roger Clemens — 2.48
1990 — Roger Clemens — 1.93
1991 — Roger Clemens — 2.62
1992 — Roger Clemens — 2.41
1994 — Roger Clemens — 2.85
1999 — Pedro Martinez — 2.07
2000 — Pedro Martinez — 1.74
2002 — Pedro Martinez — 2.26
2003 — Pedro Martinez — 2.22

1967 World Series Program
This program was sold at Fenway Park during the 1967 World Series. (Author's Collection)
1903 Pittsburgh Pirates Won 5–3
1912 New York Giants Won 4–3
1915 Philadelphia Phillies Won 4–1
1916 Brooklyn Robins Won 4–1
1918 Chicago Cubs Won 4–2
1946 St. Louis Cardinals Lost 4–3
1967 St. Louis Cardinals Lost 4–3
1975 Cincinnati Reds Lost Lost 4–3
1986 New York Mets Lost 4–3
2004 St. Louis Cardinals Won 4–0
2007 Colorado Rockies Won 4–0
2013 St. Louis Cardinals Won 4–2


*The 1903 World Series was a best-of-9 format.

© 2012-17 by Norwood House Press. Team Spirit® is a registered trademark of Norwood House Press.