From Ohio to Boston
The Boston Red Sox is one of the most famous teams in American baseball. Like most baseball teams in the US, they participate in the Major Baseball League, and the East Division of the American League. They have appeared twelve times in the World Series and have won eight championships, including the first-ever World Series crown. They also have had their share of victories as well as heartbreaking losses.
The Boston Red Sox actually evolved from a minor franchise in Toledo, Ohio in 1893. When the Western League changed its name into American League in 1900 or 1901, the Ohio team moved to Boston. In 1903, the Boston Red Sox, first known as the Boston Americans, won the first-ever World Series.
Cy Young – one of the earliest baseball legends
Cy Young, one of baseball’s greatest pitchers, played for Boston from 1901 to 1908. Also in 1901, Young won the pitching Triple Crown with 33 victories, 1.62 earned run average, and 158 strikeouts.
Winning the first-ever World Series Championship
In 1903, the Boston Americans qualified for the World Series’ first-ever championship tussle. They were the underdogs, while their rival the Pittsburgh Pirates were heavily favored to win. But the Americans overcame the odds and went on to win the first World Series crown. In 1907, the team changed their name into Boston Red Sox.
The sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees
From 1913 to 1916 the team was owned by entrepreneur Joseph Lannin, who signed the would-be legend Babe Ruth in 1914. Babe Ruth stayed with the Red Sox for four years until a historic trade between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees sealed the two teams’ fate. New team owner Harry Frazee was suffering his own financial difficulties at the time, so he decided to sell Ruth to the New York Yankees. But it was also Frazee who was responsible in sinking the Red Sox in this infamous transaction.
When Babe Ruth moved to the Yankees in 1918, he went on to make his mark as one of the best players in baseball history. The Red Sox, meanwhile, is said to have declined since losing Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Many fans refer to it as “The Curse of the Bambino” (as Babe Ruth is sometimes affectionately called “The Great Bambino”), which refers to the team’s inability to win the World Series from 1918 to 2004. However, the real reason for the decline of the team’s playing had been their sub-par pitching and a case of bad luck.
But since the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees, it came to be seen as the start of the famed Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, which was considered by many sports journalists and insiders as the “Greatest Rivalry on Earth.”
The misfortune continues
But the misfortunes didn’t end there. Frazee let all the other solid players such as Herb Pencock (who is a Hall of Fame pitcher), Joe Dugan, Everett Scott, George Pipgras, “Bullet” Joe Bush and Sam Jones – go. All of these players had been released without giving them appropriate compensation.
However, perhaps the most disastrous loss the team has ever experienced was losing their general manager Ed Barrow, who was one of the best managers during their era. When the team allowed the Yankees to hire Barrow, they later blamed themselves for their two decades of second division slump while Barrow went on to build the Yankees to their winning form.
A major turnaround for the Red Sox
In 1933, businessman Thomas Yawkey purchased the Red Sox out of the gutter and used his every possible resource to turn the team around. First, he recruited gritty veterans such as Jimmy Foxx and Joe Cronin. In the 1940s, he hired home-grown talents like Bobby Doer, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio (brother of baseball legend Joe), and a neophyte outfielder named Ted Williams who was picked out of the minor league. Williams played as the left fielder for the Red Sox and turned out to be one of baseball’s greatest figures. His amazing natural hitting prowess eventually earned him the title “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived.” Williams played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1942 and 1946 to 1960.
With its impressive roster of sluggers, the Red Sox became one of the strongest teams of the 1940s. With the exit of Williams in 1960, Carl Yastrzemski took the former’s place in slugging. A new generation of heavy hitters figured in the Red Sox lineup during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s such as George Scott, Jim Rice and Dwight Evans.
But even so, the Red Sox still couldn’t shake off the “Curse of the Bambino,” having suffered near-victories that were heartbreaking not only for the team but also for their loyal followers as well. Aside from failing to win the World Series, they also experienced a series of frustrations at the American League. They came very close to winning but in the end suffered agonizing losses — especially when they arrived at a series tie. They lost to the Cleveland Indians and bitter rivals the New York Yankees many times.
The Red Sox breaks the “Bambino Curse”
Finally, in 2004 the Red Sox finally broke their supposed “Curse of the Bambino” by winning the World Series. Thanks to the leadership of ace pitcher Curt Schilling and sluggers David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, The Red Sox clinched their eleventh pennant overall against the heavily-favored St. Louis Cardinals.
In 2007, the Red Sox made their return again to World Series, defeating the Colorado Rockies. That same year they also won another American League pennant against the Cleveland Indians, four games to three, in Fenway Park.
2013 also became a splendid year for the Boston Red Sox, winning again both the World Series and the American League against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers, respectively. It seems that the “Bambino Curse” is now buried for good.