Boston Red Sox

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The Boston Red Sox have completely redefined themselves over the past several seasons. For generations of fans the Red Sox were always also rans and almost hads. This all changed in 2004 when the Red Sox, finally, won the World Series after an eighty-six year drought. They followed this up with another World Series win in 2007.

The Red Sox are one of the eight original American League franchises and were initially the pride of Buffalo, but they moved to Boston in 1903 and there they have stayed. The Red Sox began to turn their fortunes around when they were purchased by an ownership group led by businessman John Henry.

For years the Red Sox built their teams around right handed power hitters, but with the hiring of general manager Theo Epstein there was an organizational shift in thinking. They began to build their teams through the draft resulting in young players who had a commitment to team defense. The organization also places a premium on young pitchers and that has given them one of the games dominant closers in Jonathan Papelbon and an ace starting pitcher in lefty John Leicester.

The Red Sox play at Fenway Park, just as they have for every season since 1912. Fenway Park is one of the true gems of major league baseball and it sells out nearly every game. The ownership group is trying to increase seating in the old park and they are finding ways to do so every off-season. More than three million people went through the gates to see the Red Sox in 2008, making a ticket to the Red Sox a much coveted item in the city of Boston.

Fenway Park is one of the truly unique stadiums in all of baseball. The most famous feature of the old ballpark is the Green Monster which is the thirty-seven foot wall in right field. Until the nineteen-forties the wall was adorned with advertising when then owner, Tom Yawkey, decided he wanted a more uniform look to the ballpark. A coat of green paint was applied and a legend was born. The Monster is a mere 310 feet away from home plate which makes for an inviting target for right handed hitters.

Another feature of Fenway Park, which is lesser known, but just as interesting, is the lone red seat in the right field bleachers. The red seat stands out amidst a sea of green seats to mark the spot where the longest home run in the history of Fenway Park was hit. In 1946 Ted Williams hit a 503 foot home run that landed in section 42, Row 37, Seat 21 of the right field bleachers. As an amusing side note, at least to Red Sox fans, the ball landed on the head of Joseph A. Boucher who was a Yankees fan taking in the game. Mr. Boucher was not hurt and the Boston Globe ran the following headline, "Bullseye! Ted Williams Knocks Sense into Yankees Fan."

The Red Sox are poised to do some damage in the American League East for the foreseeable future. They have the money to spend on high priced free agents as well as one of the best minor league systems in all of baseball. The Red Sox are living proof to all long suffering fans (hello Cubs fans!) that a franchise can turn their fortunes around and become a perennial winner if they hire the correct people.

Freddie Brister is a big fan of the Major League Baseball. Check out his Boston Red Sox Store or his Los Angeles Dodgers Merchandise at SportsFanTreasures.

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