View my guestbook
RP Designs

free hit counter

A Not-So-Brief History of the Red Sox/Yankees Rivalry (October 10, 2007 - 5:49 p.m.)

One of my friends has asked about the history of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. This forced me to do some digging, and instead of trying to respond in her guestbook, I just decided to put it in here. I'm sure I will get some details wrong, and if anyone out there knows something different or better, please put it in the comments.

Here we go.

This rivalry has actually existed for well over a hundred years, even before there was baseball. Boston and New York had some political rivalries dating back to pre-revolutionary days. The Sons of Liberty rallied for revolution in Boston, while the Tories of New York wanted to be faithful to the crown.

The Red Sox were the more powerful team at the beginning of the 20th century and won the very first World Series ever. They also won four more between 1912 and 1918. The Yankees were called the Highlanders back then and were pretty bad most years, except for 1904, when they had pitcher named Jack Chesbro, who won a record 41 games (!!). The Red Sox and Highlanders met in a playoff game, Chesbro threw a wild pitch, and the Red Sox won. That would be the last time the Red Sox beat the Yankees in a pennant-deciding game for 100 years!

1918 is a year that will go down in infamy for the Boston Red Sox. Owner Harry Frazee, in order to pay off some debts incurred largely by producing Broadway musicals, sold a number of players to the New York Yankees. One of which was a guy named Babe Ruth. This began a dynasty of Yankee domination and a famine of World Series titles for Boston that was henceforth called "the curse of the Bambino." 1918 was the last World Series title for the Red Sox for 86 years. Meanwhile, the Yankees reached the Series 7 times during Ruth's career and won 4 of those.

The Red Sox finished dead last nine seasons. The Yankees, between 1920 and 2003, won 26 World Series and 39 pennants (league championships), while the Red Sox had to settle for a measly 4 pennants. In each of those 4 pennant years, they lost the World Series title 4 games to 3. They finished second to the Yankees 12 times. And from 1995 until this year, the Yankees won the AL East every year but one, in which the Baltimore Orioles won.

Probably the most devastating of these years was 1978. In that year (much like this one, in fact), the Sox led the Yankees by a whopping 14.5 games in July. The Yankees began a rally and the Red Sox began to collapse. The climax of the season was a four game series between the two teams at Fenway Park. The Yankees won all four games, 15-3, 13-2, 7-0 and 7-4 for a combined score of 42-9. This became known as "The Boston Massacre." After that series, the Yankees led the division by 3.5 games.

The Red Sox won 12 of their last 14 games to finish in a dead tie with the Yankees. This forced a one game playoff, scheduled at Fenway Park, to determine the winner of the AL East division.

The Red Sox were leading the game 2-0, when Bucky Dent hit a 3-run home run over the Green Monster with 2 out. The Yankees wound up winning the game 5-4, won the division, won the AL pennant and went on to win their second straight World Series.

Bucky Dent will forever more be referred to in Boston as "Bucky f-ing Dent."

The Red Sox and Yankees met for the American League pennant for the first time in 1999. The Yankees won easily, 4 games to 1.

They met again in 2003, and took the series to 7 games, but a bad management decision to leave pitcher Pedro Martinez in the game one inning too long led to the Yankees' tie and eventual win in 13 innings. This was the 39th pennant for the Yankees.

2004 was the year that everything seemed to begin to turn around. The Red Sox still finished second to the Yankees in the division, but won the Wild Card. Once again, for the second straight year, the two teams met for the American League championship. The Yankees won the first three games, and, personally, I was greatly depressed. I remember thinking that the Red Sox weren't even going to win one game. Then history was made. For the first time in major league baseball history and only the third time in any sport, the Red Sox came from a 3-0 defecit to win the series 4-3. During this series, there were some extra inning games that were the longest playoff games in baseball history. It was a brutal series.

After this historic American League championship, the Red Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals four games to none in the World Series, effectively burying the "curse of the Bambino." If my memory serves me, the Cardinals were never ahead in that World Series.

This year, the Red Sox won the American League East for the first time since 1995. They currently are waiting for the pennant series against the Cleveland Indians, who eliminated the New York Yankees, four games to one.

So, you see, the rivalry is long-lived, but has become more intense since 1978, from that one game playoff and "Bucky F-ing Dent's" home run. It became even more intense as the 21st century began and the Red Sox began to be more of a power in the AL East.

Red Sox fans can frequently be seen wearing "Yankee Hater" hats (I have on meself), that, from a distance, look like they have the signature "NY" on them, but upon closer inspection, prove to have, instead, an "YH." And on the side, it says, "Yankee Hater." Another favorite is a shirt that says (and famous author and Red Sox fan Stephen King was seen sporting one of these on tv last week) "I support two teams: Boston and whoever beats New York!" I also own one of those shirts. The one shirt I don't own (largely because my wife won't let me) is the very popular "Yankees Suck!" shirt.

The rivalry is intense. I love the Red Sox. Therefore I hate the Yankees.

Just for the record...the one Yankee whom I dislike the most (I won't use the word "hate" at this point, because I will not EVER use that word as directed toward another human being...only toward a sports organization or something non-human) is Jason Giambi.


My nickname for him is "Giambi Juice." He's a blatant "performance enhancing" substance abuser and has never been punished for it.


Because he's a Yankee. That's why.

But that's a subject for another soapbox, isn't it?

I apologize for the length of this entry. I hope that it adequately explained the rivalry.

Heheh...I hope it didn't "overly" explain it.

I love you guys!

TTFN, y'all!

5 comments so far

last ~ next

Missed anything?
The Beatles--Abbey Road/Alice Cooper--Killer - July 04, 2012
The Beatles Eponymous Album - June 26, 2012
Autism's False Prophets - February 12, 2011
Santana--Guitar God? - November 11, 2010
Tribute To the Red Sox - September 29, 2010