In 1901, the only baseball organization that had sustained success in the United States was the National League. Founded in 1876, one of its charter franchises was the Boston Red Stockings from the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, or simply the National Association, which had won four of the league’s five championships. Other leagues, including the American Association and the Player’s League, had attempted to mirror the success but failed to break the monopoly held by the NL. Then Ban Johnson, the owner of a small but successful minor league system from the Midwest, decided to directly compete with the National League and turned his circuit into a major league unit. Originally, one of the eight charter franchises was supposed to be in Buffalo, where the minor league Bisons were already established, but league ownership at the last minute voted in favor of Boston over Buffalo in part to directly compete with its NL counterparts. The rest… is history.
Red Sox Legend - Bill Lee
Years with Boston: 1969-1978
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.
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.