Through their triumphs and downfalls, no major league club has had a more colorful history than the Boston Red Sox. Originally published in 1947 as part of G. P. Putnam’s Sons fifteen legendary major league team histories, and aided by twenty-seven photographs of legendary players, Frederick G. Lieb’s The Boston Red Sox chronicles the club’s early years from its founding as the Pilgrims in 1901 through the 1946 season.
In the American League’s infancy, Boston was a city of champions, winning pennants in 1903, 1904, 1912, 1915, 1916, and 1918. In 1903, the underdog Red Sox, still the Pilgrims at that time, prevailed against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series, and went on to garner the title of World Champions five more times by 1918. These were the prosperous years when the roster included such luminaries as Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker, Duffy Lewis, Harry Hooper, and Cy Young. Jimmy Collins was the club’s first manager, while such players as Bill Dinneen, Buck Freeman, Lou Criger, and Patsy Dougherty added to Boston’s rich baseball heritage.
But glory proved fleeting in Boston. Following Ed Barrow’s World Series championship of 1918, the Red Sox twice changed ownership, lost star players to the wealthy Yankees in the process, and finished in the cellar nine out of eleven years from 1922 to 1932. New hope came when multimillionaire Tom Yawkey purchased the Red Sox in 1933. Through the costly additions of such stars as Joe Cronin, Lefty Grove, and Wes Ferrell, Yawkey restored the club to the first division.
But a pennant victory eluded him until 1946 when a new set of stars—Ted Williams, Tex Hughson, Bobby Doerr, Dave Ferriss, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio—emerged from the Red Sox farm system to regain glory for Boston.
“The franchise in almost every one of its eras, as Lieb shows us over and over in his richly documented narrative, relied on one magical ballplayer who would rise above all others, flourish for a time, and then, for one reason or another—money being the usual reason—be discarded,” says Al Silverman in his new foreword to this edition. Through each era, covering each champion, Lieb was in the press box documenting all of the action and anecdotes now contained in this lively volume.