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Closing The Books On 2014

The 2014 Red Sox baseball season was one of disappointment as Boston was unable to repeat as World Series champions and finished last in the American League East for the second time in three seasons. Even so, as this year draws to a close, we look forward as always to another season of baseball, hopefully ending as it did in 2013 with another World Series title for the local nine.

Some dates to mark down on your calendar:

12 February: Truck Day
20 February: Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers
25 February: All players report to Fort Myers
05 March: First official spring training game (versus Minnesota)
06 March: First spring training game at JetBlue Park (versus Miami)
06 April: Opening Day versus Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park
10 April: First game versus New York at Yankee Stadium
13 April: Opening Day at Fenway Park (versus Washington)
01 May: First game versus New York at Fenway Park

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    Featured Player - Junichi Tazawa

    Born: 6 June 1986 in Yokohama, Japan
    College: None
    Signed in 2008 by the Boston Red Sox

    Fun Fact: With his debut on 7 August 2009, Tazawa became the third Japanese player, after Mac Suzuki and Kazuhito Tadano, to play in Major League Baseball without first playing professionally in Japan. ...more on Junichi Tazawa.

    Other Red Sox players: Xander Bogaerts, Koji Uehara, Dustin Pedroia

    Red Sox Legend - Bill Lee

    Years with Boston: 1969-1978
    Position: Pitcher

    Fun Fact: Considered an arm pitcher, his bag of slow deliberate pitches included a bloop curve referred to by Sports Illustrated as his Leephus pitch, in reference to the Eephus pitch made famous by former Pittsburgh Pirates staffer Rip Sewell. ...more on Bill Lee.

    Other Red Sox legends: Mo Vaughn, Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek

    This Week in Red Sox History

    23 March 2005 - Red Sox ownership announces that the team will remain in Fenway Park for the immediate future, ending any speculation of the team building a new ballpark in Boston. The only request made by the team is for the city to consider improvements to the surrounding neighborhood as the club promises to continue to upgrade the park to meet modern standards.

    26 March 1977 - Rico Petrocelli is released by the Red Sox after thirteen seasons with the club.

    26 March 2008 - Boston opens the regular season at the Tokyo Dome in Japan with a 6-5 win over Oakland. Hideki Okajima earns the win in relief while rookie Brandon Moss sends the game to extra frames with a two-out, ninth-inning home run.

    28 March 1907 - Player-manager Chick Stahl commits suicide in West Baden, Indiana, the morning before Boston is scheduled to play an exhibition game.

    28 March 1917 - The Red Sox wear uniform numbers in an exhibition contest against Brooklyn in Memphis, TN; however, it would not be until 1931 that Boston players would wear numbers on a regular basis.

    28 March 1986 - The Yankees and Red Sox trade designated hitters as Mike Easler goes to New York in exchange for Don Baylor. Baylor bats .238 in 1986 for the pennant-winners, hitting 31 home runs and knocking home 94 runs while leading the league for the third straight season with 35 hit-by-pitches.

    29 March 1948 - Boston and New York play a 17-inning exhibition game that end in a 2-2 tie. Thirty-four Red Sox and Yankees players participate in the contest, which takes a crisp two hours and two minutes to play.

    29 March 2008 - The Red Sox and Dodgers play an exhibition contest at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of 115,300 baseball fans, the largest crowd ever to witness a baseball game. Boston wins 3-1 in a celebration of the Dodger's move west from Brooklyn 50 years ago.

    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