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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 - Xander Bogaerts

    Born: 1 October 1992 in Oranjestad, Aruba
    College: None
    Signed in 2009 by the Boston Red Sox

    Fun Fact: At age 19, Bogaerts played for the Netherlands national baseball team at the 2011 Baseball World Cup. His team defeated Cuba 2-1 in the final game, the first tournament champion from Europe since 1938. ...more on Xander Bogaerts.

    Other Red Sox players: Koji Uehara, Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz

    Red Sox Legend - Jim Rice

    Years with Boston: 1974-1989
    Position: Left Field

    Fun Fact: During his 1978 MVP campagin, he collected an amazing 406 total bases, the first to have 400 or more total bases in a single season since Hank Aaron in 1959 and a feat that's been matched since only six times. ...more on Jim Rice.

    Other Red Sox legends: Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Lefty Grove

    This Week in Red Sox History

    25 May 1901 - Ted Lewis throws a complete game shut out, the first in franchise history, as Boston wins 5-0 at Huntington Avenue Grounds in a snowstorm.

    25 May 1965 - Backstop Gerry Moses, at the age of 18 years and 289 days, collects his first major league hit, a home run, to become the youngest Boston player to hit a round-tripper, while Boston is pounded by the Twins, 17-5.

    25 May 1981 - Carl Yastrzemski plays in his 3,000th career game, all coming with Boston, and scores the winning run in an 8-7 win over Cleveland at Fenway Park.

    25 May 1984 - Boston acquires Bill Buckner in a trade that sends Mike Brumley and future Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley to the Chicago Cubs.

    26 May 2010 - Third baseman Adrian Beltre goes 4-for-5 with a triple, two home runs, and 6 RBI in an 11-3 Red Sox win over the Rays in Tampa Bay.

    26 May 2011 - Carl Crawford collects four hits for a second consecutive game in as the Red Sox thump the Tigers 14-1 in a game shortened to 7-1/2 innings due to rain.

    26 May 2012 - Pinch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia hits a one-out, two-run home run into the Red Sox bullpen at Fenway Park for a walk-off 3-2 win over the Rays.

    26 May 2014 - With a come-from-behind 8-6 win over the Braves in Atlanta, the Red Sox end a 10-game losing streak, the longest such stretch since losing 11 straight in 1994. The slide also included six losses to the Tigers and Blue Jays at Fenway Park, only the second time in team history that Boston had been winless in a homestand of at least six games.

    27 May 2006 - Curt Schilling and the Red Sox beat the Devil Rays, 6-4, making the right-handed hurler the 104th player to amass 200 victories.

    28 May 2000 - In a duel between two great pitchers, Pedro Martinez out-duels Roger Clemens 2-0 as both pitchers go the distance at Yankee Stadium. Trot Nixon accounts for the only runs with a ninth inning, two-out, two-run home run with Jeff Fyre at first.

    28 May 2010 - Infielder Bill Hall pitches a 1-2-3 ninth for the Red Sox in a 12-5 loss against the Royals at Fenway Park. Five pitchers before Hall combine to allow 20 hits in the game for Kansas City.

    29 May 1984 - The first two uniforms ever retired by the Red Sox are for former players Ted Williams (9) and Joe Cronin (4) during pre-game ceremonies in a contest eventually called off due to rain.

    30 May 1913 - Harry Hooper leads off both ends of a doubleheader with home runs; though Boston loses the opener 4-3, the home run is the difference in a 1-0 win in the second contest.

    30 May 1921 - Stuffy McInnis makes his only error of the season in 1549 chances at first base; he will finish the season with a .9993 fielding percentage, an American League record.

    30 May 1938 - Boston's Joe Cronin and New York's Jake Powell fight in the middle of the diamond after the Yankees outfielder is hit by a pitch thrown by Red Sox pitcher Archie McKain in the second game of a doubleheader. The fight lasts two to three minutes and both players are ejected, but the fight continues underneath the stands at Yankee Stadium. Both players are eventually separated by Yankee players, fined, and suspended ten days by the league.

    30 May 1941 - With the bases juiced, the Red Sox execute a triple steal with Skeeter Newsome swiping home, Frank Pytlak taking third, and Mickey Harris taking second.

    30 May 2013 - Jacoby Ellsbury sets a franchise record with five steals in a 9-2 Red Sox win over the Phillies in Philadelphia. Ellsbury reaches bases five times in six plate appearances and steals two bases after getting hit by a pitch in the sixth.

    31 May 1970 - Boston and Chicago score 35 runs in a 22-13 win for the White Sox, the second-highest-scoring game in American League history.

    31 May 2008 - Manny Ramirez hits the 500th home run of his career of Orioles pitcher Chad Bradford as Boston best Baltimore 6-3 at Camden Yards. Ramirez becomes the third player to hit number 500 with the Red Sox after Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams.

    Fenway Park Feature - Monster Seats

    Fun Fact: The first player to hit a home run into the Monster Seats was former outfielder Manny Ramirez, who hit a solo shot on an 0-2 count off Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Steve Parris on 16 April 2003. ...more on the Monster Seats.

    Other Fenway Park features: Retired Numbers, Pesky Pole, The Lone Red Seat