Or as I like to refer to them – my AL team.
Understandably an odd choice, but I went to school in Boston, and before they started playing in Fenway in 1912, the BoSox played on what is now the campus of my alma mater, Northeastern University. Also, I spent a few years working at a bar just across Lansdowne Street from the Green Monster itself. Now if a lot of that is gibberish, let me try to flesh it all out a little better with a selective history (or else we’d need a few days to cover this…)
The Boston Red Sox started their first season back in 1901 as the Boston Americans, and played at Huntington Avenue Grounds through 1912. It was here that the very first World Series was held in 1903, with the very first pitch thrown out by the famed Cy Young, and commemorated by a statue on Northeastern’s campus (see pic on the left.) It wasn’t until 1908, when they added in some nifty red stockings to their uniforms, that the Americans became became the Red Sox, and shortly thereafter they won 4 World Series titles between 1912 and 1918! Unfortunately, that’s when their 86 year streak of bad luck began…
Babe Ruth had played on the Sox for six seasons, but was traded to the rival Yankees in 1919, which is commonly regarded as the origin of The Curse of the Babe. From that point on, through 2004, the Sox suffered through numerous, frustrating seasons and even several fruitless trips to the big game. One of the more infamous ones being the 1986 World Series, when, minutes away from clenching victory, a player for the Mets by the name of Mookie Wilson knocked a base hit right between the legs of the Red Sox player Bill Buckner. Now, if you’re new to following the Sox (I’m looking at you, incoming freshman of the umpteen area colleges), I find it best NOT to bring up the ’86 World Series. Or mention you’re from New York. Even if you mention you hate the Yankees, some Sox fans will still turn up their frostbitten noses at you – they’re a tough, but lovable bunch, I promise. Still, when I visit Boston with my pug in tow, I’m careful not to call him by his entire name, which, yes, happens to be Mookie Wilson 😀
As I mentioned earlier, the 2004 season was when the Red Sox finally overcame their years of competition with the Yankees, and beat them in one of the most intense ALCS that I’ve ever seen, including Curt Schilling pitching with an ankle tendon stitched together and bleeding through his sock an entire game. Oh, and that was after the Sox were down 3 games in the series then came back to beat out the Yankees. It was glorious, to put it lightly. The Sox then went on to sweep the Cardinals in just 4 games of the World Series, allowing them to finally ‘reverse the curse’.
The BoSox have since managed to rack up another two World Series wins in 2007 and 2013, so I don’t know that the fans are quite as superstitious any longer, but I feel like they’re still a bit cautious, as an 86 year drought will certainly leave its mark on a franchise. Still, I hope they’ve let go of their fears enough to enjoy the great season the team is currently having, but just in case, I will mention nothing of the playoff potential here. Boston strong, always.