Jason Varitek

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Posted by motoman 04/18/2009 @ 10:09

Tags : jason varitek, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Red Sox - USA Today
None on with one out and Jason Varitek due up. Out: Jason Varitek fouled out to catcher. None on with two outs and Jacoby Ellsbury due up. Double: Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to left. Runner on second with two outs and Julio Lugo due up....
Red Sox - USA Today
None on with one out and Jason Varitek due up. Out: Jason Varitek struck out swinging. None on with two outs and Jacoby Ellsbury due up. Out: Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out third to first to end the inning. Out: Curtis Granderson flied out to left....
Jason Varitek, Terry Francona get the ol' heave ho - Boston Herald
By Michael Silverman and Sean McAdam / Red Sox Notebook “I need a timeout, I may say something I might regret,” said Varitek, who was a central character in both the outcome - he hit two solo home runs for the tying and go-ahead runs - and a dust-up...
New service is feature rich but still doesn't match search leader - Boston Globe
Sports buffs are in for a thrill. Type in the name of Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. Google will give you lots of relevant pages, and so will bing. But bing leads off with Varitek's statistics from both his last three games and the season so far....
All about Ortiz, again - Boston Globe
Amalie,I noticed that Jason Varitek batted righthanded the other night versus a righthanded pitcher. Has he finally realized that he's a better righty regardless of who is pitching or is he just experimenting? A: I believe you're referring to the fact...
Millwood able to escape jams - Boston Globe
Then, when Millwood found himself in another second-and-third situation in the sixth, after Lowell singled and Jason Varitek doubled, he got a fly ball from Ellsbury. "In situations like that I kind of pick my battles," said Millwood....
Bay, Dice-K carry Red Sox past Tigers - Seattle Post Intelligencer
Jason Varitek went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored for Boston, which started the last leg of its 10-game road trip. "He kept us in that game. It wasn't his most efficient night, but he made pitches and kept us in that game....
An Open Letter To MLB And The Nationals - ChicagoNow
While over-emphasizing the power of free agency, he's had players sit entire seasons out (Jason Varitek). He's had players leave places they probably would have loved to have stayed (Jim Abbott, A-Rod, Derek Lowe). He's advised players to leave...
Varitek all the rage after time in the cage - Boston Globe
Jason Varitek wasn't happy about striking out, but he's had good moments at the plate lately. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff) By Amalie Benjamin With the physical demands of catching a full season in the major leagues, including day games after night...

Jason Varitek

Jason Varitek in the Little League World Series, 1984

Jason Andrew Varitek (pronounced /ˈvɛɹɨˌtɛk/, born April 11, 1972 in Rochester, Michigan) is an American baseball catcher for the Boston Red Sox. After being traded as a minor league prospect by the Seattle Mariners, Varitek has played his entire major league career for the Red Sox. A three-time all-star and Gold Glove Award winner at catcher, Varitek was an integral part of the 2004 World Series and 2007 World Series Championship teams. In December 2004 he was named the captain of the Red Sox, only their third captain since 1923. He is a switch-hitter. His nicknames include "The Captain" and "'Tek" (his chest protector has the monogram "TEK" on its collar).

Varitek is one of only two players in the history of the sport to have played in the World Championship game of the Little League World Series, in the National Championship game of the College World Series, and in the Major League World Series (Ed Vosberg is the other). Varitek stands alone as the only baseball player in history to have played in the three aforementioned World Series along with playing on the Olympic Baseball team, and in the World Baseball Classic. As well, his Lake Brantley High School baseball team won the Florida State Championship his senior year in 1990 and was named the number one high school baseball team in the nation by a USA Today poll. Varitek has caught an MLB record four no-hitters.

Varitek was born in Rochester, Michigan. He played in the 1984 Little League World Series, leading his Altamonte Springs, Florida team to victory in the United States Championship bracket in a 4-2 victory over Southport, Indiana. His team then fell in the world championship game to the international champion from Seoul, South Korea, by a score of 6-2. Varitek played shortstop, third base, and catcher in his three LLWS games, performing well defensively, but was hitless going 0 for 7 with two walks and a run scored.

While in high school, Varitek was a third baseman and catcher for the Lake Brantley High School baseball team in Altamonte Springs, FL. The Patriots' usual catcher was Jerry Thurston, himself a pro prospect. In 1990, the Patriots won the state championship. He was also a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and won the Dick Howser Trophy for National Collegiate Player of the Year. He was also named Baseball America's 1993 College Player of the Year; he appeared in 3 games for the U.S. team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

Varitek attended Georgia Tech, where he helped lead the Yellow Jackets baseball team to the 1994 College World Series championships, along with teammates Nomar Garciaparra and Jay Payton. He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in management and is the only Tech baseball player to have his number (33) retired.

Varitek played two summers in the Cape Cod Baseball League with the Hyannis Mets. In 1993, he hit .371 while winning both the league batting championship and MVP. He was drafted 21st overall in the first round by the Minnesota Twins in 1993, but opted to return for his senior year of college. Following graduation, Varitek signed with agent Scott Boras and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the 1994 amateur draft, with the 14th pick overall. A pioneer of the loopholes in the draft process, Varitek signed with the St. Paul Saints in the independent Northern League before agreeing to terms with the Mariners, and consequently did not enter the Mariners' minor league system until 1995. When he finally did join the franchise, Varitek was sent to the AA affiliate Port City Roosters where he first met pitcher and longtime teammate Derek Lowe. He was traded with Lowe to the Red Sox during the 1997 season, in return for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb, often cited as one of the best trades in the Red Sox's favor in recent history.

Varitek was called up for a single game on September 24, 1997, collecting a single in his only at bat. The next season, Varitek split time with incumbent catcher Scott Hatteberg playing in 86 games. Varitek showed signs of things to come in the 1998 season and with a strong spring training following the season, Varitek ensured himself the starting role. 1999 was a breakout year for the young catcher; he played 144 games in that season while hitting for a .269 average, with 20 home runs, and 76 RBIs.Varitek went 5-21 with 3 RBI in the 1999 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians. and 4-20 with 1 RBI in the ALCS against the New York Yankees. Varitek looked forward to building on his success from the year before, but in 2000 he did not show the same potential and had a disappointing offensive output. He hit just .248 with only 10 home runs and 65 RBI. Prior to the 2001 season, Varitek signed a 3 year $14.9 million contract with the Red Sox, and off to a hot start before he was sidelined for the season with a broken left elbow after he dove to catch a foul ball on June 7. The play went on to be a top Web Gem for the month of July in 2001. Varitek finished the season with a .293 average, 7 home runs, and 25 RBI in just 51 games played.

Varitek returned to the Red Sox lineup fulltime in the 2002 season. The return did not go smoothly, however, as Varitek struggled to find himself at the plate. Despite not reaching his full offensive potential, pitchers and coaches alike began to notice how much Varitek's preparation and knowledge of the game was helping the pitchers. His study habits and extra hours of work with pitchers would soon become his defining attribute and make him a household name around the league. Varitek and the Red Sox entered the 2003 season with a renewed fire to reach the playoffs after missing in the previous three years. Varitek instantly became a leader in the clubhouse which management tried to portray as working class, featuring new faces such as Kevin Millar, David Ortiz, Bill Mueller, and Todd Walker along with original players Trot Nixon and Lou Merloni. 2003 was Varitek's best year to date and earned his first all-star selection after the fans voted him on with the All-Star Final Vote. He was hitting .296 with 15 HRs and 51 RBIs going into the all-star break and finished the season off with a solid .273 average, 25 HRs and 85 RBIs, all career highs. Varitek also led the Red Sox to a Wild Card berth and their first playoff appearance since 1999.

In 2004, Varitek compiled a career-high .296 batting average with 18 home runs and 73 RBI. During a nationally televised game on July 24, 2004, Varitek shoved his glove into the face of Yankees' Alex Rodriguez to protect Bronson Arroyo, causing a bench-clearing brawl. Though he was ejected (along with Rodriguez) from the game following the incident, the moment sparked Boston to an 11-10 come from behind victory. It is also sometimes regarded as the turning point in the Red Sox season, as they posted MLB's best record after the melee. The Red Sox culminated the season with their first World Series championship in 86 years. Having played in this World Series, Varitek became the second player to have played in the Little League World Series, College World Series, and Major League World Series. At the end of the year, Varitek became a free agent and signed a 4-year, $40-million contract with the Red Sox.

After Varitek's re-signing, the Red Sox appointed him to be the third team captain since 1923, after Carl Yastrzemski (1969-1983) and Jim Rice (1986-1989). There are currently only two other captains in Major League Baseball: Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees and Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox.

According to Red Sox fans, Varitek is valued as a catcher for his ability to work with pitchers, using scouting reports and video footage to plan each game. He also won his first Gold Glove Award, his first Silver Slugger, and his second All-Star selection in 2005.

In 2006, Varitek represented the United States in the World Baseball Classic. He made the most of his playing time, hitting a grand slam home run against Team Canada allowing Team USA to narrow an 8–2 lead down to 8–6. Team Canada, however, kept the lead in the upset victory.

On July 18, 2006, Varitek played his 991st game at catcher for the Boston Red Sox, breaking Carlton Fisk's club record. That game was a home game vs. Kansas City, during which Varitek's achievement was recognized before the top of the 5th inning (after the game was official and couldn't be cancelled due to weather). Varitek received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at Fenway Park for a few moments before play began. On July 31, 2006, Varitek was injured rounding the bases in a 9–8 victory over the Cleveland Indians (his 1000th career game as catcher), but said he believed the initial injury to the knee occurred while he was blocking home plate to make the tag against the Angels Mike Napoli on July 29, 2006. He had surgery on August 3, 2006 to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Varitek returned to the Red Sox lineup on September 4, following a short rehabilitation assignment in Pawtucket.

On September 19, 2006, Jason was honored during a pre-game ceremony as the first Red Sox catcher to catch 1,000 games. The Red Sox Captain was presented with a special award by Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, who held the Boston club record with 990 career games caught before Varitek surpassed that total on July 18 versus Kansas City. The Sox backstop caught his 1000th game on July 31 and by the evening of the ceremony had appeared in 1,009 games behind the plate. That same night, Jason also received the 2006 Red Sox Heart and Hustle Award from the local chapter of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, which is presented to a player exemplifying the values, tradition, and spirit of the game of baseball.

In 2007, Varitek and the Red Sox returned to the World Series once again, winning for the second time in four years. During the season, Varitek enjoyed a couple of personal highlights, reaching his 1000th career hit. On May 19, 2008, he caught Jon Lester's no-hitter, giving him a Major League record of having caught four separate no-hitters in his career.

In honor of being captain, Jason released Captain Cabernet, a charity wine with proceeds benefiting Pitching In For Kids and Children's Hospital Boston.

At the end of the 2008 season, Varitek opted for free agency, rejecting arbitration that would give him a salary close to the $10 million he made in 2008. Reports in the Boston Globe suggested that his agent, Scott Boras, was using New York Yankee catcher Jorge Posada's four-year, $52.4 million deal as a benchmark for negotiations. On February 6, 2009, Varitek signed a new one-year deal with the Red Sox worth $5 million with a $5 million club option, or a $3 million player option, for 2010.

Varitek married Karen Mullinax in 1996. Varitek resides in Waban, Massachusetts. . They have three daughters: Alexandra Rose (born January 14, 2000), Kendall Anne (born September 30, 2001) and Caroline Morgan (born June 13, 2005). Jason Varitek filed for divorce from Karen on July 28, 2008. In addition, his brother Justin Varitek is a member of the Rollins College baseball team coaching staff.

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Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox Insignia.svg

The Chicago White Sox are a professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox presently play in the American League's Central Division in Major League Baseball. From 1991 to the present, the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans. The White Sox are one of two major league clubs based in Chicago, the other being the Chicago Cubs of the National League. They last won the World Series in 2005.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Chicago team was established as a major league baseball club in 1901. The club was originally called the Chicago White Stockings, after the nickname abandoned by the Cubs, and the name was soon shortened to Chicago White Sox. At this time, the team played their home games at South Side Park. In 1910, the team moved into historic Comiskey Park, which they would inhabit for more than eight decades.

The team began as the minor league Sioux City Cornhuskers and played in the Western League. The WL reorganized itself in November 1893, with Ban Johnson as President. Johnson, a Cincinnati-based reporter, had been recommended by his friend Charles Comiskey, former major league star with the St. Louis Browns in the 1880s, who was then managing the Cincinnati Reds. After the 1894 season, when Comiskey's contract with the Reds was up, he decided to take his chances at ownership. He bought the Sioux City team and transferred it to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where it enjoyed some success over the next five seasons.

In 1900, the Western League changed its name to the American League. It was still officially a minor league, subject to the governing National Agreement and an underling of the National League. The NL actually gave permission to the AL to put a team in Chicago, provided he not use the city name in the team's branding. Comiskey moved his St. Paul club to the Near South Side and renamed it the White Stockings, grabbing a nickname that had once been used by the Chicago Cubs. The White Stockings won the 1900 American League pennant, the final WL/AL championship season as a minor league. After the season, the AL declined to renew its membership in the National Agreement and declared itself a major league.

After acquiring a number of stars from the older league, including pitcher and manager Clark Griffith, the White Stockings also captured the AL's first major-league pennant the next year, in 1901. Headline editors at the Chicago Tribune sports department immediately began shortening the name to "White Sox," and the team officially adopted the shorter name in 1904. The name change to the White Sox was brought on after scorekeeper Christoph Hynes wrote White Sox at the top of a scorecard rather than White Stockings, this scorecard was then seen by the press. The White Sox would continue to be built on pitching and defense in the following years, led by pitching workhorse Ed Walsh, who routinely pitched over 400 innings each season in his prime..

The White Sox spent the next decade alternating between solid and mediocre seasons. During this time, however, they acquired a solid core of players such as catcher Ray Schalk, shortstop / third baseman Buck Weaver, and pitchers Eddie Cicotte, Red Faber and Reb Russell.

In 1915, Pants Rowland became the manager and the White Sox added outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, second baseman Eddie Collins and outfielder Happy Felsch to the line-up. The White Sox finished in 3rd place with a record of 93-61. In 1916, the White Sox acquired pitcher Lefty Williams and finished 2nd at 89-65. In 1917, the White Sox put the final pieces of the puzzle together with the addition of first baseman Chick Gandil and shortstop Swede Risberg. Weaver was moved over to third base.

The White Sox roared through the American League in 1917 with a record of 100-54--still a franchise record for wins and winning percentage--and won the pennant by 9 games over the Boston Red Sox. Their offense, led by Collins (.289, 91 runs), Felsch (.308, 102 RBI) and Jackson (.301, 91 runs), was 1st in runs scored. The White Sox pitching staff, led by Eddie Cicotte (28-12 1.53 ERA), Williams (17-8 2.97 ERA), Red Faber (16-13 1.92 ERA) and Reb Russell (15-5 1.95 ERA), ranked 1st with a 2.16 ERA.

The White Sox faced the 98-56 New York Giants in the World Series. The White Sox won Game 1 of the Series in Chicago 2-1 behind a complete game by Cicotte. Felsch hit a home run in the 4th inning that provided the winning margin. The White Sox beat the Giants in Game 2 by a score of 7-2 behind another complete game effort by Faber to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Back in New York for Game 3, Cicotte again threw a complete game, but the White Sox could not muster a single run against Giants starter Rube Bensen and lost 2-0. In Game 4 the White Sox were shut out again 5-0 by Ferdie Schupp. Faber threw another complete game, but the Series was going back to Chicago even at 2-2.

Reb Russell started Game 5 in Chicago, but only faced 3 batters before giving way to Cicotte. Going into the bottom of the 7th inning, Chicago was down 5-2, but they rallied to score 3 in the 7th and 3 in the 8th to win 8-5. Red Faber pitched the final 2 innings for the win. In Game 6 the White Sox took an early 3-0 lead and on the strength of another complete game victory from Faber (his third of the Series) won 4-2 and clinched the World Championship. Eddie Collins was the hitting hero, batting .409 over the 6 game series while Cicotte and Faber combined to pitch 50 out of a total 52 World Series innings to lead the staff.

After an off-year in the war-shortened season of 1918, the club bounced back to win the pennant in 1919 and entered the World Series heavily favored to defeat the Cincinnati Reds.

However, just before the Series, it became known that some big money was being bet on the Reds, fueling talk that the Series was fixed. The White Sox lost to the Reds in eight games.

Rumors of a fix continued unabated through the 1920 campaign, even as the White Sox roared through the season and appeared on their way to a third pennant in four years. The team's pitching was particularly strong that year; the 1920 White Sox pitching staff was the first in the majors to feature four 20-game winners. In September 1920, an investigation into a fixed Cubs game eventually turned in the direction of the 1919 Series. During the investigation, Cicotte and Jackson confessed. Comiskey, who himself had turned a blind eye to the rumors previously, was compelled to suspend the remaining seven players (Gandil, eventually perceived as the ringleader, the one "connected" to the gamblers, had retired after the 1919 season) before their last season series against the St. Louis Browns. The suspensions ground the team to a halt; they lost two out of three games to the Browns and finished second, two games behind the Cleveland Indians. However, the evidence of their involvement (signed confessions) disappeared from the Cook County courthouse, and lacking that tangible evidence, a criminal trial (whose scope was limited to the question of defrauding the public) ended in acquittals of all the players. Regardless, with the public's trust of the game of baseball at stake, newly-installed Commissioner of Baseball Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned all the accused from baseball for life.

From 1901 to 1920, the White Sox won five out of a possible 19 pennants. However, they were severely crippled by the loss of seven of their best players in their prime. With a depleted roster, the White Sox dropped into seventh place in 1921 and would not contend again until 1936. During that stretch, only the 1925 and 1926 teams even managed to top .500. During this period, the White Sox featured stars such as third baseman Willie Kamm, shortstop Luke Appling, outfielder Leo Najo and pitcher Ted Lyons. However, an outstanding team was never developed around them, or a deep pitching staff. Ironically, the White Sox almost landed Babe Ruth; they offered to trade Jackson to the Red Sox for Ruth after owner Harry Frazee put his troublemaking star on the market. The White Sox offered Jackson and $60,000; however, the New York Yankees offered an all-cash deal of $100,000. Between the dumping of star players by the Philadelphia Athletics and the Red Sox, and the decimation of the White Sox, a "power vacuum" was created in the American League, into which the Yankees would soon move.

The White Sox finally became competitive again under popular manager Jimmy Dykes, who led them from 1934 to 1946 – still the longest managerial tenure in team history. However, the White Sox did not completely recover from their malaise until the team was rebuilt in the 1950s under managers Paul Richards, Marty Marion, and Al Lopez.

Following Charles Comiskey's death in 1931, the team continued to be operated by his family – first by his son Louis, then by Louis' widow Grace, and finally by their daughter Dorothy Rigney. Not until 1959 did the team pass out of the family (thanks in part to a feud between Dorothy and her brother Chuck) to a new ownership group, led by Bill Veeck, who had previously run both the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Browns; it has been rumored that Veeck also tried to buy the Philadelphia Phillies during World War II, with the stated intention of stocking the team with players from the Negro Leagues, but was rejected.

Due to Veeck's arrival in 1959, Comiskey Park instantly became a ballpark filled with a series of promotional stunts which helped draw record crowds, the most obvious being the exploding fireworks Veeck installed in the scoreboard to celebrate home runs and victories. Unlike Charles Comiskey, Veeck was also considered a player-friendly owner, and players enjoyed playing for him.

During the 1950s, the team had begun to restore its respectability utilizing an offensive philosophy emphasizing speed and a spectacular style of defense. Perennial All-Star Minnie Miñoso, a former Negro Leaguer who became the White Sox' first black player in 1951, personified both aspects, leading the league in stolen bases while hitting over .300 and providing terrific play in left field. The additions of rookie shortstop Luis Aparicio in 1956 and manager Al Lopez in 1957 continued the strengthening of the team, joining longtime team standouts such as Nellie Fox at second base, pitchers Billy Pierce and Virgil Trucks, and catcher Sherm Lollar.

In 1959, the team won its first pennant in 40 years, thanks to the efforts of several eventual Hall of Famers – Lopez, Aparicio, Fox (the league MVP), and pitcher Early Wynn, who won the Cy Young Award at a time when only one award was presented for both leagues. The White Sox would also acquire slugger Ted Kluszewski, a local area native, from the Pittsburgh Pirates for the final pennant push. Kluszewski gave the team a much-needed slugger for the stretch run, and he hit nearly .300 for the White Sox in the final month. Lopez had also managed the Cleveland Indians to the World Series in 1954, making him the only manager to interrupt the New York Yankees pennant run between 1949 and 1964.

After the pennant-clinching victory, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, a life-long White Sox fan, ordered his fire chief to set off the city's air raid sirens. Many Chicagoans became fearful and confused since 1959 was the height of the Cold War; however, they relaxed somewhat upon realizing it was part of the White Sox' celebration. The White Sox won Game 1 of the World Series 11-0 on the strength of Kluszewski's two home runs, their last postseason home win until 2005. The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, won three of the next four games and captured their first World Series championship since moving to the west coast in 1958. 92,706 fans witnessed Game 5 of the World Series at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the most ever to attend a World Series game, or for that matter any non-exhibition major league baseball game. The White Sox won that game 1-0 over the Dodgers' 23-year-old pitcher Sandy Koufax, but the Dodgers clinched the series by beating the White Sox 9-3 two days later at Comiskey Park.

Although the White Sox had winning records every season from 1951 through 1967, the Yankees dynasty of the era often left the White Sox frustrated in second place; they were league runner-up 5 times between 1957 and 1965. Health problems forced Veeck to sell the team to brothers Arthur and John Allyn in 1961, and while the team continued to play well, many of the ballpark thrills seemed to be missing. The White Sox had several outstanding pitching staffs in the 1960s, with pitchers who had the best ERA in four different seasons -- Frank Baumann, 2.67 (1960), Gary Peters, 2.33 (1963), and again with 1.98 (1966) and finally Joe Horlen, 2.06 (1967).

The 1964 season was especially frustrating, as the team won 98 games, four more than 1959, including their last nine in a row – yet finished one game behind the pennant-winning Yankees, who had a late-season eleven-game win streak that opened up just enough room to stave off the White Sox's final charge. The White Sox were also involved in one of the closest pennant races in history in 1967. After leading the American League for most of the season, on the final weekend, the White Sox, Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers all had a shot at the pennant. However, the Red Sox would assert themselves in the final weekend, beating the Twins to take the pennant by a single game. The White Sox finished in 4th at 89-73, three games behind.

In 1968, Bud Selig, a former minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves who had been unable to stop the relocation of his team three years earlier, contracted with the Allyn brothers to host nine home games (one against each of the other American League clubs) at Milwaukee County Stadium as part of an attempt to attract an expansion franchise to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The experiment was staggeringly successful - those nine games drew 264,297 fans. In Chicago that season, the White Sox drew 539,478 fans to their remaining 58 home dates (72 games, 14 doubleheaders). In just a handful of games, the Milwaukee crowds accounted for nearly one-third of the total attendance at White Sox games.

In 1969, the league expanded from 10 teams to 12, and the White Sox schedule in Milwaukee was likewise expanded to include 11 home games (again, one against every opponent). Although those games were attended by slightly fewer fans (198,211 fans, for an average of 18,019) they represented a greater percentage of the total White Sox attendance than the previous year - over one-third of the fans who went to White Sox games did so at Milwaukee County Stadium. In the remaining 59 home dates in Chicago (70 games, 11 doubleheaders), the White Sox drew 391,335 for an average of 6,632 per date.

Selig was denied an expansion franchise at the 1968 owners' meetings, and turned his efforts toward purchasing and relocating an existing club. His search began close to home, with the White Sox themselves. According to Selig, he had a handshake agreement with Arthur Allyn in early 1969 to purchase a majority stake in the Pale Hose and move them north to the Cream City. The American League, however, blocked the sale, unwilling to give up its presence in a major city. Allyn instead sold his shares to his brother John, who agreed to stay in Chicago. Selig would go on to buy the Seattle Pilots and move them to Milwaukee instead.

The White Sox had a brief resurgence in 1972, with slugger Dick Allen winning the MVP award; but injuries, especially to popular third baseman Bill Melton, took their toll and the team finished 5½ games behind Oakland, the eventual world champion.

Several lawsuits against Major League Baseball from Seattle over the move of the Pilots to Milwaukee, Wisconsin almost resulted in the White Sox being moved to the Emerald City in 1975. An elaborate scheme for a franchise shuffle soon came to light. The White Sox were to be moved to Seattle, then the Oakland Athletics were to take the White Sox's place in Comiskey Park. Oakland owner Charlie Finley was from nearby La Porte, Indiana. His A's had not drawn well during their Championship years in Oakland, California, and he wanted to bring them to Chicago. However, the shuffle collapsed when owner John Allyn sold the team to the physically-rehabilitated Bill Veeck. In 1977, the Seattle Mariners were created, thus restoring the major leagues' presence in the Pacific Northwest.

On December 10, 1975, Bill Veeck regained ownership of the team, and he vowed to make the White Sox an exciting team again. Besides his customary promotions, Veeck introduced retro uniforms and shorts. But the 1976 team was one of the worst White Sox teams ever fielded, winning only 64 games (.398), drawing fewer than 915,000 fans, and the team was ridiculed for wearing uniforms which featured shorts.

Veeck's strategy to make the team competitive quickly, dubbed "rent-a-player" by sports writers, involved acquiring star players in the final year of their contracts. The theory was that the players would strive to put up huge numbers in hopes of getting a big contract at the end of the season, and carry the club with them. The first of these acquisitions were made prior to the 1977 season and the last prior to the 1978 season. While this approach had the virtue of not having been tried, it was unsustainable. The Sox had to give up several young prospects in exchange for veteran players who invariably signed with other clubs after their single season in Chicago. There was also a singular focus on power hitters in these acquisitions while pitching and defense were ignored. The Sox scored a lot of runs, but they also lost many high-scoring games during this period.

The 1977 season was a memorable one for the South Siders, led by off-season acquisitions Oscar Gamble (.297 avg, 31 hr, 83 rbi), Richie Zisk (.290 avg, 30 hr, 101 rbi) and American League Comeback Player of the Year Eric Soderholm (.280 avg, 25 hr, 67 rbi). The team, known by the press and fans as the "South Side Hitmen" hit a since-broken team record 192 home runs and were in first place in the American League West as late as August enroute to a third place finish (90-72). They also drew a team-record 1,657,135 fans to Comiskey (since broken as well). Manager Bob Lemon was named AL Manager of the Year by UPI for his efforts.

After the end of the 1977 season Gamble and Zisk signed with other teams - Gamble with the San Diego Padres and Zisk with the Texas Rangers. Veeck's attempt to replace them with Bobby Bonds and Ron Blomberg fizzled as the 1978 team lost 90 games. Bonds was dealt to the Texas Rangers during the season, and Blomberg's major league career ended with the season's final game. Two tough years followed: 87 losses in 1979 (including the infamous July 12 forfeit on Disco Demolition Night; see Steve Dahl) and 90 losses in 1980.

During this time the Sox acquired several players who were once stars but were past their primes. One was Don Kessinger, a shortstop who had his best years with the crosstown Cubs. Kessinger served as a player-manager in 1979. Another was outfielder Ralph Garr, who had his best seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

Since the Sox didn't have the revenue of the wealthier clubs, Veeck looked for any edge he could find. The club held open tryouts during spring training in 1978. They looked at pretty much anyone who showed up. Each player's name was sewn on his uniform, ostensibly to prove that the tryouts were legitimate and not just a stunt. This approach was the subject of an article in Sports Illustrated.

Veeck began building a farm system that produced several noteworthy players including Harold Baines and Britt Burns. But Veeck could not compete in the free agent market or afford what he called "the high price of mediocrity." By 1980, the White Sox were looking for new ownership. Veeck favored Ohio real estate tycoon Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who tried to buy several teams and move them to New Orleans. But he pleaded to buy the White Sox and promised to stay in the South Side. The only person blocking the transaction was baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who thought DeBartolo would be bad for baseball.

Instead, Veeck sold the team to an ownership group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn. The new owners moved quickly to show that they were committed to winning by signing All-Star catcher Carlton Fisk from the Red Sox during the 1980-81 offseason. They also retained the club's young, relatively unknown manager Tony La Russa.

Perhaps to placate the fans, the owners launched a uniform design contest. The fans were given the opportunity to vote on the finalists. The winning design featured red, white, and blue with large bars.

In 1983, the White Sox enjoyed their best success in a generation. After a mediocre first half, they went 60-25 to close out the season, clinching the AL West title, which earned Manager Tony La Russa his first Manager of the Year award.

Doug Rader, then manager of the Texas Rangers, derisively accused the team of "winning ugly" for their style of play, which reflected a tendency to win games through scrappy play rather than strong hitting or pitching. Rader also thought that if the White Sox played in the Eastern Division, they would finish 5th behind powerhouses such as Baltimore, New York, and Milwaukee. Chicago media and White Sox fans picked up on the phrase, and turned "Winning Ugly" into the team slogan. While they had a great run in the regular season, they were not able to carry that over into the postseason as they lost to a powerful Baltimore Orioles team 3 games to 1 in the AL Championship Series. Hoyt led the White Sox to a 2-1 victory in Game 1, but the Orioles clinched the series with a 3-0 ten-inning victory in Game 4. White Sox pitcher Burns pitched a "gutsy" game, throwing 9⅓ shutout innings before a home run by Tito Landrum broke up the game and the hearts of the South Side faithful.

The club slid back into mediocrity for the rest of the 1980s, contending only in 1985. Before the 1985 season began, the White Sox traded pitcher LaMarr Hoyt to the San Diego Padres in exchange for flashy shortstop Ozzie Guillén. Guillen would win the AL Rookie Of The Year award. In 1986, broadcaster-turned-general manager Ken "Hawk" Harrelson fired La Russa after a poor start. The club wouldn't contend again until 1990, the final year in Old Comiskey Park.

In the late 1980s, the franchise threatened to relocate to Tampa Bay (as did the San Francisco Giants), but frantic lobbying on the part of the Illinois governor and state legislature resulted in approval (by one vote) of public funding for a new stadium. Although designed primarily as a baseball stadium (as opposed to a "multipurpose" stadium) New Comiskey Park (redubbed U.S. Cellular Field in 2003) was built in a 1960s style similar to Dodger Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. It opened in 1991 to positive reviews; many praised its wide open concourses, excellent sight lines, and natural grass (unlike other stadiums of the era such as Rogers Centre in Toronto). However, it was quickly overshadowed in the public imagination by the wave of "nostalgia" or "retro" ballparks, beginning with Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The park's inaugural season drew 2,934,154 fans - at the time, an all-time attendance record for any Chicago baseball team.

Despite a number of innovations in its original construction - including a lower deck concourse that circumscribes the entire stadium, allowing a view of the game from any location - the park was often criticized for its sterile appearance and steep upper deck.

In recent years, money accrued from the sale of naming rights to U.S. Cellular has been allocated for renovations to make the park more aesthetically appealing and fan friendly. Notable renovations of early phases included: re-orientation of the bullpens parallel to the field of play (thus decreasing slightly the formerly symmetrical dimensions of the outfield); filling seats in up to and shortening the outfield wall; ballooning foul-line seat sections out toward the field of play; creating a new multi-tiered batter's eye, allowing fans to see out through one-way screens from the center-field vantage point, and complete with concession stand and bar-style seating on its 'fan deck'; renovating all concourse areas with brick, historic murals, and new concession stand ornaments to establish a more friendly feel. The stadium's steel and concrete was repainted dark gray and black. The scoreboard Jumbotron was also replaced with a new Mitsubishi Diamondvision HDTV giant screen.

More recently, the top third of the upper deck was removed in 2004 and a black wrought metal roof was placed over it, covering all but the first eight rows of seats. This decreased seating capacity from 47,000 to 40,615. 2005 also saw the introduction of the Scout Seats, redesignating (and re-upholstering) 200 lower deck seats behind home plate as an exclusive area, with seat-side waitstaff and a complete restaurant located underneath the concourse. The most significant structural addition besides the new roof was 2005's FUNdamentals Deck, a multi-tiered structure on the left field concourse containing batting cages, a small Tee Ball field, and several other child-themed activities intended to entertain and educate young fans. This structure was used during the 2005 playoffs by ESPN and Fox Broadcasting Company as a broadcasting platform.

Designed as a 5-phase plan, the renovations were completed after the 2006 season with the 5th and final phase. The most visible renovation in this final phase was replacing the original blue seats with green seats. The upper deck already had new green seats, put in before the beginning of the 2006 season. Beginning with the 2007 season a new luxury seating section was added in the former press box. This section has amenities similar to those of the Scout Seats section.

That season, most of their young talent blossomed. Closer Bobby Thigpen established a then record of 57 saves. In addition to that, first baseman Frank Thomas, pitchers Alex Fernandez and Jack McDowell, and third baseman Robin Ventura would make their presences felt in the South Side. The White Sox of 1990 won 94 games, but finished 9 games behind the powerful Oakland Athletics.

On July 11, as part of the celebration of Comiskey Park, the White Sox played a Turn Back the Clock game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The White Sox wore their 1917 home uniforms. This was the first Turn Back the Clock game in the major leagues and started what has become a popular promotion. New Comiskey park opened in 1991, and was completed at a cost of $167 million.

The team reached the ALCS in 1993. The White Sox were led by Thomas, Ventura, multi-sport star Bo Jackson, Cy Young Award winner McDowell and All-Star closer Roberto Hernández and won the last AL West before realignment with a 94-68 record. However, the White Sox were a big disappointment in the ALCS, losing to the defending World Champion Toronto Blue Jays in six games. The Jays would go on to win the World Series again in 1993.

The White Sox led the new American League Central at the time of the 1994 players' strike.

Under Manuel, the White Sox fielded a talented but chronically under-achieving team. In 2000, however, the White Sox had one of their best teams since the 1983 club. This team, whose slogan was "The Kids Can Play," won 95 games en route to an AL Central division title. The team scored runs at a blistering pace, which enabled them to win all of these games despite a mediocre pitching staff led by Mike Sirotka and James Baldwin. Frank Thomas nearly won his third MVP award with his offensive output; he was helped by good offensive years from Magglio Ordóñez, Paul Konerko, Carlos Lee and José Valentín.

As in 1983 and 1993, this 2000 team could not carry its success over into the postseason, getting swept by the wild-card Seattle Mariners in the Division Series. Despite new club records for hits (1,615), runs scored (978), RBI (926), home runs (216), and doubles (325), the White Sox managed to hit only .185 in the ALDS and failed to score a run after the third inning in any of the three games. In 2003, Comiskey park was re-named after cell phone company U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights at $68 million over 20 years.

The changes made an immediate impact on the team. In 2005, the White Sox posted the best record in the major leagues for much of the year, before a late season slump saw the St. Louis Cardinals overtake them (100 wins vs. 99 wins). Though a serious challenge for their dominance of the division was mounted late in the year by the Cleveland Indians (the Tribe actually reduced what was once a 15 game lead for the White Sox down to 1½ games at one point), Chicago scored a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on September 29 to win their first AL Central Division title since 2000. Finishing at 99-63 (.611) tied their 1983 record, and won the division by six games. The last time they had a higher percentage than that was 1920 , when they finished second in the league thanks to the late-season "Black Sox" suspensions. The combination of the league's best record with the American League victory in the All-Star Game gave the White Sox the home field advantage throughout the 2005 postseason (perhaps unnecessary as the White Sox won every post-season road game they played in 2005).

The rules themselves are an "incomplete" list, as the numbers are somewhat random. They are collected from print, billboard, television, and radio advertisements, as well as advertising at U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox play their home games.

In the first round of the 2005 playoffs, the White Sox took on the wild-card winning Red Sox, the defending World Series champions. However, the White Sox overpowered the Red Sox, defeating the Red Sox in a three-game sweep. They won the first two games (scoring a 14-2 victory in the first game – their first postseason win at home since 1959 – and 5-4 in the second) of the series at home before going to Fenway Park and claiming a 5-3 victory.

The ALDS also set the tone for what would be an unusually suspenseful post-season; while their first game was considered a blow-out, the remaining games saw the White Sox making the most of rare opportunities and hanging on to narrow leads. In the first inning of game 1, the White Sox put up 5 runs, and never looked back. A late inning three-run home run by Scott Podsednik - his first home run of the season, was the icing on the cake in the game 1 blowout. In Game 2, the White Sox were actually down 4-2 when Red Sox second baseman Tony Graffanino, formerly playing for the White Sox, let Juan Uribe's potential inning-ending, double-play grounder go through his legs; one out later, Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run homer to left that clinched the game for the White Sox. In Game 3, Orlando Hernández entered the game with the bases loaded and nobody out with the White Sox ahead by only one run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Based on their regular season performance, it was later calculated that the Red Sox's probability of winning at that point was .662, even though they were trailing by one run. Instead, the first two batters, Jason Varitek and Tony Graffanino, both popped out, and Johnny Damon struck out swinging on a breaking ball. Hernandez went on to retire six of the next seven batters, and the White Sox's rookie reliever Bobby Jenks closed out the game.

The White Sox then moved on to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALCS. The Angels won Game 1, 3-2.

In Game 2 on October 12, the teams were involved in one of the most controversial endings in baseball playoff history. With the score tied 1-1 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, A. J. Pierzynski apparently struck out to end the inning. At first Pierzynski headed back to the dugout but ran to first base upon realizing that umpire Doug Eddings had ruled that Angels catcher Josh Paul (a former White Sox player) did not field the ball cleanly, meaning he would have to either tag the batter or throw to the first baseman to record the out (see uncaught third strike). Despite vehement protests from various members of the Angels, including manager Mike Scioscia, Pierzynski was awarded first base. Pinch-runner Pablo Ozuna replaced Pierzynski and stole second base. Third baseman Joe Crede then delivered a double on the third pitch to give the White Sox a 2-1 win. Overshadowed by that play was the 1-run, 5-hit complete game pitched by Mark Buehrle. Buehrle's excellent effort allowed the White Sox to capture their first-ever home victory in ALCS history.

Buoyed by their win, the White Sox traveled to Anaheim, California, where starters Jon Garland, Freddy García, and José Contreras (who had dropped Game 1 to the Angels in Chicago) pitched three more complete game victories consecutively over the Angels, giving the White Sox their first American League pennant since 1959. White Sox slugger Paul Konerko was named the ALCS MVP, on the strength of his two home runs, 7 RBI, and .286 average.

Especially in light of the evolution of the game, the White Sox four straight complete games was considered an unbelievable achievement. In fact, since José Contreras pitched 8⅓ innings in game 1, the White Sox bullpen saw a total of ⅔ of an inning pitched (by Neal Cotts) in the entire series. The last time four consecutive complete games had been pitched in a championship series was in the 1956 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees, and the 1928 Yankees were the last team to win four consecutive complete games in a championship series. In fact, the last time any major league pitching staff had hurled four straight complete game victories was near the end of the 1983 regular season, when the Texas Rangers accomplished the feat.

The White Sox now advanced to the World Series, where they would take on the National League champion Houston Astros. The White Sox' appearance in the World Series was bittersweet for longtime franchise star Frank Thomas. One of the most popular and productive players in the franchise's long history, Thomas would finally be going to a World Series in his 16th major league season. However, due to injury, Thomas would be unable to participate except as an observer, and his contributions to the White Sox in 2005 were limited.

Game 1 saw Astros' ace Roger Clemens leave the game with a hamstring injury, and Chicago took advantage of its opponents' weakness, winning 5-3. Joe Crede especially made an impressive showing with his stellar defensive plays at third base.

The World Series then shifted to Houston for Game 3, in which Astros' starter and NLCS MVP Roy Oswalt cruised with a 4-0 lead until the wheels totally came off for him with a five-run fifth by the White Sox. The Astros managed to tie the game in the eighth, but repeatedly blew scoring opportunities in the next few innings. Finally, in the top of the 14th, former (and current) Astro Geoff Blum hit a tie-breaking home run; the White Sox took a commanding 3-0 Series lead with a 7-5 victory in the longest World Series game in history (in terms of time; tied for most innings). Ozzie Guillén sent Mark Buehrle in to get the last out in the bottom of the 14th to get the save after he had started Game 2, and later remarked that he was set to send Pablo Ozuna (a position player) in to pitch if the Astros somehow extended the game.

Game 4 was a pitcher's duel between Freddy García and Brandon Backe. The game was scoreless until Jermaine Dye singled to center off of Brad Lidge, driving in Willie Harris for what turned out to be the winning run. This was the second game of the series in which Lidge had given up the game winning run (Podesednik's home run in Game 2). Game 4 also saw a spectacular defensive play by Juan Uribe, as the Chicago shortstop fell two rows into the stands in order to retire Chris Burke for the second out in the bottom of the ninth. Uribe also earned the assist in the final out of the Series on the next play, as he narrowly threw Orlando Palmeiro out at first to give the White Sox their first World Series crown since 1917. Dye was named the World Series MVP in the four-game sweep.

The White Sox championship run can be considered one for the ages. Apart from a brief shaky stretch in early September, the White Sox team displayed sheer dominance as evident by the wire-to-wire first place in American League. Only the 1927 Yankees and the 1984 Detroit Tigers were able to achieve such a feat. Their 11-1 postseason record was tied with 1999 Yankees as the best single post season mark. (Only Cincinnati Reds in 1976 had a better winning percentage by going 7-0.) Also, their 8 game winning streak (the four wins over the Angels and the sweep against the Astros) is tied with the Boston Red Sox (who won 8 games in a row en route to their 2004 World Series championship) for the longest postseason winning streak in Major League History. The White Sox also became the only team to win all three post-season victories on the road. Amazingly, despite their 105 year history, this was only the franchise's third World Series championship, (following victories in 1917 and 1906). It also marked their first pennant since the advent of divisional play in 1969 (the White Sox won the inaugural American League pennant in 1901, but this was 2 years prior to the first modern World Series).

After leading the wild card race for much of the season, the White Sox faltered, losing 15 of 24 at the beginning of September to eliminate them from playoff contention, ending their chances of becoming the first repeat winner of the World Series since the New York Yankees in 1999 and 2000. They nonetheless finished with a 90-72 record, the season's best record by a non-playoff team.

Despite missing the playoffs, the team enjoyed numerous successes during the year. Following the Fourth of July weekend, the White Sox won both crosstown interleague series against the rival Cubs, taking the first two games of each series at U.S. Cellular Field and Wrigley Field. The White Sox finished interleague play with a record of 14-4, including a 7-2 mark in National League parks.

This was the first year a White Sox manager had led the AL All-Star squad since 1960, when Al Lopez led the team. In addition to manager Ozzie Guillén, the White Sox had six representatives at the 77th All-Star Game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, the most among any club: starting pitcher Mark Buehrle, closer Bobby Jenks, catcher A. J. Pierzynski, first basemen Paul Konerko and Jim Thome, and right fielder Jermaine Dye. José Contreras was originally selected to pitch in the All-Star Game, but was replaced by Francisco Liriano. Guillen removed Contreras from the roster after a 117-pitch performance in a 19-inning game against Boston on the last day before the All-Star Break. As a result of Contreras not pitching during the break, he would set an unusual modern-day mark in Major League Baseball by starting two consecutive games.

Pierzynski was the last White Sox to be named to the team after winning the year's Final Vote, in which the fans select the 32nd and final player on both the AL and NL squads. Pierzynski is the second White Sox to be selected, following Scott Podsednik's nomination in 2005. Dye competed in the 2006 CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby; he managed to hit 7 home runs in the first round, but David Ortiz and Ryan Howard both surpassed that total to knock Dye out of the competition. Dye was only the fourth White Sox to compete in the Derby, joining Carlton Fisk (1985), Konerko (2002), and Frank Thomas (1994, 1995).

The White Sox drew 2,957,414 fans for an average of 36,511, third in the AL. There were a total of 52 sellouts, breaking the previous team record of 18. The White Sox also drew 75 crowds in excess of 30,000, another franchise record. The White Sox had just one game with a crowd below 25,000: April 18 against the Kansas City Royals. On August 9 against the New York Yankees, the White Sox surpassed 2 million fans for the eighth time in franchise history and for the second consecutive year (1983, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 2005). Also, on August 30 versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the team surpassed 2.5 million fans for the first time since 1993, and for only the fourth time in franchise history: 1991, 1992, and 1993. It is their 25th consecutive one million-plus attendance season and 46th overall.

During Spring Training, Toby Hall dislocated his shoulder while trying to make a diving play at first base. This presented a problem as Hall was the backup to A. J. Pierzynski, and now would be out for an indeterminate amount of time. As a result of the injury, the White Sox were forced to bring up catching prospect Gustavo Molina.

There was a competition for the fifth starter's role between newly-acquired rookies Gavin Floyd and John Danks. Danks would ultimately win the role with a good spring showing.

At the conclusion of spring training, the White Sox opened the 2007 season at home against the Cleveland Indians. José Contreras would start the opener, marking the first time since 2001 that Mark Buehrle did not pitch the season opener. Contreras would be ineffective, giving up 8 runs (7 earned) on 7 hits over 1-plus innings in an eventual 12-5 loss.

On April 15, White Sox pitching held the Cleveland Indians to two unearned runs and a hit, but the White Sox would lose 2-1, raising concerns about the usually potent offense. Scott Podsednik, the White Sox' best hitter with a .303 average, would be placed on the disabled list with an adductor pull, compounding the White Sox' offensive woes.

On April 18, Buehrle pitched a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, 6-0. Buehrle's only blemish was a walk to Sammy Sosa in the fifth, but Buehrle would promptly pick Sosa off during the next at-bat. Buehrle secured his spot in the MLB record books when he forced Rangers catcher Gerald Laird to ground out to third baseman Joe Crede at 9:14 P.M. CDT, sending the crowd of 25,390 at U.S. Cellular Field into a frenzy. He would face the minimum of 27 batters using 106 pitches (66 strikes), with the one walk to Sosa and eight strikeouts. This was the first no-hitter by a White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez did it against the Baltimore Orioles on August 11, 1991, the first no-hitter at home since Joel Horlen's no-hitter on September 10, 1967, and the first no-hitter in the American League since April 27, 2002, when then-Boston Red Sox starter Derek Lowe no-hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-0. Jermaine Dye hit a grand slam and Jim Thome added two solo homers in the history-making night.

On July 6, the White Sox announced the signing of Mark Buehrle to a contract extension worth $56 million over four years. The move came after weeks of rumors of Buehrle possibly being traded.

Overall, the White Sox season was hampered by injuries and a team-wide hitting slump. However, the season was not a complete failure with Mark Buehrle's no hitter, Jim Thome's 500th home run, and closer Bobby Jenks 41 consecutive batters retired (tying Jim Barr's all-time record and breaking the American League record.) Jenks would later fall short of the all time record when Kansas City Royal's player Joey Gathright slapped a ground ball into left field just out of the reaches of third baseman Josh Fields and shortstop Juan Uribe.

The White Sox finished the season fourth in their division with a 72-90 record, behind the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins.

On July 31, the day of the trade deadline, the White Sox traded relief pitcher Nick Masset and minor leaguer 2nd baseman Danny Richar for Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds.

On September 29, 2008, Ramirez hit his fourth grand slam of the season, setting a major-league single-season record for a rookie, off of Detroit Tigers pitcher Gary Glover in an 8–2 White Sox victory to qualify the White Sox for a one-game playoff against the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central title. This also broke the team record for most grand slams in a single season.

At the end of the season, the team was half a game behind the Minnesota Twins at the top of the American League Central standings -- as a result, a game against the already-eliminated Detroit Tigers that had been postponed due to inclement weather was played on September 29, 2008. The White Sox won, necessitating a one-game playoff with the Twins to determine the division winner on September 30, 2008.

On September 30, 2008, the White Sox won a tiebreaker 1–0 against the Minnesota Twins for the American League playoff spot after a diving catch from Brian Anderson. A game saving throw to home plate from center-fielder Ken Griffey Jr. to catcher A. J. Pierzynski on a flyout to keep Michael Cuddyer from scoring would keep the Twins scoreless through the top of the 5th inning. John Danks pitched on only three days rest and threw 103 pitches for 2 hits and no runs in eight innings. Bobby Jenks would close the game with a perfect 9th. The only run of the game came from a Jim Thome home run, the 541st of his career. This was the lowest scoring tiebreaker game in MLB history. The White Sox are also the only team in MLB history to beat three different teams on three consecutive days: the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins. They lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, 3 games to 1.

Over the years the White Sox have become noted for many of their uniform innovations and changes. In 1960, the White Sox became the first team in the major sports to put players' last names on jerseys. The White Sox jersey were created from designers in the gay community of Chicago, located close to U.S. Cellular Field.

Although the uniforms in the very early days of the franchise featured a block "C" in red, the uniforms' primary color switched to a navy or midnight blue (on white) after a couple of years. Again, a block "C" was often the only adornment.

In 1912, however, the White Sox debuted one of the most enduring and famous logos in baseball -- a large "S" in a Roman-style font, with a small "O" inside the top loop of the "S" and a small "X" inside the bottom loop. This is the logo associated with the 1917 World Series championship team and the 1919 Black Sox. With a couple of brief interruptions, the dark blue logo with the large "S" lasted through 1938 (but continued in a modified block style into the '40s). Through the 1940s, the White Sox team colors were primarily navy blue trimmed with red.

The White Sox logo in the '50s and '60s (actually beginning in the 1949 season) was the word "SOX" in an Old English font, diagonally arranged, with the "S" larger than the other two letters. From 1949 through 1963, the primary color was black (trimmed with red after 1951). The Old English "SOX" in black lettering is the logo associated with the Go-Go Sox era.

In 1964, the primary color went back to navy blue, and the road uniforms changed from gray to pale blue. In 1971, the team's primary color changed from royal blue to red, with the color of their pinstripes and caps changing to red. Curiously, the 1971-1975 uniform included red socks.

In 1976 the team's uniforms changed again. The team's primary color changed back from red to navy. The team based their uniforms on a style worn in the early days of the franchise, with white jerseys worn at home, blue on the road. The team also had the option to wear blue or white pants with either jersey. Additionally the teams "SOX" logo was changed to a modern-looking "SOX" in a bold font, with 'CHICAGO' written across the jersey. Finally, the team's logo featured a silhouette of a batter over the words "SOX".

The new uniforms also featured collars and were designed to be worn untucked - both unprecedented. Yet by far the most unusual wrinkle was the option to wear shorts, which the White Sox did for the first game of a doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals in 1976. After being ridiculed by fans and pundits, and an opponent calling the White Sox "the sweetest team we have ever played," the White Sox retired the shorts, wearing pants in the nightcap and thereafter. The Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League had tried the same concept at one time, and it was also poorly received. Apart from aesthetic issues, as a practical matter shorts are not conducive to sliding, due to the likelihood of significant abrasions.

Upon taking over the team in 1980 new owners Eddie Einhorn and Jerry Reinsdorf announced a contest where fans were invited to create new uniforms for the White Sox. The winning entry was submitted by a fan where the word "SOX" was written across the front of the jersey, in the same font as a cap, inside of a large blue stripe trimmed with red. The red and blue stripes were also on the sleeves, and the road jerseys were gray to the home whites. It was in those jerseys that the White Sox won 99 games and the AL West championship in 1983, the best record in the majors.

After five years those uniforms were retired and replaced with a more basic uniform which had "White Sox" written across the front in script, with "Chicago" on the front of the road jersey. The cap logo was also changed to a cursive "C", although the batter logo was retained for several years.

For a mid-season 1990 game at Comiskey Park the White Sox appeared one time in a uniform based on that of the 1917 White Sox.

The White Sox then switched their regular uniform style one more time. In September, for the final series at Old Comiskey Park, the old English "SOX" logo (a slightly simplified version of the 1949-63 logo) was restored, and the new uniform also had the black pinstripes restored. The team's primary color changed back to black -- this time with silver trim. With minor modifications (i.e., occasionally wearing vests, black game jerseys) the White Sox have used this style ever since.

The White Sox have held spring training in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. (1901-1902); Mobile (1903); Marlin Springs, Texas (1904); New Orleans, Louisiana (1905-1906); Mexico City (1907); Los Angeles (1908); San Francisco (1909-1910); Mineral Wells, Texas (1911, 1916-1919); Waco, Texas (1912, 1920); Paso Robles, California (1913-1915); Waxahachie, Texas (1921); Seguin, Texas (1922-1923); Winter Haven, Florida. (1924); Shreveport, Louisiana (1925-1928); Dallas, Texas (1929); San Antonio, Texas (1930-1932); Pasadena, California (1933-1942, 1946-1950); French Lick, Indiana (1943-1944); Terre Haute, Indiana (1945); Palm Springs, California (1951); El Centro, California (1952-1953); Tampa (1954-1959); and Sarasota (1960-1997). Since 1998 the White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks have shared Tucson Electric Park in Tucson, Arizona for Spring Training in the Cactus League.

On November 19, 2007, the cities of Glendale, Arizona and Phoenix, Arizona broke ground on the Cactus League’s newest Spring Training facility. Camelback Ranch, the $76 million two-team facility will be the new home of both the White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers for their Spring Training programs. Aside from state-of-the-art baseball facilities at the 10,000-seat stadium the location will include residential, restaurant and retail development, a 4-star hotel and 18-hole golf course. Other amenities include 118,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) of Major and minor league clubhouses for the two teams, four Major League practice fields and eight minor league practice fields, two practice infields and parking to accommodate 5,000 vehicles.

The Chicago Cubs are the crosstown rivals of the White Sox, a rivalry that some made fun of prior to the White Sox's 2005 title due to the fact that both of them had extremely long championship droughts. The nature of the rivalry is unique; with the exception of the 1906 World Series, in which the White Sox upset the favored Cubs, the teams never met in an official game until 1997, when interleague play was introduced. In the intervening time, the two teams sometimes met for exhibition games. An example of this volatile rivalry is the game played between the White Sox and the Chicago Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field on May 20, 2006. White Sox catcher A. J. Pierzynski was running home on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Brian Anderson and smashed into Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, who was blocking home plate. Pierzynski lost his helmet in the collision, and slapped the plate as he rose. Barrett stopped him and, after exchanging a few words, punched Pierzynski in the face, causing a melee to ensue. Brian Anderson and Cubs first baseman John Mabry got involved in a separate confrontation, although it was later determined that Mabry was attempting to be a peacemaker. After ten minutes of conferring following the fight, the umpires ejected Pierzynski, Barrett, Anderson, and Mabry. As Pierzynski entered his dugout, he pumped his arms, causing the soldout crowd at U.S. Cellular Field to erupt in cheers. When play resumed, White Sox second baseman Tadahito Iguchi blasted a grand slam to put the White Sox up 5-0 on their way to a 7-0 win over their crosstown rivals. While there are other major league cities and metropolitan areas in which two teams co-exist, all of the others feature at least one team which began playing there in 1961 or later, whereas the White Sox and Cubs have been competing for their city's fans since 1901.

The White Sox enjoy healthy divisional rivalries. The Detroit Tigers are led by former White Sox player Magglio Ordóñez. The Minnesota Twins are high profile rivals as well, with fans of both teams showing up to US Cellular Field in healthy numbers. Chicago's biggest and longest division rivals though, are the Cleveland Indians who always enjoy a large away contingent at U.S. Cellular Field. The rivalry first started upon the creation of the AL Central in 1994. On July 15, 1994 an umpire confiscated Albert Belle's bat, presuming that it was corked. They put it in the umpire's room at Comiskey Park. However, Indians pitcher Jason Grimsley climbed through the ceiling from the visitor's clubhouse and stole the bat. The theft was discovered and Belle was suspended; Grimsley later owed up to the theft. Belle further inflamed matters by spurning the Indians and signing a large free agent contract with the White Sox in 1997.

A historical regional rival was the St. Louis Browns. Through the 1953 season, the 2 teams were located pretty close to each other (including the 1901 season when the Browns were the Milwaukee Brewers), and could have been seen as the American League equivalent of the Cardinals-Cubs rivalry, being that Chicago and St. Louis have for years been connected by the same highway (U.S. Route 66 and now Interstate 55).

The current Milwaukee Brewers franchise was also a primary White Sox rival, due the to proximity of the two cities, and with the teams competing in the same division for the 1970 and 1971 seasons, and then again from 1994-1997. The rivalry died down, however, when the Brewers moved to the National League in 1998.

From 1981 until 1988, the White Sox employed a twosome, called Ribbie and Roobarb, as their team mascots. In the early 1990s the White Sox had a cartoon mascot named, 'Waldo The White Sox Wolf' that advertised the ‘Silver and Black Pack’, the team kid's club at the time. The team's current mascot is called SouthPaw.

The White Sox have retired nine numbers.

As of 2006, the White Sox' flagship radio station was WSCR, 670 AM, known to Chicago listeners as The Score. Starting in 2009, Ed Farmer (play-by-play) and Darrin "DJ" Jackson (color commentator) will be calling every White Sox game, with Jackson moving from TV to radio, and Steve Stone moving from radio to TV. Chris Rongey remains in the Chicago studios during broadcasts, where he hosts the pre- and post-game shows.

Television broadcasts are split three ways: WGN (both the local feed and WGN America), WCIU-TV (a local independent station) and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. The announcers are the same wherever the game is televised: Ken "Hawk" Harrelson on play-by-play and Steve Stone on color. Occasionally, well-known former White Sox players such as "Black Jack" McDowell, Robin Ventura and Moose Skowron fill in as substitutes in the broadcast booth. In an interesting note, Harrelson left the booth in 1986 to become the White Sox' general manager. Inept in the front office, Harrelson was summarily fired from the front office at the conclusion of the 1986 campaign and returned to the booth for the 1990 season, where he has worked ever since.

The games are filmed through TrioVideo of Chicago, IL.

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Derek Lowe

Derek Christopher Lowe (born June 1, 1973 in Dearborn, Michigan) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. He throws and bats right-handed.

Lowe attended Edsel Ford High School (Dearborn, Michigan) and was a four-sport letterman in baseball, golf, soccer, and basketball. He was an All-League honoree in all four sports and was a first team all-state pick in basketball.

Lowe was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 8th round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Mariners on June 7, 1991. The Mariners immediately assigned him to their rookie league team, where he went 5-3 with a 2.41 ERA in 12 starts.

He spent the next several years working his way through several minor league teams: 1992 - Single-A Bellingham (7-3, 2.42 - 13 starts), 1993 - Single-A Riverside (12-9, 5.26, 26 starts), 1994 - Double-A Jacksonville (7-10, 4.94, 26 starts), 1995 - Double-A Port City (1-6, 6.08, 10 starts), 1996 - Triple-A Tacoma (6-9, 4.54, 16 starts).

Lowe made his major league debut on April 26, 1997, working 3 2/3 innings in relief against the Toronto Blue Jays. He made his first major league start on May 27, 1997, against the Minnesota Twins, giving up four runs in 5 innings. His first career win came on June 6 against the Detroit Tigers, pitching 5 1/3 innings and giving up 3 runs in the Mariners 6-3 victory.

Seattle, however, was desperate for immediate bullpen help and packaged Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek into a deal with the Boston Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. The Mariners' willingness to trade Lowe may have stemmed from his involvement in an incident earlier that year in Federal Way, Washington. Lowe was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence by King County police after his girlfriend claimed that he struck her. Lowe was released on $1,000 bond the next day, and he allegedly violated a no-contact order by returning to her home shortly after his release. However, given the subsequent careers of the three players involved in the trade it is now viewed as one of the most lopsided in recent MLB history.

Lowe compiled a 5-15 record over his first two seasons, during which he split time starting and relieving, but came into his own in 1999 after being transferred into the closer's role, finishing the season with 15 saves and a 2.63 ERA.

Lowe had his best season as a closer in 2000 when he led the American League with 42 saves. He was regarded as an unconventional closer, however, as he didn't overwhelm hitters. As a result, despite 24 saves early in the 2001 season, Lowe lost the closer's job soon after the trading deadline, July 31, when he lost the job to the newly acquired star closer Ugueth Urbina. Lowe was left in limbo, forced to take various setup jobs in the bullpen.

In 2002, Lowe moved back into the starting rotation, a move which paid off immediately. He posted a 21-8 record, a 2.58 ERA, and finished 3rd in Cy Young Award voting behind Barry Zito and teammate Pedro Martínez. Lowe also no-hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park on April 27 that year, becoming the first pitcher to do so at Fenway Park since Dave Morehead in 1965.

Lowe struggled through much of the 2003 season, but boosted by the strength of Boston's thunderous offense, posted a 17-7 record despite a 4.47 ERA. He recorded an improbable save in deciding Game 5 of the American League Division Series, helped by two clutch strikeouts.

In 2004, he finished 14–12 with a 5.42 ERA in 33 starts, spending part of the season demoted to the Red Sox bullpen. During the postseason he rebounded with a 3–0 record and 1.86 ERA in four games, three of them starts. He was the winner in the final game of all three postseason series — American League Division Series against the Anaheim Angels, American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, and World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals — as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. Lowe is the only pitcher in baseball history to accomplish this feat.

On January 11, 2005, he finalized a $36 million, four-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Despite his signing with a new team, Lowe wore a Boston Red Sox uniform, with his career-long number of 32, during the Red Sox World Series ring ceremony on April 11, 2005, after already making a start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On August 31, 2005, Lowe nearly pitched the second no-hitter of his career. After giving up a leadoff single to the Cubs' Jerry Hairston, Jr., Lowe did not allow another Chicago hit, picking up a one-hit, two-walk, 7–0 complete game victory while facing only 29 batters.

For the 2008 season, after being the opening day starter for the Dodgers for the last three years, he was moved to the second starting position, with the honor of the first position going to Brad Penny. Lowe was chosen by manager Joe Torre to start game one of the National League Championship series against the Philadelphia Phillies on October 9, 2008. Lowe opened the game with five scoreless innings.

As of the end of the 2008 season, Lowe (along with Livan Hernandez and Brad Ausmus) was one of only three active major league ballplayers who had played at least 12 years in the majors without ever going on the disabled list.

Both times that the Dodgers acquired Greg Maddux midseason, Lowe performed visibly better afterwards. He claimed that Maddux helps him considerably and was often seen sitting next to him in the dugout.

On January 13, 2009, it was reported that Lowe had agreed to a four-year, $60 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Braves that was confirmed two days later. He chose to wear uniform No. 32 (his number with the Boston Red Sox) because Matt Diaz currently wears uniform No. 23. On March 29, 2009 Bobby Cox announced that Lowe would start both Opening Night and the Braves home opener for the 2009 season. Lowe beat the Phillies 4-1 on Opening Night going 8 innings and giving up just 2 hits and 0 runs.

On August 3, 2005, FSN West in Los Angeles announced that Carolyn Hughes, anchor of the network's Dodger Dugout show covering the Dodgers, had been suspended pending an investigation into a potential relationship between her and Lowe. Shortly thereafter, Lowe filed for divorce from his wife of seven years, Trinka Lowe, with whom he fathered two children. Hughes's husband had also filed for divorce. In the aftermath, Hughes ended her broadcasting career, while she and Lowe continued their relationship. The two were married on December 13, 2008 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.

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Nomar Garciaparra

NomarGarciaparra 20060604.jpg

Anthony Nomar Garciaparra (pronounced /ˈnoʊ̪mɑɹ ɡɑɹˈsiəˌpɑɹə/; born July 23, 1973, in Whittier, California) is an American Major League Baseball player for the Oakland Athletics. He previously played first base and third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and shortstop and third base for the Chicago Cubs, after a decade as an All-Star shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.

His full name is Anthony Nomar Garciaparra, but he began going by Nomar when he was a child, after there were too many Anthonys in his class. Nomar is his father's first name (Ramon) backwards.

Garciaparra is a six-time All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006). In five postseason series he has batted .323 with a slugging percentage of .625.

Garciaparra attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California where he excelled in football, soccer, and baseball and had a 4.0 GPA. His teams won high school league championships in 1990-91, and he won the league MVP honors in 1991, his last year of high school. St. John Bosco High School retired Garciaparra's baseball jersey. St. John Bosco High School's Activities Office window is home to an area dedicated to Garciaparra's baseball career both at the school and with the Dodgers.

Garciaparra was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 5th round of the 1991 draft, but did not sign.

Garciaparra attended Georgia Tech, where he majored in business management and helped the Yellow Jackets reach the College World Series national championships in 1994, where they lost to Oklahoma. Former Boston teammates Jason Varitek and Jay Payton were also members of that team. He was an Atlantic Coast Conference All-Star and a first team All-American twice in 1993-94. Garciaparra and Varitek were the first two Yellow Jackets ever to be two-time All-Americans, having been joined only by Matt Wieters who plays in the Orioles' organization. Nomar was also an academic All-American. While in college, Garciaparra played for the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Garciaparra was a first round pick of the Red Sox in 1994 following a successful career at Georgia Tech. He played in the Red Sox minor league system for three years (1994-Sarasota 1995-Trenton, 1996-Pawtucket).

He made his Major League debut on August 31, 1996 as a defensive replacement against Oakland. His first Major League hit was a home run off of Oakland pitcher John Wasdin on September 1.

At the time, Boston's starting shortstop was John Valentin, who finished ninth in MVP voting in 1995. By late 1996, Nomar won the job. Garciaparra's talent was enough to displace Valentin, who was moved to second base (then third base) to make room for young Garciaparra, who batted .241 with 4 home runs, 16 RBI, and 5 stolen bases in his initial stint with the club near the end of 1996. As a rookie in 1997, he hit 30 home runs and drove in 98 runs, setting a new MLB record for RBIs by a leadoff hitter. He also set the major league record for leadoff home runs by a rookie, which has been matched only by Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins. His 30-game hitting streak set an A.L. rookie record. He was named Rookie of the Year in a unanimous vote, competed in the Home Run Derby, and finished eighth in MVP voting. He also won the immediate admiration of Red Sox fans, who referred to him in Boston accents as "NO-mah!". His popularity in New England was reflected in the Saturday Night Live "The Boston Teens" sketches, where Jimmy Fallon's character always wore a Garciaparra T-shirt and would repeatedly reference his admiration for him.

From 1998-2000, Garciaparra emerged as the one of the better hitters of the Holy Trinity of shortstops, with the highest career OPS of the three by the conclusion of this period. He finished with 35 home runs and 122 RBI in 1998, and placed as the runner-up for AL MVP. Garciaparra then led the American League in batting average for the next two years, hitting .357 in 1999 and .372 in 2000, finishing in the top ten in MVP voting both years. He is one of the few right-handed batters to win consecutive batting titles, and the first since Joe DiMaggio.

In February of 2001, Garciaparra appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the headline "A Cut Above... baseball's toughest out". The week after the issue hit newsstands, Garciaparra reported to spring training with a serious wrist injury, which essentially aborted his season. He recovered by the start of the 2002 season and drove in 120 runs while hitting a league-leading 56 doubles. However, he had a difficult time playing as strongly defensively as before, and his batting average dipped substantially, though it was still an excellent .310.

Before the 2002 season, a new ownership group purchased the Red Sox. The baseball operations staff, led by Theo Epstein, stressed on-base percentage on offense and strong defense, two areas where Garciaparra was about to decline precipitously from his pre-2001 levels. Still, Garciaparra recovered from an injury-filled 2001 season to bat .310 with 24 home runs and 120 RBIs in 2002. The star shortstop was up for a contract extension following the 2004 season and hoped for a deal before that deadline. Still considered one of the best shortstops in baseball, he hoped to receive salaries similar to peers Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter.

In 2003, Garciaparra had a good season in which he was second in the majors in triples, fifth in the AL in hits, and second in the AL in runs scored. Unfortunately, a September slump caused his batting average to dip, but it still ended at a very good .301. He followed that with a poor post-season, contributing zero home runs, one RBI and ten strikeouts in 12 games against the Oakland Athletics and rival Yankees, who eliminated the Red Sox in seven games.

Meanwhile, new stars and cult heroes, led by David Ortiz and Kevin Millar, began to emerge in Boston. Millar convinced nearly every player on the roster other than Johnny Damon and Garciaparra (whose wedding with Mia Hamm followed the season) to shave his head.

After the 2003 season, Red Sox management explored trading Manny Ramírez to the Texas Rangers for shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Details of this proposed trade and the subsequent agreement sending Garciaparra to the Chicago White Sox for Magglio Ordóñez quickly became public. The mega-deal fell apart when the MLBPA refused to approve a restructuring of Rodríguez's contract, and Garciaparra returned to Boston for the start of the 2004 season in the final year of a contract signed in 1997.

On July 31, 2004 (the MLB trading deadline), Garciaparra was the key player involved in a four-team deal that sent Nomar and Matt Murton to the wild card leading Chicago Cubs. The Red Sox received Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz. Nomar expressed his appreciation to Red Sox fans in a speech to media, and left for the Windy City. At first, Garciaparra was assigned jersey number 8, because Cub catcher Michael Barrett wore number 5. A few days later, they switched numbers. The Cubs led the wild card until mid-September, but finished the 2004 season with 89 wins and out of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Red Sox, in an astonishing series comeback, finally overcame the Yankees en route to a World Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, after which Nomar's former teammates voted to give him a World Series ring. Curt Schilling noted that if it were not for Nomar, the Sox may not have been in a position to win at all.

In the 2005 season, a torn left groin forced him onto the disabled list for more than three months. Garciaparra resumed play on August 5, 2005. Because Cubs regular third baseman Aramis Ramírez was on the disabled list for the last few weeks of the 2005 season, he volunteered to temporarily play third base, and Cub skipper Dusty Baker agreed. Aside from his first game in the Majors, in which he played second base, he had played shortstop in all of his other Major League games up to that point in his career.

In 2006, Nomar returned to his home town, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Also with the team were former Red Sox players Bill Mueller, Derek Lowe, and manager Grady Little.

While facing the New York Mets on June 6, 2006, Nomar hit a two-run home run on the first pitch he ever saw against former teammate and fellow Boston icon Pedro Martínez. Coincidentally, Derek Lowe was the starting pitcher for the Dodgers that day.

Though he was able to retain his original jersey number (5), he moved to first base, while the Dodgers signed Rafael Furcal from the Atlanta Braves to step in for the recovering César Izturis at short. Healthy for the first extended period of time since 2003, he regained his offensive stroke, evidenced by a .370 batting average at one point, and by his remaining constantly productive. By the 2006 MLB All-Star Break, Nomar was tied with Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez for the lead among all MLB infielders and all NL batters with a .358 batting average, to go along with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs, carrying a 21-game hitting streak into the break. The .362 average he held at the 2006 All-Star break was the second highest by a Dodger since they moved into Dodger Stadium in 1962 with the only higher mark being held by Mike Piazza.

He adjusted well to playing first base, having committed only 1 error through 588.2 innings played--a .998 fielding percentage. He also was elected to the 2006 NL All-Star Team as the National League All-Star Final Vote winner, receiving around six million votes. It was his sixth trip to the Midsummer Classic, and his first as a first baseman and as a Dodger. His .358 batting average steadily declined to just a hair over .300 by the end of the season. Despite Garciaparra's late season slump and injuries, Garciaparra did prevail in the clutch for the Dodgers during their playoff race with two walk off home runs. The first capped off one of the most amazing games of the season on September 18, when the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs in the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres to tie the game. After the Padres scored a run in the tenth inning, Nomar hit a walk off two-run home run in the bottom of the tenth to win the game 11-10. Six days later on September 24, Garciaparra hit a walk off grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks to give the Dodgers a 5-1 victory with one week left in the regular season. Garciaparra's walk off home run against Arizona propelled the Dodgers to win their last seven games of the regular season, helping the Dodgers to make the playoffs.

On October 7, Garciaparra was named the National League's Comeback Player of the Year for 2006. He received 72,054 votes.

On November 20, 2006 the Dodgers re-signed Garciaparra to a 2-year contract worth $18.5 million, keeping him with the team through the 2008 season.

On June 25, 2007, Garciaparra volunteered to move from first to third base in order to make room for rookie James Loney.

During 2008 spring training Garciaparra suffered a microfracture on his hand after a hit-by-pitch. This forced him to start the 2008 MLB season on the DL. Rookie Blake DeWitt held the job in the meantime. On April 16, he started his first game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, only to suffer a strained left calf muscle 9 days later resulting in another trip to the DL. He returned July, 4th, 2008 playing shortstop for the first time since 2005.

Garciaparra was placed on the DL on August 1, 2008 solely to make room for Manny Ramirez, who had been acquired in a trade. He had sprained his knee in a contest against the Washington Nationals on a play in which Loney threw the ball into the dirt, forcing Garciaparra, who was covering third base, to go to his knees to save the ball, allowing Lastings Milledge to slide into him spikes-first.

On March 6, 2009, Garciaparra signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics.

On November 22, 2003, Garciaparra married Olympian and World Cup Champion soccer star Mia Hamm. The couple have twin girls, Grace Isabella and Ava Caroline, who were born on March 27, 2007, in Los Angeles.

Both he and Mia Hamm were on Olympic teams in their respective sports. Garciaparra was on the 1992 Olympic baseball team, and Hamm was on the 1996, 2000, and 2004 women's Olympic soccer teams.

Garciaparra uses the song "Low Rider" by War as his entrance music when he comes up to bat.

Garciaparra is known for his idiosyncratic tics when batting. This habit includes an elaborate routine of glove adjustments and alternating toe taps on the ground prior to an ensuing pitch.

Garciaparra is the cousin of Arturo Javier Ledesma, a Mexican soccer player who currently plays for Club Deportivo Guadalajara. His uncle is legendary Mexican soccer goalkeeper, Javier "Zully" Ledesma. His brother, Michael Garciaparra, is a baseball player, playing first base for the Double-A Huntsville Stars.

On the Kate Hudson/Radiohead episode on season 26 of Saturday Night Live, Garciaparra cameoed in a "Boston Teens" sketch.

On October 8, 2005, Garciaparra and his uncle Victor were alerted to the screams of two women who had fallen into Boston Harbor outside his condominium. One of the women sustained injuries to her head after hitting the pier on her way in. Garciaparra quickly jumped into the harbor and saved both women, who were later taken to the hospital.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through September 11, 2008.

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Boston Red Sox

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The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox are a member of the Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Since 1912, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park. The "Red Sox" name originates from the iconic uniform feature.

The club was founded in 1901, as of the American League's eight charter franchises. They were a dominant team in the new league -- defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903. They won four more championships by 1918, and then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history, which ended in 2004, when the team won their sixth World Series Championship. Since 2003, the Red Sox have competed in four ALCS, have won two World Series, and have emerged as arguably the most successful MLB team of the last decade.

The Red Sox led all MLB teams in average road attendance in 2007, while the small capacity of Fenway Park caused them to rank 11th in home attendance. Every home game since May 15, 2003 has been sold out—a span of over five years and an MLB record.

The name Red Sox, chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season, refers to the red hose in the team uniform beginning 1908. Actually, Sox was adopted by newspapers needing a headline-friendly form of Stockings, as "Stockings Win!" in large type would not fit on a page. The Spanish language media sometimes refers to the team as Medias Rojas for Red Stockings.

The name originated with the Cincinnati Red Stockings, 1867-1870 member of the pioneering National Association of Base Ball Players. Managed by Harry Wright, Cincinnati adopted a uniform with white knickers and red stockings, and earned the famous nickname, a year or two before hiring the first fully professional team in 1869. When the club folded after the 1870 season, Wright was hired to organize a new team in Boston, and he did, bringing three teammates and the "Red Stockings" nickname along (Most nicknames were then only nicknames, neither club names nor registered trademarks, so the migration was informal). The Boston Red Stockings won four championships in the five seasons of the new National Association, the first professional league.

Boston and a new Cincinnati club were charter members of the National League in 1876. Perhaps in deference to the Cincinnati history, many people reserved the "Red Stockings" nickname for that city with the Boston team commonly referred to as the "Red Caps" today. Other names were sometimes used before Boston officially adopted the nickname "Braves" in 1912; that club is now based in Atlanta.

The National League club, though seldom called the "Red Stockings" anymore, still wore red trim. In 1907, the National League club adopted an all-white uniform, and the American League team saw an opportunity. On December 18, 1907, Taylor announced that the club had officially adopted red as its new team color. The 1908 uniforms featured a large icon of a red stocking angling across the shirt front. For 1908, the National League club returned to wearing red trim, but the American League team finally had an official nickname, and would remain "The Red Sox" for good.

The name is often shortened to "Bosox" or "BoSox," a combination of "Boston" and "Sox" (similar to the "ChiSox" in Chicago or the minor league "PawSox" of Pawtucket). Sportswriters sometimes refer to the Red Sox as the Crimson Hose, and the Olde Towne Team. However, most fans simply refer to the team as the "Sox" when the context is understood to mean Red Sox.

For years many sources have listed the early Boston AL team as the "Pilgrims", but researcher Bill Nowlin has demonstrated that the name was barely used, if at all, at the time.

In 1901, the minor Western League, led by Ban Johnson, declared its equality with the National League, then the only major league in baseball. Johnson changed the name of the league to the American League, leading teams in his league to be christened with the unofficial nickname "Americans". This was especially true in the case of the new Boston franchise, which would not adopt an official nickname until 1908.

The upstart league placed franchises in Baltimore, Maryland and Buffalo. After looking at his new league Ban Johnson decided that he would need a team in Boston to compete with the National League team there and so cancelled the Buffalo club's franchise, offering one to a new club in Boston. Playing their home games at Huntington Avenue Grounds, the Boston franchise finished second and third before capturing their first pennant in 1903 and repeating the next year. Those teams were led by manager and star third baseman Jimmy Collins, outfielders Chick Stahl, Buck Freeman and Patsy Dougherty and pitcher Cy Young, who in 1901 won the pitching Triple Crown with 33 wins (41.8% of the team's 79 games), 1.62 ERA and 158 strikeouts. His 1901 to 1904 seasons rank among the best four-year runs ever.

In 1903, Boston participated in the first modern World Series, beating the favored Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of the NL pennant by six and a half games, winning the best-of-nine series five games to three. Aided by the modified chants of "Tessie" by the Royal Rooters fan club and by its stronger pitching staff, the Americans managed to overcome the odds, and win the World Series.

The 1904 club was almost as good as the previous team, but due to the surprise emergence of the New York Highlanders, the Boston club found itself in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. A predecessor to what would become a storied rivalry, this race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub. The climax of the season occurred on the last, dramatic doubleheader at the Highlanders’ home stadium, Hilltop Park. In order to win the pennant, the Highlanders needed to win both games. With Jack Chesbro, the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, and the score tied 2-2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro and Lou Criger scored the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history.

Unfortunately, the NL champion New York Giants declined to play any postseason series, fearing it would give their New York rivals credibility (they had expected the Highlanders to win), but a sharp public reaction led the two leagues immediately to make the World Series a permanent championship, starting in 1905.

These successful times soon ended, however, as Boston lost 100 games in 1906. However, several new star players helped the newly renamed Red Sox improve almost immediately.

By 1909, legendary center fielder Tris Speaker had become a fixture in the Boston outfield, and the team worked their way to third place. However, the Red Sox would not win the pennant again until their 105-win 1912 season, finishing with a club record .691 winning percentage. Anchored by an outfield considered to be among the finest in the game—Tris Speaker, Harry Hooper and Duffy Lewis—and superstar pitcher Smoky Joe Wood, the Red Sox beat the New York Giants 4-3-1 in the classic 1912 World Series best known for Snodgrass’s Muff. From 1913 to 1916 the Red Sox were owned by Joseph Lannin, who signed Babe Ruth, soon the best-known and one of the best players ever. Another 101 wins in 1915 propelled the Red Sox to the 1915 World Series, where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies four games to one. Following the 1915 season, Tris Speaker was traded to the Cleveland Indians. His departure was more than compensated for, however, by the emergence of star pitcher Babe Ruth. The Red Sox went on to win the 1916 World Series, this time defeating the Brooklyn Robins. In 1918, Babe Ruth led his team to another World Series championship. This time over the Chicago Cubs.

Harry Frazee bought the Red Sox from Joseph Lannin in 1916 for about $500,000. A couple of notable trades involving Harry Frazee and the Yankees occurred before the Babe Ruth sale. On December 18, 1918, outstanding outfielder Duffy Lewis, pitcher Dutch Leonard (who'd posted a modern record 0.96 ERA in 1914.), and pitcher Ernie Shore were traded to the Yankees for pitcher Ray Caldwell, Slim Love, Roxy Walters, Frank Gilhooley and $15,000. As all three players were well-regarded in Boston — Lewis had been a key player on the 1910s championship teams, Shore had famously relieved Babe Ruth and retired 27 straight, and Leonard had only four years before set a modern record for earned run average — this trade was regarded as a poor one in Boston, Then, on July 13, 1919, submarine-style pitching star Carl Mays was traded to the Yankees for Bob McGraw, Allan Russell and $40,000. Mays would go on to have several good years for the Yankees, but had been a discipline problem for the Red Sox.

On December 26, 1919, Frazee sold Babe Ruth, who had played the previous six seasons for the Red Sox, to the rival New York Yankees (Ruth had just broken the single-season home run record, hitting 29 in 1919.) Legend has it that Frazee did so in order to finance the Broadway play No, No, Nanette. That play did not actually open on Broadway until 1925, but as Leigh Montville discovered during research for his book, The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth, No, No, Nanette had originated as a non-musical stage play called My Lady Friends, which opened on Broadway in December 1919. My Lady Friends had, indeed, been financed by the Ruth sale to the Yankees.

During that period, the Red Sox, Yankees and Chicago White Sox had a détente; they were called "Insurrectos" because their actions antagonized league president Ban Johnson. Although Frazee owned the Boston Red Sox franchise, he did not own Fenway Park (it was owned by the Fenway Park Trust), making his ownership a precarious one; Johnson could move another team into the ballpark. His club was in debt, but Frazee felt the need to purchase its playing site (which he did in 1920). Further, providing the Yankees with a box office attraction would help that mediocre club, which had sided with him against Johnson and "the Loyal Five" clubs. Finally, Ruth was considered a serious disciplinary problem, a reputation he amply confirmed while playing for the Yankees. Frazee moved Ruth to stabilize Red Sox finances and cut distractions. It was a straight sale, no players in return.

New York achieved great success after acquiring Ruth and several other very good players. Boston, meanwhile, did poorly during the 20s and 30s, and the sale of Babe Ruth came to be viewed as the beginning of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, widely considered the "Greatest Rivalry on Earth" by sports journalists.

After deciding to get out of baseball, Frazee began selling many of his star players. In the winter of 1920, Wally Schang, Waite Hoyt, Harry Harper and Mike McNally were traded to the Yankees for Del Pratt, Muddy Ruel, John Costello, Hank Thormahlen, Sammy Vick and cash. The following winter, iron man shortstop Everett Scott, and pitchers Bullet Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones were traded to the Yankees for Roger Peckinpaugh (who would be immediately shipped to the Washington Senators), Jack Quinn, Rip Collins, Bill Piercy and $50,000. On July 23, 1922, Joe Dugan and Elmer Smith were traded to the Yankees for Elmer Miller, Chick Fewster, Johnny Mitchell, and Lefty O'Doul, who was at the time a mediocre pitching prospect. Acquiring Dugan helped the Yankees edge the St. Louis Browns in a tight pennant race, and the resulting uproar helped create a June 15 trading deadline that went into effect the next year. Perhaps an even more outrageous deal was the trade of Herb Pennock, occurring in early 1923. Pennock was traded by the Red Sox to the Yankees for Camp Skinner, Norm McMillan, George Murray and $50,000.

Over an eight-year period from 1925 to 1932, the Red Sox averaged over 100 losses per season. One of the few bright spots on these teams was Earl Webb, who set the all-time mark for most doubles in a season in 1931 with 67. The BoSox’ fortunes began to change in 1933 when Tom Yawkey bought the team. Yawkey acquired pitcher Wes Ferrell and one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, Lefty Grove, making his team competitive once again in the late thirties. He also acquired Joe Cronin, an outstanding shortstop and manager and slugging first baseman Jimmie Foxx whose 50 home runs in 1938 would stand as a club record for 68 years. Foxx also drove in a club record 175 runs.

In 1939, the Red Sox purchased the contract of outfielder Ted Williams from the minor league San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League, ushering in an era of the team sometimes called the "Ted Sox." Williams consistently hit for both high power and high average, and is generally considered one of the greatest hitters of all time. The right-field bullpens in Fenway were built in part for Williams' left-handed swing, and are sometimes called "Williamsburg." Before this addition, it was over 400 feet (120 m) to right field. He served two stints in the United States Marine Corps as a pilot and saw active duty in both World War II and the Korean War, missing at least five full seasons of baseball. His book The Science of Hitting is widely read by students of baseball. He is currently the last player to hit over .400 for a full season, batting .406 in 1941.. Williams feuded with sports writers his whole career, calling them "The Knights of the Keyboard," and his relationship with the fans was often rocky as he was seen spitting towards the stands on more than one occasion.

With Williams, the Red Sox reached the 1946 World Series, but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games in part because of the use of the "Williams Shift," a defensive tactic in which the shortstop would move to the right side of the infield to make it harder for the left-handed-hitting Williams to hit to that side of the field. Some have claimed that he was too proud to hit to the other side of the field, not wanting to let the Cardinals take away his game. His performance may have also been affected by a pitch he took in the elbow in an exhibition game a few days earlier. Either way, in his first and only World Series, Williams gathering just five singles in 25 at-bats for a .200 average.

The Cardinals won the 1946 Series when Enos Slaughter scored the go-ahead run all the way from first base on a base hit to left field. The throw from Leon Culberson was cut off by shortstop Johnny Pesky (for whom the right field foul pole in Fenway is named "Pesky's Pole)," who relayed the ball to the plate just a hair too late. Some say Pesky hesitated or "held the ball" before he turned to throw the ball, but this has been disputed.

Along with Williams and Pesky, the Red Sox featured several other star players during the 1940s, including second baseman Bobby Doerr and center fielder Dom DiMaggio (the younger brother of Joe DiMaggio).

The Red Sox narrowly lost the AL pennant in 1948 and 1949. In 1948, they finished in a tie with Cleveland, and their loss to Cleveland in a one-game playoff ended hopes of an all-Boston World Series. Curiously, manager Joseph McCarthy chose journeyman Denny Galehouse to start the playoff game when the young lefty phenom Mel Parnell was available to pitch. In 1949, the Red Sox were one game ahead of the New York Yankees, with the only two games left for both teams being against each other, and they lost both of those games.

The 1950s were viewed as a time of tribulation for the Red Sox. After Williams returned from the Korean War in 1953, many of the best players from the late 1940s had retired or been traded. The stark contrast in the team led critics to call the Red Sox' daily lineup "Ted Williams and the Seven Dwarfs." Jackie Robinson was even worked out by the team at Fenway Park, however it appeared that owner Tom Yawkey did not want an African American player on his team at that time. Willie Mays also tried out for Boston and was highly praised by team scouts. Ted Williams hit .388 at the age of 38 in 1957, but there was little else for Boston fans to root for. Williams retired at the end of the 1960 season, famously hitting a home run in his final at-bat as memorialized in the John Updike story "Hub fans bid Kid adieu." The Red Sox finally became the last Major League team to field an African American player when they promoted infielder Pumpsie Green from their AAA farm team in 1959.

The 1960s also started poorly for the Red Sox, though 1961 saw the debut of Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski, Williams' replacement in left field, who developed into one of the better hitters of a pitching-rich decade.

Red Sox fans know 1967 as the season of the "Impossible Dream." The slogan refers to the hit song from the popular musical play "Man of La Mancha." 1967 saw one of the great pennant races in baseball history with four teams in the AL pennant race until almost the last game. The BoSox had finished the 1966 season in ninth place, but they found new life with Yastrzemski as the team went to the 1967 World Series. Yastrzemski won the American League Triple Crown (the most recent player to accomplish such a feat), hitting .326 with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs. He finished one vote short of a unanimous MVP selection, as a Minnesota sportswriter placed Twins center fielder César Tovar first on his ballot. But the Red Sox lost the series — again to the St. Louis Cardinals, in seven games. Legendary pitcher Bob Gibson stymied the Red Sox winning three games.

An 18-year-old Bostonian rookie named Tony Conigliaro slugged 24 home runs in 1964. "Tony C" became the youngest player in Major League Baseball to hit his 100th home run, a record that stands today. However, he was struck just above the left cheek bone by a fastball thrown by Jack Hamilton of the California Angels in August 1967. Conigliaro sat out the entire next season with headaches and blurred vision. Although he did have a productive season in 1970, he was never the same.

Although the Red Sox were competitive for much of the late 1960s and early 1970s, they never finished higher than second place in their division. The closest they came to a divisional title was 1972, when they lost by a half-game to the Detroit Tigers. The start of the season was delayed by a players' strike, and the Red Sox further lost a game to a rainout that was never replayed, which caused the Red Sox to lose the division by a half-game. On October 2, 1972, they also lost the second to last game of the year to the Tigers, 3-1, when Luis Aparicio fell rounding third after Yastremski hit a triple in the third inning, Aparicio tried to scamper back to third but this created an out as Yastremski was already on third.

The Red Sox won the AL pennant in 1975. The 1975 Red Sox were as colorful as they were talented, with Yastrzemski and rookie outfielders Jim Rice and Fred Lynn, veteran outfielder Dwight Evans, catcher Carlton Fisk, and pitchers Luis Tiant and eccentric junkballer Bill "The Spaceman" Lee. Fred Lynn won both the American League Rookie of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award, a feat which had never previously been accomplished, and was not duplicated until Ichiro Suzuki did it in 2001.. In the ALCS, the Red Sox swept the Oakland A's.

In the 1975 World Series, they faced the heavily favored Cincinnati Reds, also known as The Big Red Machine. Luis Tiant won games 1 and 4 of the World Series but after five games, the Red Sox trailed the series 3 games to 2. Game 6 at Fenway Park is considered among the greatest games in postseason history. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Red Sox pinch hitter Bernie Carbo hit a three run homer into the center field bleachers off Reds fireman Rawly Eastwick to tie the game. In the top of the eleventh inning, right fielder Dwight Evans made a spectacular catch of a Joe Morgan line drive and doubled Ken Griffey at first base to preserve the tie. In the bottom of the twelfth inning, Carlton Fisk hit a deep fly ball which sliced towards the left field foul pole above the Green Monster. As the ball sailed into the night, Fisk waved his arms frantically towards fair territory, seemingly pleading with the ball not to go foul. The ball complied, and bedlam ensued at Fenway as Fisk rounded the bases to win the game for the Red Sox 7-6. Footage of the Fisk home run is shown again and again on ESPN classic.

In 1978, the Red Sox and the Yankees were involved in a tight pennant race. The Yankees were 14½ games behind the Red Sox in July, and on September 10, after completing a 4-game sweep of the Red Sox (known as "The Boston Massacre"), the Yankees tied for the divisional lead.

For the final three weeks of the season, the teams fought closely and the lead changed hands several times. By the final day of the season, the Yankees' magic number to win the division was one — with a win over Cleveland or a Boston loss to the Toronto Blue Jays clinching the division. However, New York lost 9-2 and Boston won 5-0, forcing a one-game playoff to be held at Fenway Park on Monday, October 2.

The most remembered moment from the game was Bucky Dent's 7th inning three-run home run in off Mike Torrez just over the Green Monster, giving the Yankees their first lead. Reggie Jackson provided a solo home run in the 8th that proved to be the difference in the Yankees' 5-4 win, which ended with Yastrzemski popping out to Graig Nettles in foul territory with Rick Burleson representing the tying run at third.

Carl Yastrzemski retired after the 1983 season, during which the Red Sox finished sixth in the seven-team AL East, posting their worst record since 1966. However, in 1986, it appeared that the team's fortunes were about to change. The offense had remained strong with Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Don Baylor and Wade Boggs. Roger Clemens led the pitching staff, going 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA, and had a 20-strikeout game to win both the American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. Clemens became the first starting pitcher to win both awards since Vida Blue in 1971, and no starting pitcher has won the MVP award in either league since.

The Red Sox won the AL East for the first time in 11 seasons, and faced the California Angels in the AL Championship Series. The teams split the first two games in Boston, but the Angels won the next two games home games, taking a 3-1 lead in the series. With the Angels poised to win the series, the Red Sox trailed 5-2 heading into the ninth inning of Game 5. A two-run homer by Baylor cut the lead to one. With two outs and a runner on, and one strike away from elimination, Dave Henderson homered off Donnie Moore to put Boston up 6-5. Although the Angels tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox won in the 11th on a Henderson sacrifice fly off Moore. The Red Sox then found themselves with six- and seven-run wins at Fenway Park in Games 6 and 7 to win the American League title.

The Red Sox faced a heavily favored New York Mets team that had won 108 games in the regular season in the 1986 World Series. Boston won the first two games in Shea Stadium but lost the next two at Fenway, knotting the series at 2 games apiece. After Bruce Hurst recorded his second victory of the series in Game 5, the Red Sox returned to Shea Stadium looking to garner their first championship in 68 years. However, Game 6 would go down as one of the most devastating losses in club history. After pitching seven strong innings, Clemens was lifted from the game with a 3-2 lead. Years later, Manager John McNamara said Clemens was suffering from a blister and asked to be taken out of the game, a claim Clemens denied. The Mets then scored a run off reliever and former Met Calvin Schiraldi to tie the score 3-3. The game went to extra innings, where the Red Sox took a 5-3 lead in the top of the 10th on a solo home run by Henderson, a double by Boggs and an RBI single by second baseman Marty Barrett.

After recording two outs in the bottom of the 10th, a graphic appeared on the NBC telecast hailing Barrett as the Player of the Game, and Bruce Hurst had been named World Series MVP. A message even appeared briefly on the Shea Stadium scoreboard congratulating the Red Sox as world champions. After so many years of abject frustration, Red Sox fans around the world could taste victory. With two strikes, Mets catcher Gary Carter hit a single. It was followed by singles by Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight. With Mookie Wilson batting, a wild pitch by Bob Stanley tied the game at 5. Wilson then hit a slow ground ball to first; the ball rolled through Bill Buckner's legs, allowing Knight to score the winning run from second.

While Buckner was singled out as responsible for the loss, many observers — as well as both Wilson and Buckner — have noted that even if Buckner had fielded the ball cleanly, the speedy Wilson probably would still have been safe, leaving the game-winning run at third with two out.

The Red Sox returned to the postseason in 1988. With the club in fourth place midway through the 1988 season at the All-Star break, manager John McNamara was fired and replaced by Joe Morgan on July 15. Immediately the club won 12 games in a row, and 19 of 20 overall, to surge to the AL East title in what would be referred to as Morgan Magic. But the magic was short-lived, as the team was swept by the Oakland Athletics in the ALCS. Ironically, the MVP of that Series was former Red Sox pitcher and Baseball Hall of Fame player Dennis Eckersley, who saved all four wins for Oakland. Two years later, in 1990, the Red Sox would again win the division and face the Athletics in the ALCS. However, the outcome was the same, with the A's sweeping the ALCS in four straight.

Tom Yawkey died in 1976, and his wife Jean R. Yawkey took control of the team until her death in 1992. Their initials are shown in two stripes on the Left field wall in Morse code. Upon Jean's death, control of the team passed to the Yawkey Trust, led by John Harrington. The trust sold the team in 2002, concluding 70 years of Yawkey ownership.

In 1994, General Manager Lou Gorman was replaced by Dan Duquette, a Massachusetts native who had worked for the Montreal Expos. Duquette revived the team's farm system, which during his tenure produced players such as Nomar Garciaparra, Carl Pavano and David Eckstein. Duquette also spent money on free agents, notably an eight-year, $160 million deal for Manny Ramírez after the 2000 season.

The Red Sox won the newly-realigned American League East in 1995, finishing seven games ahead of the Yankees. However, they were swept in three games in the ALDS by the Cleveland Indians. Their postseason losing streak reached 13 straight games, dating back to the 1986 World Series.

Roger Clemens tied his major league record by fanning 20 Detroit Tigers on September 18, 1996 in what would prove to be one of his final appearances in a Red Sox uniform. After Clemens had turned 30 and then had four seasons, 1993-96, which were by his standards mediocre at best, Duquette said the pitcher was entering "the twilight of his career." Clemens went on to pitch well for another ten years and win four more Cy Young awards.

Out of contention in 1997, the team traded closer Slocum to Seattle for catching prospect Jason Varitek and right-handed pitcher Derek Lowe. Prior to the start of the 1998 season, the Red Sox dealt pitchers Tony Armas, Jr. and Carl Pavano to the Montreal Expos for pitcher Pedro Martínez. Martínez became the anchor of the team's pitching staff and turned in several outstanding seasons. In 1998, the team won the American League Wild Card, but again lost the American League Division Series to the Indians.

In 1999, Duquette called Fenway Park "economically obsolete" and, along with Red Sox ownership, led a push for a new stadium. Despite support from the Massachusetts Legislature and other politicians, issues with buying out neighboring property and steadfast opposition within Boston's city council eventually doomed the project.

On the field, the 1999 Red Sox were finally able to overturn their fortunes against the Indians. Cleveland took a 2-0 series lead, but Boston won the next three games behind strong pitching by Derek Lowe, Pedro Martínez and his brother Ramón Martínez. Game 4's 23-7 win by the Red Sox was the highest-scoring playoff game in major league history. Game 5 began with the Indians taking a 5-2 lead after two innings, but Pedro Martínez, nursing a shoulder injury, came on in the fourth inning and pitched six innings without allowing a hit while the team's offense rallied for a 12-8 win behind two home runs and seven RBIs from outfielder Troy O'Leary. After the ALDS victory, the Red Sox lost the American League Championship Series to the Yankees, four games to one. The one bright spot was a lopsided win for the Red Sox in the much-hyped Martinez-Clemens game.

In 2002, the Red Sox were sold by Yawkey trustee and president Harrington to New England Sports Ventures, a consortium headed by principal owner John Henry. Tom Werner served as executive chairman, Larry Lucchino served as president and CEO, and serving as vice chairman was Les Otten. Dan Duquette was fired as GM of the club on February 28, with former Angels GM Mike Port taking the helm for the 2002 season. A week later, manager Joe Kerrigan was fired and was replaced by Grady Little.

While nearly all offseason moves were made under Dan Duquette, such as signing outfielder Johnny Damon away from the Oakland A's, the new ownership made additions after their purchase of the team, including trading for outfielder Cliff Floyd and relief pitcher Alan Embree. Nomar Garciaparra, Manny Ramírez, and Floyd all hit well, while Pedro Martínez put up his usual outstanding numbers. Derek Lowe, newly converted into a starter, won 20 games—becoming the first player to save 20 games and win 20 games in back-to-back seasons. The Red Sox won 93 games but they finished 10½ games behind the Yankees for the division and 6 behind the Angels for the AL wild card.

In the off-season, Port was replaced by Yale graduate Theo Epstein. At the age of 28, Epstein became the youngest general manager in the history of MLB up to that point. He was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The "Idiots" of 2004 arose out of the "Cowboy Up" team of 2003, a nickname derived from first baseman Kevin Millar's challenge to his teammates to show more determination. In addition to Millar, the team's offense was so deep that 2003 batting champion Bill Mueller batted 7th in the lineup behind sluggers Manny Ramírez and the newly acquired David Ortiz.

GM Theo Epstein, noticing that Mueller was hitting very well in a limited role, traded Shea Hillenbrand to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Byung-Hyun Kim. Receiving much more playing time following the trade, Ortiz contributed significantly in the second half of the season. The trade ended up greatly benefiting the team, as the Red Sox broke many batting records and won the AL Wild Card.

In the 2003 American League Division Series, the Red Sox rallied from a 0-2 series deficit against the Oakland Athletics to win the best-of-five series. Derek Lowe returned to his former relief pitching role to save Game 5, a 4-3 victory. The team then faced the Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. In Game 7, Boston led 5-2 in the eighth inning, but Pedro Martínez allowed three runs to tie the game. The Red Sox could not score off Mariano Rivera over the last three innings and eventually lost the game 6-5 when Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone hit a solo home run off Tim Wakefield.

Some placed the blame for the loss on manager Grady Little for failing to remove starting pitcher Martínez in the 8th inning after some observers believe he began to show signs of tiring. Others credited Little with the team's successful season and dramatic come-from-behind victory in the ALDS. Nevertheless, Boston's management decided a change was in order and did not renew Little's contract. He was replaced by former Philadelphia Phillies manager Terry Francona.

During the 2003-04 offseason, the Red Sox acquired another ace pitcher, Curt Schilling, and a closer, Keith Foulke. Expectations once again ran high that 2004 would be the year that the Red Sox ended their championship drought. The regular season started well in April, but through mid-season the team struggled due to injuries, inconsistency, and defensive woes.

Management shook up the team at the MLB trading deadline on July 31 with a blockbuster four team trade. They traded the team's popular yet often injured shortstop Nomar Garciaparra with outfielder Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs sent Brendan Harris, Alex Gonzalez and Francis Beltran to the Montreal Expos, and minor leaguer Justin Jones to the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox received first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins, and shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Expos.

Boston began the postseason by sweeping the AL West champion Anaheim Angels in the ALDS. However, Curt Schilling suffered a torn ankle tendon in Game 1 when he was hit by a line drive. In the third game of the series, Vladimir Guerrero hit a grand slam off Mike Timlin in the 7th inning to tie the game. However, David Ortiz hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to win the game. The Red Sox advanced to a rematch in the ALCS against the Yankees.

The series started very poorly for the Red Sox. Schilling, pitching injured, was routed for six runs in three innings and Boston ended up losing Game 1. In the second game, with his Yankees leading 1-0 for most of the game, John Olerud hit a two-run home run to put New York up for good. Following this, the Red Sox were down three games to none after a crushing 19-8 loss in Game 3 at home.

Up to this point, no team in the history of baseball had come back to win from a 3-0 series deficit. In Game 4, the Red Sox found themselves facing elimination, trailing 4-3 in the ninth with Mariano Rivera in to close for the Yankees. After Rivera issued a walk to Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came on to pinch run and promptly stole second base. He then scored on an RBI single by Bill Mueller, sending the game into extra innings. The Red Sox went on to win the game on a two-run home run by David Ortiz in the 12th inning. Game 5 would last 14 innings, setting the record for the longest ALCS game ever played. Both sides squandered many opportunities, until Ortiz again sealed the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 14th.

With the series returning to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, the comeback continued with Schilling pitching on a bad ankle. The three sutures in Schilling's ankle bled throughout the game, making his sock appear bloody red. Schilling only allowed one run over 7 innings to lead the Red Sox to victory. In Game 7, the Red Sox completed their historic comeback owing to the strength of Derek Lowe's pitching and Johnny Damon's two home runs (including a grand slam in the second inning). The Yankees were defeated 10-3. Ortiz, who had the game winning RBIs in Games 4 and 5, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders as the only professional sports teams in history to win a best-of-seven games series after being down three games to none.

The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. The Red Sox began the series with an 11-9 win, marked by Mark Bellhorn's game-winning home run off Pesky's Pole. Game 2 in Boston was won thanks to another great performance by the bloody-socked Curt Schilling. Pedro Martínez (in his first World Series performance) shut out the Cardinals for seven innings and led Boston to a 4-1 victory in game 3, and Derek Lowe and the Red Sox did not allow a single run in game 4. The game ended as Edgar Rentería hit the ball back to closer Keith Foulke. After Foulke lobbed the ball to Mientkiewicz at first, the Red Sox had won their first World Championship in 86 years.

Boston held the Cardinals' offense to only three runs in the final three games and never trailed in the series. Manny Ramírez was named World Series MVP. To add a final, surreal touch to Boston's championship season, on the night of Game 4 a total lunar eclipse colored the moon red over Busch Stadium. The city of Boston held a "rolling rally" for the team on October 30, 2004. Red Sox Nation packed the streets of Boston that Saturday to celebrate as the team rode on the city's famous Duck Boats. The Red Sox earned many accolades from the sports media and throughout the nation for their incredible season. In December, Sports Illustrated named the Boston Red Sox the 2004 Sportsmen of the Year.

After winning its first World Series in 86 years, the club re-signed Jason Varitek and named him team captain. The 2005 AL East would be decided on the last weekend of the season, with the Yankees coming to Fenway Park with a one-game lead in the standings. The Red Sox won two of the three games to finish the season with the same record as the Yankees, 95-67. However, a playoff was not needed. The Yankees had won the season series, 10-9, thus they won the division, and the Red Sox settled for the Wild Card. Boston was swept in three games by the eventual 2005 World Series champion White Sox in the first round of the playoffs.

On October 31, 2005, general manager Theo Epstein resigned on the last day of his contract. On Thanksgiving evening, the Red Sox announced the acquisition of pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell from the Florida Marlins, while sending several prospects including Hanley Ramírez to the Marlins. Fan-favorite Johnny Damon broke the hearts of Red Sox Nation by signing a four-year, $52 million deal with the Yankees. The team filled the vacancy in center field left by Damon's departure by trading for Cleveland Indians center fielder Coco Crisp. However, Crisp fractured his left index finger in April and would end up missing over 50 games in 2006. In January 2006, Epstein came to terms with the Red Sox and was once again named General Manager.

The revamped Red Sox infield, with third baseman Mike Lowell joining new shortstop Alex Gonzalez, second baseman Mark Loretta, and first baseman Kevin Youkilis was one of the best-fielding infields in baseball. The Red Sox committed the fewest errors in the American League in 2006, and on June 30, Boston set a major league record of 17 straight errorless games. One of the brightest spots of the 2006 season was the emergence of new closer Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon ended up setting a Red Sox rookie record with 35 saves and earning an All-Star appearance. Also, David Ortiz provided a late-season highlight when he broke Jimmie Foxx's single season Red Sox home run record by hitting 54 homers. Down the stretch, the Red Sox wilted under the pressure of mounting injuries and poor performances. Boston would compile a 9-21 record in the month of August. Injuries to Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon, and Manny Ramírez severely hurt the offense. Also, injuries to Tim Wakefield, rookie Jon Lester (diagnosed with lymphoma), and Matt Clement left the rotation with major holes to fill. The Red Sox finished 2006 with an 86-76 record and third place in the AL East.

Theo Epstein's first step toward restocking the team for 2007 was to pursue one of the most anticipated acquisitions in baseball history. On November 14, MLB announced that Boston had won the bid for the rights to negotiate a contract with Japanese superstar pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston placed a bid of $51.1 million and had 30 days to complete a deal. On December 13, Matsuzaka signed a 6-year, $52 million contract.

Fan favorite Trot Nixon filed for free agency and agreed on a deal with the Indians. With an opening in right field, the Red Sox signed J.D. Drew on January 25, 2007 to a 5-year, $70 million contract. Free agent Shortstop Álex González was replaced by another free agent, Julio Lugo. Second baseman Mark Loretta also left via free agency for the Houston Astros, opening a spot for rookie Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox moved into first place in the AL East by mid-April and never relinquished their division lead. While Ortiz and Ramirez provided their usual offense, it was the hitting of Lowell, Youkilis, and Pedroia that anchored the club through the first few months. While Drew, Lugo, and Coco Crisp struggled to provide offense, Lowell and Youkilis more than made up for it with averages well above .300 and impressive home run and RBI totals. Pedroia started badly, hitting below .200 in April. Manager Terry Francona stuck with him and his patience paid off as Pedroia finished the first half over .300.

On the mound, Josh Beckett emerged as the ace of the staff and was 12-2 at the all-star break. His success was needed as Schilling, Matsuzaka, Wakefield and Tavarez all struggled at times. Meanwhile, the Boston bullpen, anchored by Papelbon and Hideki Okajima, was there to pick up the starters often. Papelbon served as the stopper, and the rise of Okajima as a legitimate setup man and occasional closer gave the Red Sox more options late in the game. Okajima posted an ERA of 0.88 through the first half and was selected for the All-Star Game.

By the All-Star break, Boston had the best record in baseball and held their largest lead in the American League East, 10 games over the Blue Jays and Yankees. In the second half, more stars emerged for the Red Sox as they continued to lead the AL East. Beckett continued to shine, reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career. At one point, veteran Tim Wakefield found himself atop the AL in wins and finished with a 17-12 record. Minor league call-up Clay Buchholz provided a spark on September 1 by pitching a no-hitter in his second career start. Another call-up, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, was thrust into the starting lineup while Manny Ramírez rested through most of September. Ellsbury played brilliantly during the month, hitting .361 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Mike Lowell continued to carry the club, hitting cleanup in September and leading the team with 120 RBI for the season. Eventual 2007 Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia finished his outstanding first full season with 165 hits and a .317 average. The Red Sox became the first team to clinch a playoff spot for the 2007 season and the Red Sox captured their first AL East title since 1995.

The Red Sox swept the Angels in the ALDS. Facing the Indians in the ALCS, Josh Beckett won Game 1 but the Red Sox stumbled, losing the next three games. Facing a 3-1 deficit and a must-win situation, Beckett pitched eight innings while surrendering only one run and striking out 11 in a masterful Game 5 win. The Red Sox captured their twelfth American League pennant by outscoring the Indians 30-5 over the final three games, winning the final two games at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox faced the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series. Beckett set the tone in game 1, pitching seven strong innings as the offense provided more than enough in a 13-1 victory. In Game 2, Schilling, Okajima, and Papelbon held the Rockies to one run again in a 2-1 game. Moving to Colorado, the Red Sox offense made the difference again in a 10-5 win. Finally, in Game 4, Jon Lester took Wakefield's spot in the rotation and gave the Red Sox an impressive start, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings. The Rockies threatened, but thanks to World Series MVP Mike Lowell and aided by a home run by Bobby Kielty, Papelbon registered another save as the Red Sox swept the Rockies in four games, capturing their second title in four years.

Following their World Series victory, the Red Sox were forced to address a few personnel questions in the hopes of repeating as champion. The team re-signed free agents Mike Lowell, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield and Mike Timlin. The Red Sox also added veteran first baseman Sean Casey to back up Kevin Youkilis.

Injuries to Schilling, Timlin, and Josh Beckett landed each pitcher on the disabled list before the season began, putting added pressure on young starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox began their season by participating in the third opening day game in MLB history to be played in Japan, where they defeated the Oakland A's in the Tokyo Dome. Boston played well to start the season, settling into a top position in the AL East. However, the surprise Tampa Bay Rays took over the top of the division with a sweep over the Red Sox in early July. On May 19, Lester threw the 18th no-hitter in team history, beating the Kansas City Royals 7-0. During the season, Lester emerged as an anchor in the Red Sox rotation, leading the team in starts and innings pitched while compiling a 16-6 record and a 3.21 ERA. Buchholz meanwhile struggled mightily in 2008 to a 2-9 record, ending up back in the minors. Injuries would take a toll on the Red Sox offense during the season. David Ortiz missed 45 games with an injured wrist , Mike Lowell missed weeks with a torn hip labrum, and after a blistering performance in June, J.D. Drew aggravated a back injury that shelved him for much of the second half of the season. Down the stretch, outfielder Manny Ramirez - playing in the final year of his eight year contract - became a distraction to the team. His disruptive behavior included public incidents with fellow players in the dugout (shoving Kevin Youkilis), team employees (pushing the team's 64 year old traveling secretary to the ground), criticizing ownership, and not playing due to laziness and nonexistent injuries. The front office decided to move the disgrunted outfielder at the July 31 trade deadline, shipping him to the Dodgers in a three-way deal with the Pirates that landed them Jason Bay to replace him in left field.

With Ramirez gone, and Bay providing a new spark in the lineup, the Red Sox found new life. Kevin Youkilis had career highs in home runs (29) and RBIs (115). Closer Jonathan Papelbon set a career high in saves with 41. Daisuke Matsuzaka improved on his 2007 performance and led the team in wins, finishing with an 18–3 record. However, it was Dustin Pedroia who emerged as not only a team leader, but an American League MVP candidate. Pedroia hit over .340 in the second half, finishing the year at or near the top in the AL in batting average, hits, runs, and doubles. Despite Boston's 34-19 record following the trading deadline, the Rays held onto the AL East lead and captured their first division title in franchise history.

Boston still made the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. Behind the strong pitching of Jon Lester (two games started and no earned runs allowed), the Red Sox defeated the Angels in the ALDS three games to one. The Red Sox then took on their AL East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALCS. Down three games to one in the 5th game of the ALCS, Boston mounted the greatest single game comeback in ALCS history. Trailing 7-0 in the 7th inning with elimination pending, the Red Sox came back to win the game 8-7. They tied the series at 3 games apiece before losing Game 7, 3-1, thus becoming the eighth team in a row since 2000 not to repeat as world champions.

Former left fielder Mike Greenwell is from Fort Myers, Florida and was instrumental in bringing his team to the city for spring training. City of Palms Park was built in 1992 for that purpose and holds 8,000 people. It is also the home of the Red Sox Rookie team, the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, from April through June.

Perhaps the most memorable game played at City of Palms was on March 7, 2004. This was the first game played between the Red Sox and New York Yankees since Aaron Boone hit the home run that eliminated the Red Sox from the playoffs the previous October. Boone's replacement at third base, Alex Rodriguez was the high profile key acquisition of the off season for the Yankees, and he was savagely booed by the 7,304 in attendance.

Currently, the flagship radio station of the Red Sox is WRKO, 680 AM. Joe Castiglione, in his 25th year as the voice of the Red Sox, serves as the lead play-by-play announcer, along with the rotating team of Dave O'Brien, Dale Arnold and Jon Rish. Some of Castiglione's predecessors include Curt Gowdy, Ken Coleman, and Ned Martin. He has also worked with play-by-play veterans Bob Starr and Jerry Trupiano. Many stations throughout New England and beyond pick up the broadcasts. In addition WEEI 850 AM, WRKO's sister station and former Red Sox flagship station, broadcast all day games and Wednesday night games.

All Red Sox telecasts not shown nationally on FOX or ESPN are seen on New England Sports Network (NESN) with Don Orsillo calling play-by-play and Jerry Remy, former Red Sox second baseman, as color analyst. NESN became exclusive in 2006; before then, games were shown on such local stations as WBZ, WSBK, WLVI, WABU, and WFXT at various points in team history.

The Red Sox previously had a requirement that the player "must have finished their career with Red Sox," but this was reconsidered after the election of Carlton Fisk to the Hall of Fame. Fisk actually retired with the White Sox, but then-GM Dan Duquette hired him for one day as a special assistant, which allowed Fisk to technically end his career with the Red Sox. After that, with the anticipation that there might be other former Red Sox players who would be denied the chance to have their number by the club (a prime example would be Roger Clemens), the team dropped the rule. Some would argue that the rule still exists de jure, as Wade Boggs' number has not been retired by Boston even though he meets the official requirements (Boggs finished his career with the Tampa Bay Rays). It should be noted that Boston did honor Boggs by voting him into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004, the year before he was enshrined into Cooperstown.

The only exception that has been made to date is for former Boston shortstop Johnny Pesky, whose number 6 was retired on 28 September 2008. Pesky neither spent ten years as a player nor was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; however, Red Sox ownership cited "... his versatility of his contributions - on the field, off the field, in the dugout...," including as a manager, scout, and special instructor and decided that the honor had been well-earned.

The number 42 was officially retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, but Mo Vaughn was one of a handful of players to continue wearing #42 through a grandfather clause. He last wore it for the team in 1998. In commemoration of Jackie Robinson Day, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 for games played on April 15th, Coco Crisp (CF), David Ortiz (DH), and DeMarlo Hale (Coach) did that in 2007 and again in 2008. In 2009, MLB had all uniformed players for all teams wear #42.

Until the late 1990s, the numbers originally hung on the right-field facade in the order in which they were retired: 9-4-1-8. It was pointed out that the numbers, when read as a date (9/4/18), marked the eve of the first game of the 1918 World Series, the last championship series that the Red Sox won before 2004. After the facade was repainted, the numbers were rearranged in numerical order.

There is also considerable debate in Boston media circles and among fans about the potential retiring of Tony Conigliaro's number 25. Nonetheless, since Conigliaro's last full season in Boston, 1970, the number has been assigned to several players (including Orlando Cepeda, Mark Clear, Don Baylor, Larry Parrish, Jack Clark and Troy O'Leary). Number 25 is currently worn by the team's third baseman, Mike Lowell, who coincidentally won the Tony Conigliaro Award in 1999.

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Source : Wikipedia