The are one of the marquee franchises in all of professional sports. At this writing they have sold out a record 550 consecutive games! Meanwhile, they have won two World Championships in the past six years. According to Forbes magazine the franchise is currently valued at a nifty $833 million. And while other professional sports teams struggle during the current economic crisis the Boston Red Sox, like Ol' Man River, just keep on rolling along! But as Red Sox fans know all too well it wasn't always this way.
When I was about 4 or 5 years old my parents took me next door to visit an elderly neighbor. At the time George Bailey was in his 60's. He put me on his knee and explained to me all about the RedSox. It's funny the things you remember from your childhood. That day I learned that the Red Sox would break my heart year after year. According to George the Red Sox were a "country club" that coddled it's stars and they really were not that serious about winning. I guess he was right because at this point in the mid 1950's the Red Sox had not won a World Series in nearly 40 years. It may be hard to believe but during the 1950's and early 60's the Sox often drew only 8,000 people per game. Total attendance for the season during this period was often around 700,000!
Things began to turn around though in 1967 with a young, exciting team managed by Dick Williams. It truly was "The Impossible Dream" as the Red Sox rose out the ashes to win the American League pennant for the first time in 21 seasons. And although the Sox lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals it was this season more than any other that rekindled the passion for baseball in Boston. The Sox would win the pennant again in 1975 and 1986 but in each case our hearts were broken in a seven game series. The ball that went through Bill Buckner's legs in Game 6 of the '86 series would haunt Sox fans for nearly another two decades. Many Sox fans my age worried that like their fathers before them, they would not live to see a World Championship in their lifetime.
In 2003, a new ownership team came to town led by John Henry, Larry Lucchino and Tom Werner. Unlike the previous regime these guys were committed to winning baseball. They hired a brilliant young General Manager named Theo Epstein. The goal was simple: Bring a World Championship to Boston! They just missed going to the World Series in 2003. But in 2004 they brought in Terry Francona to manage the ballclub and the veteran Curt Shilling to join ace pitcher Pedro Martinez at the top of the rotation. Now all the pieces seemed to be in place. The Sox managed to make the playoffs as the "wild card" team that year. In the American League championship series the Sox lost the first 3 games of a best-of-seven series and Sox fans prepared to have their hearts broken once again. But this was a different sort of Red Sox team. They were talented and brash and unafraid. They did the impossible. They won the next four games from the Yankees and found themselves back in the World Series for the first time in 18 years.
Through the genorosity of one my best friends my wife and I managed to get tickets to Game 1 of the 2004 World Series at Fenway Park against the Cardinals. We had a blast! It was one of the biggest thrills of my life! The Sox won that game and went on to sweep the Cardinals 4 games to none. The drought was finally over! Red Sox Nation rejoiced and all those years of frustation melted away overnight. Three years later the Sox did it again! How sweet it is!
Looking ahead the the future the Boston Red Sox appear to be poised for a long run of success. They have a boatload of young talent including Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester and remain one of the best managed franchises in professional sports. And the addition of JohnLackey makes the Red Sox rotation one of the most formidable in all of MLB. When the new ownership team came to town in 2003 there was lots of talk about a new stadium. But this never materialized. While I appreciate all of the improvements that have been made to Fenway Park I am very disappointed that there does not seem to be a new stadium on the horizon anytime soon. The fact of the matter is that Fenway Park is still cramped, parking remains extremely difficult and expensive and it is almost impossible to get tickets to a game. Having said that I am still very proud to be a fan of the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are a major part of the fabric of Boston and all of New England. The fans here are knowledgable and passionate. I cannot imagine what life would be like without them. Very highly recommended!
As a Yankees fan, you had to know I wasn't planning to come into a review of the Boston Red Sox expecting to write a slew of wonderful things about the team. But as a reviewer, I'm obligated to be as objective as I possibly can. I'm very familiar with the history of what sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy refers to as the Olde Town Team, and I'm afraid that I have very little reason to be endeared to the Boston Red Sox even from the most objective viewpoint. I … more
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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The arrival of spring awakens the citizens of Red Sox Nation and the annual quest for a World Series victory by the local nine. They began in 1901 as the Boston Americans of the newly formed American League. They won the first ever World Series in 1903 over the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1908 they changed their name to the Red Sox. In 1912 they moved into brand new Fenway Park, where they still play today.
In 1918, the Red Sox won their fifth World Series, thanks in part to a star lefty pitcher named Babe Ruth, who could also hit the 'you know what' out of the ball. Following the 1919 season, Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the New York Yankees. For the next 86 years despite the enduring loyalty by Red Sox Nation the team suffered a variety of gut wrenching disappointments and no World Series victories.
After the Babe's exile to New York, thirteen futile years followed including nine last place campaigns. A resurgence began in 1933 when millionaire Tom Yawkee purchased the team, remodeled Fenway Park, and spent money for big name players. Through the 1940's and 50's, the team continually competed for the pennant but they were foiled several times, often by the Yankees. In 1946 they won their first pennant since 1918 but were beaten by the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
They went through another bleak period from the late fifties until the "Impossible Dream" team of 1967; led by Carl Yastrzemski's incredible Triple Crown season. ...