Boston Red Sox History: Origins
The league is often called the Junior Circuit because it was elevated to Major League status in 1901, 25 years after the formation of the National League (the "Senior Circuit").
Through the 2009 season, the Yankees have won the most American League pennants (40), followed by the Athletics (15), Red Sox (12), and Tigers (10). Likewise, the Yankees have also won the most World Series (27), with the Athletics second with nine, the Red Sox third with seven and the Tigers fourth with four.*
Neil Diamond Opening Day Fenway 2010
The storied franchise was founded in 1901 as one of the original 8 American League teams.
Prior to 1908 the team was named the Red Stockings named by owner John Taylor. As one might guess the name referred to the Red Hose worn by the players after the 1907 season.
Red Sox roots go back all the way to 1867 with the Cincinnati Red Stockings who were then a member of the National Association of Base ball Players.
When the team folded post 1870, manager Harry Wright was hired to form a new team in Boston.
He brought with him 3 players from the Cincy squad along with the team nickname of Red Stockings. The successful franchise, were winners of 4 of 5 seasons of the First Professional League, the National Association.
They later became known as the Boston Braves, until the team moved to Milwaukee then finally Atlanta.
Fast forward to 1901; enter the upstart American League. The original 8 consisted of
For 7 seasons the Boston Americans had bandied numerous nicknames in an attempt to distinguish them from the National League Boston counterparts.
The "Bosox", whom actually wore blue stockings auditioned nicknames such as the Bostonians, Somersets, Beaneaters, Plymouth Rocks & Pilgrims to name but a few.
“The Pilgrims At Home” written by Edwin Fitzwilliam was sung at the 1907 home opener (“Rory O’More” melody). John I. Taylor had said in December 1907 that the Pilgrims “sounded too much like homeless wanderers”. *
Finally, at the end of the 1907 season, the National League Boston rivals changed to an all white uniform. They became the Braves thus providing the AL team the opportunity to adopt the RED SOX logo across the front of their shirt uniform.
The Sox played their home games at the Huntington Avenue Grounds led by their Manager/Third Baseman star Jimmy Collins and Icon CY Young.
In 1903 they won their first pennant and beat the favorite Pittsburgh Pirates comprising the First Modern day World Series, 5 games to 3.
The Sox followed with another pennant victory in ’04.
In the 1904 pennant race between the Sox and the surprise contenders, New York Highlanders, the NY Giants decided their city rivals were of a Minor league quality opponent and refused to play in a World Series.
As it turned out, the Sox won on a wild pitch winning the pennant at Hilltop Park on the last day of the season. The Giants maintained their refusal to participate thereby concluding the season without a World Series.
Fenway Park opened in 1912 and is currently the oldest venue used in professional sports today.
1913 to 1916: Sox owner J. Lannin era
These successful times soon ended, however, as Bostonlost 100 games in 1906. However, several new star players helped the newly renamed Red Sox improve almost immediately.
By 1909, legendary center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, and the team worked their way to third place. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season.
The Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4–3–1 in the classic 1912 World Series
Part 2 of the series on the history of the Boston Red Sox: The Ruthian Era, now available for your enjoyment.
Red Sox History 1914 - 1960
- Boston Red Sox History: The Ruthian Era
Babe Ruth through Ted Williams