A Recap of Every World Series Played in Boston

This year marks the 114th World Series, and 15 of those Fall Classics have been played in Boston. As the city gets ready to host again, here is a short recap of all the ones that have come before.

1903 – The Boston Americans defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 Games to 3

Important Players –

Americans: Jimmy Collins, Cy Young

Pirates: Honus Wagner

This is the first modern World Series, meaning it is the first one to be played between the American League Champion and the National League Champion. In only their second season, the Americans (precursor to the Red Sox) were led by player/manager Jimmy Collins, who was previously with the Boston Beaneaters, the city’s national league squad. The team won the AL pennant with 91 wins and got the chance to take on legendary shortstop Honus Wagner and his Pirates. The Americans went down 3 games to 1, but charged back to win 4 in a row and take the best of 9 series. The series was also notable for the presence of Michael “Nuf Ced” McGreevy and the Royal Rooters who traveled to Pittsburgh and sang the Broadway song “Tessie” repeatedly at the Pirates. The Rooters are credited with helping the Americans overcome their deficit to win.

1912 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the New York Giants 4 games to 3

Important Players –

Red Sox: Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, Duffy Lewis

Giants: Manager John McGraw, Christy Mathewson

After refusing to play the repeat American League Champion Boston Americans in 1904, causing a delay of the second World Series, the Giants and Red Sox met 8 years later for a star studded championship. Boston was led by the “Golden Outfield” of Duffy Lewis, Harry Hooper, and Tris Speaker. Speaker won the AL MVP award in 1912. Christy Mathewson of the Giants is widely considered to be one of the greatest pitchers of all time. He was already a World Series winner from 1905. He pitched in game two, which ended in a tie after it was 6-6 when it got too dark to continue play. Because of the tie, 8 games were played in the series despite it being a best of 7. This World Series also marked the first to be played in Fenway Park which was opened at the beginning of the season.

1914 – The Boston Braves defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 4 games to 0

Important Players –

Braves: Johnny Evers, Rabbit Maranville

Athletics: Manager Connie Mack, Frank Baker, Eddie Collins

On July 4, 1914, the Boston Braves found themselves 15 games back from the first place New York Giants. By August 12, they were in second place, and at the end of the season they won the National League Pennant by 10 1/2 games. They faced a challenge going up against Brookfield Massachusetts native Connie Mack’s Atheltics, the defending World Series champions. The Red Sox generously offered the Braves to play their home games at the new Fenway Park, where the capacity was much larger than the cramped and aging South End Grounds that they called home. With the support of the Royal Rooters, the Braves shocked the baseball world by sweeping the heavily favored Athletics, continuing Boston’s success in the Fall Classic.

1915 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1

Important Players –

Red Sox: Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth

Phillies: Grover Cleveland Alexander

The 1915 series was a rematch of the ’14 series…sort of. This time the Boston was represented by the AL Red Sox, and Philadelphia by the NL Phillies. The “Golden Outfield” returned, and was joined by a young pitcher named George Herman “Babe” Ruth, who was making his first World Series appearance. This was also the first World Series appearance by the Phillies, who joined the National League after the dissolution of the NL team from Worcester. The Braves returned the favor to the Red Sox, allowing them to use the newly constructed and much larger Braves Field for their home games. After they won game 1, the Red Sox won the next 4, making it the second consecutive Boston championship, and third in 4 years.

1916 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the Brooklyn Robins 4 games to 1

Important Players –

Red Sox: Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth

Robins: Casey Stengel

The Red Sox made it two straight championships when they beat the Robins who were appearing in their first World Series. Babe Ruth, who did not start in the 1915 series, started game two and pitched all 14 innings in what is now tied for the longest World Series game of all time. Future Braves and Yankees manager Casey Stengel was the star player for the Robins, who would later be renamed the Dodgers. The “Golden Outfield” was broken up when Tris Speaker was traded to the Cleveland Indians at the beginning of the 1916 season. The Red Sox once again played their home games at Braves Field, and won the series at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

1918 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 2.

Important Players –

Red Sox: Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth, Stuffy McInnis

Cubs: Hippo Vaughn, Leslie Mann

Babe Ruth pitched a complete game shutout in game 1, and also won game 4. The Red Sox returned to Fenway Park to play their home games for the first time in the World Series since 1912; however the Cubs played their home games on the South Side of Chicago at Comiskey Field. The series marked the first time the Star Spangled Banner was played at a professional baseball game during game 1, to recognize the country’s involvement in World War I. The Red Sox were once again victorious, winning their 5th World Series in 15 years. This would be the last World Series Babe Ruth played in a Red Sox uniform.

1946 – The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Boston Red Sox 4 games to 3

Important Players –

Red Sox: Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams

Cardinals: Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter

The first World Series after the end of World War II saw the return of many baseball superstars who had fought in the war, including Ted Williams and Stan Musial. It also marked the return of the Red Sox to the World Series after a 28 year pennant drought. The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead in the series, but were unable to close out the Cardinals at Sportsman’s park during the last 2 games. The Cardinals took the lead in the 8th inning of game 7 thanks to future Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter’s “mad dash” home, and went on to win the game thanks to that play. This was the first World Series that the Boston team was not victorious, and it proved to be the first and only World Series for slugger Ted Williams.

1948 – The Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Braves 4 games to 2

Important Players –

Braves: Warren Spahn, Johnny Sain, Tommy Holmes

Indians: Bob Feller, Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Lou Boudreau

After a 34 year drought, the Braves once again captured the NL Pennant and returned to the World Series. It was almost an all Boston World Series, with the Red Sox losing to the Indians in the first ever one game AL playoff, after both teams finished tied for first place with 96 wins at the end of the season. The Braves were led by pitchers Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain, whose success during the season inspired the poem “Spahn and Sain and Pray for Rain”. Cleveland featured Larry Doby, who was the first black player in the American League, and former Negro League star Satchel Paige, who became the first black pitcher to appear in a World Series game. This was the third World Series to be played at Braves field, however it was the first to be played by the Braves. It also proved to be the last, with the Braves moving to Milwaukee 5 years after the series in 1953.

1967 – The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Boston Red Sox 4 games to 3

Important Players –

Red Sox: Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Lonborg, George Scott

Cardinals: Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Orlando Cepeda

It was another 21 years before the Red Sox returned to the World Series, once again taking on the Cardinals, and once again losing in 7 games. The 1967 season was nicknamed “The Impossible Dream” because of the Red Sox surprising success and eventual Pennant. Led by Carl Yastrzemski, who won both the Triple Crown and AL MVP that season, the Red Sox were expected to finish last as they had done routinely since their last World Series appearance. The Sox clinched the Pennant by defeating the Minnesota Twins in the last game of the season, after the Detroit Tigers lost their last game. The Cardinals were too much for the Red Sox, led by NL MVP Orlando Cepeda, and star pitcher Bob Gibson. The Red Sox fought back from a 3-1 game deficit, but could not win game 7 at Fenway Park, continuing their World Series drought.

1975 – The Cincinnati Reds defeat the Boston Red Sox 4 games to 3

Important Players –

Red Sox: Carl Yastrzemski, Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, Louis Tiant

Reds: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez

Carl Yastrzemski once again led the Red Sox to the AL Pennant, this time taking on the defending champion Cincinnati Reds. The “Big Red Machine” featured several great players including Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and Joe Morgan, however the Red Sox were once again able to take their opponents to 7 games. The series is best remembered for catcher Carlton Fisk’s walk off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning in game 6 when he seemed to wave the ball fair over the Green Monster, and helped keep the Red Sox championship hopes alive. This game is widely considered one of the best baseball games to have ever been played.

1986 – The New York Mets defeat the Boston Red Sox 4 games to 3

Important Players –

Red Sox: Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Roger Clemens

Mets: Gary Carter, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez

Everyone remembers this series for Bill Buckner and the ground ball that went through his legs in game 6, but what came before and after that moment is one of the finest World Series’ to ever be played. The Red Sox, behind AL MVP and Cy Young Winner Roger Clemens, were able to defeat the Angels in the ALCS to win the pennant. After winning the first two games in New York, the Sox dropped the next two at Fenway before winning game 5 and only needing one win at Shea Stadium to get their first World Series since 1918. Even after Buckner’s famous gaff, they still had a chance to take game 7. They came up short again, losing their 4th consecutive game 7, and World Series.

2004 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 0

Important Players –

Red Sox: Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz

Cardinals: Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen

After an 18 year absence, the Red Sox returned to the World Series in 2004 looking to break the “Curse of the Bambino”. The team had not won a championship since selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. They were up against their old rival, the St. Louis Cardinals, who had already defeated them in the World Series twice before. After defeating the Yankees to make it to the series, the Red Sox left no doubt in anyone’s mind, taking an early series lead and never coming close to letting it go. Star pitcher Pedro Martinez was helped on offense by Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, and the Sox cruised to a championship, sweeping the Cardinals and breaking the 86 year drought.

2007 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the Colorado Rockies 4 games to 0

Important Players –

Red Sox: David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling

Rockies: Todd Helton, Ubaldo Jiménez, Matt Holliday

After breaking the curse, the Red Sox were rolling and returned to the series 3 years later to take on World Series first timers the Colorado Rockies. The Red Sox blew out the Rockies in game 1, winning 13-1 and scoring the most ever points in the first game of a World Series. They never slowed down, and won the next 3 games behind strong pitching by Curt Schilling, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Jon Lester. Once more, they captured the championship on the road in Colorado, but won the two games they played in Boston by a combined score of 15-2.

2013 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 2

Important Players –

Red Sox: David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester

Cardinals: Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Carlos Beltrán

Facing off for a fourth time in the World Series, the Red Sox once again took on the Cardinals in the Fall Classic. David Ortiz continued to lead the team as he had done in both 2004 and 2007, and Jon Lester had become a bona fide ace, throwing 7.2 scoreless innings in game 1. The Red Sox dropped games 2 and 3, before winning two on the road in St. Louis, and capturing the championship in game 6, at home in Fenway Park for the first time since 1918.

Update 11/5/18

2018 – The Boston Red Sox defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 1

Important Players –

Red Sox: Mookie Betts, Chris Sale, David Price

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner

A rematch of the 1916 World Series, the Red Sox and Dodgers met again 102 years later with striking similarities. The Red Sox once again beat the Dodgers in 5 games, and the teams once again set the record for the longest World Series game ever played, with an 18 inning game 3 at Dodger Stadium. The Red Sox won 108 games during the 2018 season, and got past the 100 win Yankees in the ALDS, and the 103 win defending champion Houston Astros in the ALCS. The Dodgers were appearing in the World Series for the second year in a row, and ended with the same result. While Red Sox pitcher David Price ended the talk of him under performing in the playoffs by pitcher a stellar games 2 and 5, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw continued his post season struggles. The Red Sox won the first two games at Fenway Park, and despite losing the marathon of game 3, came back in game 4 and dominated in game 5 to win the series, and their 9th overall World Championship.

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