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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 - Mike Napoli

    Born: 31 October 1981 in Hollywood, FL
    College: None
    Drafted in 2000 by the Anaheim Angels

    Fun Fact: Napoli made his Major League Baseball debut on 04 May 2006 against the Detroit Tigers in Comerica Park and, in his first at-bat, connected off starting pitcher Justin Verlander for home run. He later proved to be a thorn in the side of the Red Sox; his split was .288/.379/.696 with 15 career home runs and a tOPS+ of 145 against Boston despite playing in the AL West division before signing here prior to the 2013 season. ...more on Mike Napoli.

    Other Red Sox players: Shane Victorino, Junichi Tazawa, Xander Bogaerts

    Red Sox Legend - Tony Conigliaro

    Years with Boston: 1964-1970, 1975
    Position: Right Field

    Fun Fact: In just his second big-league season (1965), Conigliaro won the home run crown for the American League with 32 long balls. He later became the youngest player to reach the 100 home run mark in 1967. ...more on Tony Conigliaro.

    Other Red Sox legends: Carlton Fisk, Cy Young, Harry Hooper

    This Week in Red Sox History

    29 June 1950 - Boston and Philadelphia scored a combined 36 runs, a major league record for most runs scored by both teams in one game, as the Red Sox win 22-14.

    29 June 2012 - Red Sox pitcher Aaron Cook needs just 81 pitches to toss a complete game shut out as the Red Sox blank the Mariners 5-0 in Seattle. Cook yields just two hits and faces only 28 batters.

    30 June 1908 - Cy Young throws his third career no-hitter, his second with Boston, as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 8-0 in New York.

    30 June 1950 - Red Sox outfielder Dom DiMaggio hits a home run in the same game as his brother, Yankees outfielder Joe, as the Boston wins 10-2 over New York in the second game of a doubleheader.

    30 June 1994 - By beating New York 6-5 at Fenway Park, Boston ends a 12-game losing streak at home, the club's longest such streak in 68 years.

    30 June 2013 - Pinch-runner Jonathan Diaz, who made his major league debut yesterday, races home with the winning run when Josh Thole boots Shane Victorino's routine ground ball to first in the bottom of the ninth as the Red Sox walk off with a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

    1 July 1903 - Cy Young wins 1-0 in his third consecutive start, the only time in major league history a pitcher has won three straight decisions by a score of 1-0. Young helps his own cause by driving home the winning run in the tenth on a double.

    1 July 2009 - After relinquishing a nine-run lead to the Orioles the night before in an 11-10 loss, the Red Sox score four runs in the ninth to erase a 5-1 deficit and win 6-5 in 11 innings thanks to Julio Lugo's RBI single. Closer Jonathan Papelbon, who failed to set the franchise mark for career saves the previous night, pitches a perfect frame to give him 133 career saves, all with Boston.

    2 July 2006 - With a 4-3 victory over the Marlins in Miami, the Red Sox finish interleague play at 16-2, tying the franchise with the 2002 Oakland Athletics and the 2006 Minnesota Twins for most victories in interleague history going back to its debut in 1997. In addition, Boston had record 12 straight wins over the National League between 16 and 29 June.

    3 July 1913 - Though the Red Sox manage 15 hits off Walter Johnson, Boston loses 1-0 in 15 innings at Fenway Park. The total matches the highest number of hits collected by a team in a shutout loss in major league history.

    3 July 1943 - Leon Culberson hits for the cycle in Cleveland as the Red Sox defeat the Indians 12-4.

    3 July 2013 - Pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes leads off the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park with a home run into the Monster Seats to give the Red Sox a 2-1 win over the Padres. It is his second walk-off home run in the past three weeks.

    4 July 1927 - Another extended losing streak sees Boston lose 10-2 to Philadelphia at Fenway Park in the first game of a doubleheader, marking their 15th straight loss. The streak ends with a 11-3 win in the second contest.

    4 July 1948 - The fireworks fly at Fenway Park as Boston explodes for 14 runs in the seventh inning to beat Philadelphia 20-8.

    4 July 1977 - Boston sets a team record for most home runs hit in a single game with eight against the expansion Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

    4 July 1983 - Yankees pitcher Dave Righetti throws a no-hitter against the Red Sox in New York as the home team wins, 4-0.

    4 July 2012 - David Ortiz launches career home run number 400, but the Red Sox lose 3-2 to the Athletics in Oakland. He becomes just the 49th player in baseball history to hit at least 400 home runs.

    5 July 1970 - John Kennedy, making his debut with Boston, hits a pinch-hit, inside-the-park home run at Fenway Park as the Red Sox go on to beat the Indians, 8-4.

    5 July 2002 - Red Sox legend Ted Williams passes away at the age of 83 in Inverness, Florida.

    5 July 2005 - Manny Ramirez hits the 20th grand slam of his career in a 7-4 Boston win, putting him second behind Lou Gehrig on the career list.

    Fenway Park Feature - Center Field Triangle

    Fun Fact: At 420 feet, dead center field at Fenway Park is one of the deepest parts of any ball park in Major League Baseball. Only four other parks boast a center field dimension as deep or deeper. ...more on the Center Field Triangle.

    Other Fenway Park features: CITGO Sign, Fisk Pole, Green Monster