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David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez

2015 Red Sox Opening Day Roster Set

From worst to first to worst… to first?

The Boston Red Sox, a season removed from a world championship, are set to open the 2015 regular reason today in Philadelphia against the Phillies, the first time in team history that Boston will open against a National League opponent. The Red Sox, who followed the 2013 championship season with a last place finish in the American League East, the second such finish in three seasons, will be managed for a third year by John Farrell. Boston will play an additional road series in New York against the Yankees before opening Fenway Park next Monday versus the Washington Nationals.

Many familiar faces return from last season, including designated hitter David Ortiz, who will start the opener at Citizens Bank Park as the first baseman, first baseman Mike Napoli, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, outfielder Shane Victorino, and starting pitcher Clay Buchholz. Another familiar face who returns as a starter this season is outfielder Mookie Betts, who will likely play his first full season at the major league level and has already drawn interest as a dark horse MVP candidate.

Some of the new faces are already familiar to fans of the Boston nine. Outfielder Hanley Ramirez, who came up through the Red Sox farm system as a shortstop and appeared in two games with Boston before being part of a trade in November 2005 for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, returns to the fold, as does starting pitcher Justin Masterson, who appeared in 67 games for Boston in 2008 and 2009. Other new players include third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who played for seven seasons in San Francisco and won three World Series with the Giants, including last season, and pitcher Rick Porcello, who came as part of a trade with Detroit for Yoenis Cespedes.

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    Featured Player - Clay Buchholz

    Born: 14 August 1984 in Nederland, TX
    College: McNeese State University (Lake Charles, LA)
    Drafted in 2003 by the Boston Red Sox

    Fun Fact: In the course of throwing a no-hitter in just his second major league start, Buchholz threw 115 pitches. Having not thrown more than 98 pitches in any previous appearances that year at any level, GM Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona confirmed after the game that, had he reached the 120 pitch mark, Buchholz would have been pulled in favor of a reliever. ...more on Clay Buchholz.

    Other Red Sox players: David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino

    Red Sox Legend - Tim Wakefield

    Years with Boston: 1995-2011
    Position: Pitcher

    Fun Fact: Known for his knuckleball pitcher, which usually fell between 64 and 68 miles per hour, Wakefield is second all-time in franchise history in wins (186) and strikeouts (2046) and first in games started (430) and innings pitched (3006.0). ...more on Tim Wakefield.

    Other Red Sox legends: Babe Ruth, Bobby Doerr, Carl Yastrzemski

    This Week in Red Sox History

    20 April 1912 - With 27,000 in attendance, Boston christen the new Fenway Park with a 7-6, 11-inning win over New York.

    20 April 1939 - Rookie Ted Williams makes his major league debut in a 2-0 loss to the Yankees in New York, going 1-for-4 with a double off Red Ruffing and striking out in his first at-bat.

    20 April 2010 - Journeyman Darnell McDonald makes his Boston debut with a pinch-hit two-run home run in the eighth to tie the score, then singles home the game-winning RBI in the ninth as the Red Sox beat the Rangers 7-6 at Fenway Park.

    20 April 2012 - The Red Sox mark exactly 100 years to the day that the team played its first game at Fenway Park against the same opponent, the Yankees (then known as the Highlanders). Unfortunately for the home team, the visitors best them 6-2 as Clay Buchholz yields five solo home runs.

    20 April 2013 - In the first game at Fenway Park since the Boston Marathon bombing, Daniel Nava hits a three-run home run in the eighth inning and the Red Sox win 4-3 over the Royals. In pregame ceremonies, David Ortiz, who had missed the first two weeks of the season due to injury, amps up the crowd by stating: "This is our f**king city, and no one is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong!"

    21 April 1910 - In the eighth inning of a 10-3 win, catcher Bill Carrigan and pitcher Ed Karger hit back-to-back home runs, the only instance between 1902 and 1923 that Red Sox batters hit consecutive home runs.

    21 April 1967 - Besting New York for the second time in eight days, Billy Rohr allows just a single run while throwing a complete game in just the second start of his career as the Red Sox win 6-1 at Fenway Park.

    21 April 2012 - Saddled with a nine-run deficit after the first five innings, the Yankees score 15 unanswered runs over three of the last four innings to win 15-9 over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

    22 April 1993 - Pitcher Chris Bosio of Seattle no-hits Boston and wins 7-0; the only Red Sox base runners are Ernest Riles and Carlos Quintana, who lead off the game with back-to-back walks.

    22 April 2007 - Manny Ramirez, J. D. Drew, Mike Lowell, and Jason Varitek hit four consecutive home runs in the third inning, the first time in Red Sox history this feat has occurred. All four home runs were off of 10 pitches from Yankees rookie Chase Wright, making just his second major league start. Boston eventually wins 7-6.

    23 April 1939 - Ted Williams hits his first career home run in the first inning of a 12-8 loss to the Athletics at Fenway Park off Philadelphia's Bud Thomas.

    23 April 2014 - Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda is tossed in the second inning of a 5-1 win for the Red Sox at Fenway Park after umpires discover pine tar on his neck. In Pineda's previous start against the Sox on 10 April, television cameras caught the New York starter with what appeared to be sticky pine tar on his hand, but Pineda had removed it before Boston manager John Farrell could alert umpires.

    24 April 2009 - Boston left fielder Jason Bay ties the game with a two-out, two-run ninth inning home run off New York closer Mariano Rivera and first baseman Kevin Youkilis hits a solo shot in the eleventh to give the Red Sox a 5-4 win over the Yankees at Fenway Park in the first meeting of the season between the rival clubs.

    24 April 2011 - The Red Sox sweep a four-game series against the Angels in Anaheim for the first time in 31 years with a 7-0 win.

    24 April 2014 - David Ortiz sets a new high water mark for designated hitters with his career 1644th appearance as a DH. Unfortunately, the Red Sox defense commits five errors, the most in a single game since 2001, while Boston pitchers combine for 12 walks, three wild pitches, and a passed ball in a 14-5 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park.

    25 April 1945 - Despite having failed to get elected on six previous writers ballots, a committee created to select some old-time ballplayers select, among others, former Sox player-manager Jimmy Collins.

    26 April 1912 - First baseman Hugh Bradley hits a pitch over Fenway Park's left field wall for Boston, the first player ever to hit a home run at the new ballpark. It was the second of two career round-trippers for Bradley.

    26 April 1982 - Future Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs collects his first major league hit in a 3-2 win for the Red Sox over the White Sox in Chicago.

    Fenway Park Feature - Manual Scoreboard

    Fun Fact: Look closely at the scoreboard where the American League scores are posted and you will see Morse code, which are the initials of former owners Thomas A. Yawkey and his wife, Jean R. Yawkey. ...more on the Manual Scoreboard.

    Other Fenway Park features: Center Field Triangle, CITGO Sign, Fisk Pole