The Red Sox are headed to the World Series for the 12th time in team history. The Red Sox’ improbable one-season turnaround from just 69 wins in 2012 to winning the AL East championship in 2013 has captivated the attention of Boston sports fans and given them something to be proud of after the disaster that was the Sox’ 2012 campaign.
The team completed its biggest single-season improvement since the 1967 “Impossible Dream” Red Sox won the American League pennant, a team that this current one has often been compared to. With that in mind, and the Sox headed back to the World Series for the first time in six years, here’s a look at the Red Sox' history in the World Series. Next
2007: Win (4-0)
The Red Sox steamrolled the Los Angeles Angels in the first round of the playoffs and faced off against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. The Sox won Game 1, but lost the next three to leave them in a 3-1 hole entering Game 5.
Josh Beckett put the team on his back, pitching eight innings and allowing just one run with 11 strikeouts to send the series back to Boston. The Sox, now comfortable back at home, demolished the Indians over the next two games, winning Game 6, 12-2, and Game 7, 11-2, to win their second American League pennant in four seasons.
In the World Series, the Red Sox played the Colorado Rockies, who, after winning 14 of their final 15 games just to force a one-game playoff for the wild card, swept through the Philadelphia Phillies and the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the NL pennant. After sweeping both series, the Rockies had a long layover before playing in the World Series, which may have led to their ultimate downfall, as Boston won Games 1 and 2 in Boston.
When the series moved to Colorado, the Red Sox slammed the Rockies 10-5 in Game 3, giving the Sox a chance to sweep their second World Series of the new millennium. Up 4-1 in Game 4, the Rockies rallied to cut it to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, setting up Jonathan Papelbon for a chance to save the game and win the World Series in the ninth. The future Red Sox franchise leader in saves would deliver, striking out the final batter to give the Sox their second world championship in four years, becoming the first MLB team to win two World Series titles in the 21st century. Next
2004: Win (4-0)
It seemed it would be (a la Yogi Berra) déjà vu all over again for the Red Sox in 2004. Equipped with a new manager in Terry Francona and a new free-agent starter in Curt Schilling, the Red Sox swept the Anaheim Angels in the ALDS and faced the Yankees in the ALCS for the third time in five seasons.
This year’s ALCS began even worse for the Red Sox than the last one as they lost the first three games, including a 19-8 embarrassment at home in Game 3. With Mariano Rivera coming in for the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 4 with the Yankees holding a 4-3 lead, it looked it was all over. But a Rivera walk to Kevin Millar set up one of the most memorable plays in Red Sox history. Aging outfielder Dave Roberts pinch-ran for Millar and stole second base, then was driven home by Bill Mueller to tie the game at four.
The teams were tied heading into the 12th inning, and in the bottom of the frame, David Ortiz hit a two-run, game-winning home run to keep the Red Sox alive.
Game 5 was just as intense, going into extra innings again after Boston rallied from being down two runs in the bottom of the eighth, and Ortiz was the hero again, hitting a game-winning single in the bottom of the 14th to send the series back to New York.
Game 6 proved to another classic, as Curt Schilling made the start despite a surgically repaired torn tendon sheath in his right ankle, causing him to bleed through his sock. But Schilling soldiered on, throwing seven innings and allowing just one run on a home run in the seventh.
In the bottom of the eighth, with Derek Jeter on first base, Alex Rodriguez hit a ground ball that was fielded by pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who attempted to tag Rodriguez out. In what was already an incredibly wild series, Rodriguez slapped Arroyo’s arm and the ball came loose, allowing Jeter to score and Rodriguez to take second. The umpires held a quick meeting, however, and decided that Rodriquez would be called out for interference and Jeter must return to first, prompting outrage from the fans at Yankee Stadium.
Keith Foulke shut the Yankees down in the ninth, and, although there was technically one game remaining in the series, it might as well have been over, as the Red Sox scored early and often in Game 7, ultimately crushing the Yankees 10-3 to win their first pennant since 1986, in the process becoming the first team in MLB history to win a seven game series after falling behind 3-0.
The Red Sox kept rolling through the World Series, sweeping the Cardinals to win their first world championship in 86 years, officially ending the “Curse of the Bambino.” Next
1986: Loss (4-3)
1986 will always remain among the most difficult memories for Red Sox fans despite a dominant regular season by Roger Clemens, who took home both the Cy Young and MVP awards, and the Sox winning the AL East title by 5.5 games over the Yankees.
Boston faced off in the ALCS against the California Angels and fell behind three games to one heading into Game 5. The Angels took a 5-2 lead into the top of the ninth, and, after a two-run homer by Don Baylor, Dave Henderson gave the Sox a 6-5 lead after his own two-run homer with the Angels just one strike away from winning the pennant. The Sox would go on to win the game 7-6 in 11 innings and win the next two games to take the American League championship.
The World Series, however, it what everyone remembers from ’86, as the Red Sox found themselves in Game 6 one strike away from their first championship since 1918, and the scoreboard at Shea Stadium even briefly flashed to congratulate the “World Champion Boston Red Sox.”
But Bob Stanley’s wild pitch allowed the Mets to tie the score, setting up for arguably the most painful moment in Red Sox history. A ground ball to first baseman Bill Buckner, who was only in the game because manager John McNamara wanted Buckner to be on the field when the Sox won the World Series, saw the ball go through his legs, allowing Ray Knight to score from second base and win the game.
Just like in ’75, the Red Sox took a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning of Game 7, but the Mets rallied to stun the Red Sox and take the World Series; the bizarre finish to 1986 helped breathe fire into the idea of the “Curse of the Bambino.” Next
1975: Loss (4-3)
In 1975, the Red Sox won 95 games and their first division title, making the postseason for the first time since ’67 and setting up an ALCS with the west champion Oakland Athletics, who had won the past three World Series titles.
Incredibly, the Red Sox swept the A’s in three games to advance to the World Series, where they would meet the Cincinnati Reds’ “Big Red Machine,” in a World Series that would go down as one for the ages.
Down three games to two in Game 6 at Fenway Park, Bernie Carbo came on to pinch-hit with two runners on in the bottom of the eighth with the Red Sox trailing 6-3, and hit a home run to tie the score. The game would stay that way until the bottom of the 12th inning, when Carlton Fisk launched one of the most memorable home runs in history, a towering shot to left that was hooking foul, but Fisk’s "fair ball" wave as he headed toward first coaxed the ball just enough as it hit off the foul pole for a game-winning home run.
However the Red Sox lost Game 7 and the series despite taking a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning. Next
1967: Loss (4-3)
The Red Sox had not had a winning record in almost 10 years, and were just two years removed from losing 100 games. Needless to say, heading into 1967, not much was expected from the Red Sox. But Boston proved everyone wrong in 1967, winning games in the most electric fashion, garnering the nickname “The Cardiac Kids.”
Even a devastating injury to local hero Tony Conigliaro, when he was hit in the eye by a pitch, could not stop the Red Sox, as they rallied around their fallen teammate in an epic final month of the year that saw four teams gunning for the American League title. Carl Yastrzemski led the charge with a Triple Crown and AL MVP season.
One game behind the Minnesota Twins with a two-game series against them remaining, the Red Sox swept the set and won the pennant, with Yastrzemski going 7 for 8 with 6 RBIs in the series.
After the amazing league title, the Red Sox could not cap off the season with a championship, as they fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven game World Series that saw St. Louis’ Bob Gibson win three games. Next
1946: Loss (4-3)
Baseball great Ted Williams got his one chance at a championship in 1946 after returning to the game from military service in WWII. “The Splendid Spinter” was MVP that season when the team won 104 games and won the American League pennant by 12 games. Williams batted just .200 on the way to Boston’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The deciding run, known as Slaughter’s Mad Dash, came in Game 7 when St. Louis outfielder Enos Slaughter broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning by running through a stop sign, beating Johnny Pesky’s relay from shortstop, and scoring on a hit-and-run. The Red Sox lost 4-3 and the Cardinals won the series. Next
1918, 1916, 1915, 1912, 1903: Wins
The Red Sox were regulars in the World Series back in the first two decades of the 20th century, winning the championship five times. Their first trip in 1903, back when they were known as the Boston Americans before there was a Fenway Park, featured Cy Young. The 1912 club featured ace Smokey Joe Wood. In 1915, center fielder Tris Speaker led the way. And you know who the star of the 1916 and 1918 clubs was ... Babe Ruth. The team tanked in the 1919 season, the Babe was traded to the Yankees and the rest is history—decades of mediocrity, a few tastes of glory, but 86 years of championship drought. Back to the beginning
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