Vladimir Guerrero

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Posted by kaori 03/20/2009 @ 23:11

Tags : vladimir guerrero, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
For Angels' Vladimir Guerrero, the details aren't minor - Los Angeles Times
Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero relaxes in Seattle before a game against the Mariners earlier this week. Beginning a rehab stint in Lake Elsinore, the slugger prepares to rejoin a team that badly needs him this season. But what about next year?...
Vlad hopes return as DH is a smash - Anaheim Angels
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com LOS ANGELES -- The Angels welcome back their big bopper, Vladimir Guerrero, for a homestand that brings the White Sox and Mariners to Angel Stadium for three games apiece. Guerrero, sidelined since April 15 with a pectoral...
Recoveries: Votto back, Vlad getting closer - SportingNews.com
Vladimir Guerrero has been been out since April 15 because of a torn right pectoral muscle, but he recently began a rehab assignment at Single-A. Guerrero went 1-for-3 with an RBI in his first game, and if he doesn't have any setbacks, he could be back...
Matthews, Pierre thrive as starters - Press-Enterprise
AP photo Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. (left) and the Dodgers' Juan Pierre are playing well in the starting lineup with Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez unavailable, but they are likely headed to backup roles once again....
Angels fortunes hinge on Vladimir Guerrero's return - Los Angeles Times
By Mike DiGiovanna Reporting from Seattle -- Vladimir Guerrero will begin a three-game minor league rehabilitation assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga tonight, and the Angels slugger is expected to be activated for Monday night's game against the...
ANGELS NOTES: Vlad out for at least another month - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
AP MINNEAPOLIS - Vladimir Guerrero wasn't able to throw. Now he can't hit, either, and the Angels must play without their valuable slugger for at least one month - if not more. Guerrero has a torn muscle in his chest and was placed on the 15-day...
Angels' Guerrero could return next week - Anaheim Angels
By Doug Miller / MLB.com SEATTLE -- Mike Scioscia doesn't seem to think Vladimir Guerrero needs more than two or three games of Minor League rehab to get ready to rejoin the Angels next week. "Usually in the spring, it takes him two or three pitches,"...
Dodgers righty Schmidt struck in head by hit during rehab assignment - Long Beach Press-Telegram
Angels manager Mike Scioscia confirmed that after a day off today, Vladimir Guerrero is expected to be activated Monday and hit out of the designated hitter spot in all three games against the Chicago White Sox. Guerrero has been on the disabled list...
Patrick Dunne's Lines Of The Week - Hartford Courant
The last time two teammates cycled in the same season was 2003, when Vladimir Guerrero and Brad Wilkerson turned the trick for the Expos. Number of consecutive games in which the Rays stole a base, thanks largely to Carl Crawford and his AL-leading 25...
AL Notes: Guerrero could return to Angels soon - Houston Chronicle
Vladimir Guerrero, out since April 15 because of a torn pectoral muscle, is on track to begin a short rehab assignment Thursday or Friday and could be activated to return to the lineup as soon as Memorial Day. OF Delmon Young, who is attending to his...

Vladimir Guerrero

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Vladimir Alvino Guerrero (born February 9, 1975, in Don Gregorio, Nizao, Dominican Republic)(known in his native Dominican Republic as Miquéas, Spanish for Micah), is a Major League Baseball right fielder who plays for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In 2004, he was voted the American League MVP.

An eight-time All Star, he is widely recognized as one of the best all-around players in Major League Baseball because he regularly hits for power, has a high average and is credited with one of the strongest outfield arms in baseball. Guerrero is also regarded as the game's premier "bad ball hitter" for his ability to crush balls thrown outside of the strike zone.

One of nine children, Guerrero is the younger brother of ex-major leaguer Wilton Guerrero, who also played with the Montreal Expos. He is also the cousin of current minor leaguer Cristian Guerrero of the Harrisburg Senators.

His 6'2" frame, strong arm, and unusual ability to hit balls out of the strike zone drew attention at a Dodgers training camp. After injuring his hamstring running out a double, Vladimir allegedly hit a home run in his next at-bat to avoid having to run the bases. Due to his leg condition, Guerrero only received a 30-day contract. But he grew frustrated with the structure of the Dodgers camp, and left. In March 1993, Guerrero signed with the Montreal Expos. During the process he lied about his age, claiming to be born February 9, 1976. It wasn't until March 2009 that he revealed to Major League Baseball that he was born February 9, 1975.

In 1994, Guerrero hit .314 in 37 games with the Expos' Rookie League team. The next year he hit .333 with the Albany Polecats. In 1996, while advancing from Single-A to Double-A, Guerrero batted .360 with 24 home runs and 96 RBI. His September callup was unproductive, although he hit his first major league home run.

Guerrero was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur free agent from the Harrisburg Senators in 1993 and eventually made his major league debut on September 19, 1996.

Vladimir was criticized during his first season in 1997 (he'd played 9 games in 1996) for being too aggressive at the plate. Nonetheless, he put up solid numbers for a rookie, batting .302 with 11 HRs and 40 RBI in just 325 at-bats.

Scorn for Guerrero's free-swinging ways changed into admiration in 1998. While he continued to swing at pitches that were clearly balls, he also continued to hit them with authority. In one instance, Guerrero got a base hit off a pitch that bounced before arriving at home plate. Guerrero's superior hand-eye coordination and prodigious strength allowed him to be unusually aggressive at the plate, but still put up high batting averages year after year. Despite his freeswinging style, Guerrero has never struck out 100 times in any season.

Guerrero batted .324 with 38 HRs and 109 RBI in 1998, before the end of the 1998, Guerrero agreed $28 million deal. Guerrero represented the Expos at the 1999 All-Star Game. During the 1999 season,Guerrero maintained 31 game hitting streak‚ the longest in the majors in 12 years. He finished 1999 with 131 RBI, and in 2000, he hit 44 home runs; both figures remain career highs.

He posted similar or slightly improved numbers through the 2002 season. He also developed a running game, stealing 37 bases in 2001. In 2002, he stole a career-high 40 bases, and fell one home run short of becoming the fourth member of the "40-40 Club." However, he hit 30+ home runs and stole 30+ bases in both 2001 and 2002 (see 30-30 club).

Guerrero's 2003 season was shortened due to a back injury. In 394 at-bats, he hit .330 with 25 HRs and 79 RBIs. Because of the injury, some in the media thought signing him would be a risk. While he was playing injured, though, he still managed to hit for the cycle on September 14, 2003.

Guerrero was a free agent for the first time after the 2003 season, and he signed $70 million deal with the then-Anaheim Angels after being courted by several teams. The owner of the Angels, Arte Moreno, is the first Latino controlling owner of a Major League ballclub, and Guerrero has cited Moreno's Latin heritage as a motivating factor for choosing the Angels over other teams. He currently lives in Anaheim Hills, California.

Down the stretch of the 2004 MLB season, Guerrero was impressive. Mike Scioscia, the Angels manager, said that Guerrero "really carried us on his back" in the last month of the season, as the Angels overtook first place from the faltering Oakland Athletics who finished the season one game behind in the standings. Guerrero hit six home runs in his last six games of the 2004 regular season, leading the Angels to their first Western Division title since 1986 (The Angels won the 2002 World Series as the American League Wild Card). These late-season heroics led to Guerrero being chosen as the 2004 AL MVP. In the opening best-of-5 round of the playoffs, the Angels were swept by the Boston Red Sox, and Guerrero had an odd batting line: just a .167 average, but six RBIs in three games.The Angels won the Western Division again in 2005, with Guerrero batting .317 with 32 home runs and 108 RBIs in 520 at bats. Late in the season, Guerrero became the 12th player to hit his 300th home run before the age of 30 (along with Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Harmon Killebrew, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Juan González, and Andruw Jones, who achieved the mark about the same time as Guerrero).

Guerrero had an up-and-down 2005 postseason, batting .333 in ALDS victory over the New York Yankees, but just .050 in the ALCS against the eventual world champion Chicago White Sox. He fared better in a national TV ad for Pepsi with the Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez; the two engaged in a personal home run competition that ended up with the moon being broken. Guerrero also appeared at Game Four of the 2005 World Series, where he was introduced as a member of Major League Baseball's Latino Legends Team.

Guerrero recorded his 1000th career RBI on July 15, 2006 at home against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Making his 8th Major League Baseball All-Star game appearance, Guerrero subsequently won his first career Home Run Derby in the 2007 season, highlighted by a 503-foot home run. He is the third Angel to win the Derby (after Wally Joyner in 1986, and Garret Anderson in 2003). Guerrero has been chosen for the All-Star Game in four out of his five seasons with the Angels, with the only exception being the 2008 campaign.

It has been suggested that Guerrero's signing with the Angels has helped lengthen his career, as many of his early career injuries were attributable to playing on the hard artificial surface at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

Guerrero bats without wearing batting gloves, a custom rarely seen in modern baseball. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports, he attributed this to helping his grandfather pull cows home barehanded as a young boy in the Dominican Republic. To improve his grip on the bat, he coats his helmet with pine tar and simply rubs his helmet before going into the on-deck circle. As the season progresses, his batting helmet becomes covered in the substance. This is particularly noticeable with the bright red helmet of the Angels. Guerrero has batted over .300 in every official season of his career. He has driven in over 100 runs in every season but 2003 and 2008. Besides his 2004 MVP, has finished 6th (2000), 4th (2002), 3rd (2005) and 9th (2006) in MVP voting.

In 2008, Guerrero tied Lou Gehrig's mark for most consecutive seasons with at least 25 home runs and a batting average of .300 or better with 11. He also swung at a higher percentage of pitches outside the strike zone, 45.5%, than any other hitter in major league baseball.

He had a 44-game hitting streak exclusively against the Texas Rangers from 2004-06, the longest such player-vs.-team streak in MLB history since 1969. The streak occurred over his first 44 appearances against the Rangers. Guerrero has decimated Ranger pitching over his career, putting up a career batting line of .395/.466/.681 with 22 HR, 29 Doubles and 63 RBI in 87 games.

He was named to the Dominican Republic's roster for the inaugural World Baseball Classic, although he eventually withdrew due to the tragic death of 3 cousins in a car accident right before the tournament. He has provided several job opportunities in his hometown in the Dominican Republic through his business ventures: a cement-block factory, a propane distributorship, a supermarket, a livestock and vegetable farm, and a women's clothing store.

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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. Many attributed the phenomenon to the "Curse of the Bambino", said to have been caused by the sale of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1920. The drought was 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. On April 15, 2007, the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, Major League Baseball invited players to wear the number 42 the day in commemoration of Robinson, players Coco Crisp (CF), David Ortiz (DH), and DeMarlo Hale (Coach) all wore 42. Given the same opportunity on April 15, 2008 Crisp, Ortiz and Hale again wore #42 for one game.

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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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a professional baseball team based in Anaheim, California. The Angels are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The "Angels" name originates from the city that was their original home, Los Angeles. The Angels have been based in Angel Stadium of Anaheim since 1966.

An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Los Angeles in 1961. Then the Los Angeles Angels, the team was based at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field (not to be confused with Chicago's stadium of the same name). The team has gone through several name changes in their history, first changing to the California Angels in 1965 to emphasize their status as the only AL team in California. When The Walt Disney Company took control in 1997, it extensively renovated Angel Stadium on the condition that both the stadium's name and the team's name contain the word "Anaheim." Disney was hoping to capitalize on the proximity of nearby Disneyland to enhance the tourism in the area, and thus the team became the Anaheim Angels.

In 2005, new owner Arte Moreno wanted to include "Los Angeles" in the team's name, in order to better tap into the Los Angeles media market, the second largest in the country. In compliance with the terms of its lease with the city of Anaheim, the team changed its name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Hotly disputed when initially announced, the change was eventually upheld in court and still stands as of 2008, though the team usually refers to itself as simply the Angels in its home media market.

For many years, there had been talk of an existing American League team relocating to Los Angeles. In 1940, the St. Louis Browns asked AL owners for permission to move to Los Angeles, but were turned down. They planned another move for the 1942 season, and this time got permission from the league. A schedule was even drawn up including Los Angeles, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 made major-league sports of any sort on the West Coast unviable. In 1953, there was again talk of the Browns moving to L.A. for the 1954 season, but the team was sold and moved to Baltimore instead as the Orioles. There were on-again, off-again discussions between city officials and the Washington Senators regarding a possible move. There were also rumors that the Philadelphia Athletics' move to Kansas City in 1955 was a temporary stop on the way to Los Angeles.

In the end it was the National League that first came to the city, in the form of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley purchased the Pacific Coast League's Los Angeles Angels in early 1957 from Chicago Cubs owner Phil Wrigley. Under the rules of the time, he also acquired the rights to a major league team in Los Angeles, which he used to move the Dodgers there a year later. Under ordinary circumstances, that would have precluded any subsequent American League presence in the Los Angeles area. However, in an effort to prevent the proposed Continental League from becoming a reality, in 1960 the two existing leagues agreed to expand, adding two new teams to each league. Though the understanding was that expansion teams would be placed in cities without major league baseball, that agreement quickly broke down. When the National League placed a team in New York (the Mets) as its tenth franchise, the American League announced plans to place an expansion team in Los Angeles, to begin play in 1961.

Gene Autry, former movie cowboy, singer, actor and owner of Golden West Broadcasters (including Los Angeles' KMPC radio and KTLA television), attended the Major League Owners’ meeting in St. Louis in 1960 in hopes of winning broadcasting rights for the new team’s games. Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg was initially on the fast track to be the team's first owner, with Bill Veeck as a partner. However, when O'Malley got word of Veeck's involvement, he invoked his exclusive right to operate a major league team in Southern California. In truth, O'Malley wasn't about to compete with Veeck, who was known as a master promoter. After it became obvious that O'Malley would never sign off on the deal as long as Veeck was a part-owner, Greenberg was forced to bow out. After another bid by Chicago insurance executive and future A's owner Charlie Finley failed, Autry was persuaded to make a bid himself. Autry (who had been a minority stockholder in the Angels' PCL rival, the Hollywood Stars) agreed, and purchased the franchise.

Autry named the new franchise the Los Angeles Angels. The origins of the name date back to 1892, when it was first used by a Los Angeles franchise in the California League. The Angel moniker has always been natural for Los Angeles teams, since The Angels is a literal English translation of the Spanish Los Angeles. It was also a nod to the long-successful PCL team that played in Los Angeles from 1903 through 1957. O'Malley still owned the rights to the Angels name even after moving the team to Spokane to make way for the Dodgers, so Autry paid O'Malley $300,000 for the rights to the name.

The Angels and their fellow expansionists, the new Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) chose players from other American League teams in an expansion draft. In 1961, the first year of the team’s existence, the Angels finished 70-91 for a .435 winning percentage, still the highest winning percentage ever for a first-year major league expansion team. Moreover, they not only finished 9 games ahead of the Senators, but also 9 games ahead of the Kansas City Athletics. The 1961 Angels, admittedly a motley crew, featured portly first baseman Steve Bilko, a long-time fan favorite, having played many years with the PCL Angels. Another favorite was the diminutive (5' 5-3/8") center fielder, El Monte native Albie Pearson. The Angels played that inaugural season at Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles, the longtime home of the PCL Angels and also of the syndicated television series Home Run Derby. They originally wanted to play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the Dodgers had played on a temporary basis since moving from Brooklyn. However, Commissioner Ford Frick turned this idea down almost out of hand after concluding that the Coliseum's extremely short left field fence (only 250 feet from the plate) made it unsuitable even as a temporary facility.

In 1962, under the terms of their agreement with O'Malley, the Angels moved to Dodger Stadium, which they would refer to as Chavez Ravine. That year, the Angels -- amazingly -- were a contender for the American League pennant for most of the season, even leading the American League standings on July 4, before finishing in third place, 10 games behind the New York Yankees, who won their 27th American League pennant. On May 5 of that year, Bo Belinsky, who was as famous for his dexterity with the pool cue and his dating of Hollywood starlets (most particularly Mamie Van Doren) as for his pitching prowess, tossed the first no-hit game in the history of Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine, blanking the Orioles 5-0 (Though raised in the Jewish faith, Belinsky later became a born-again Christian and counselor, advising against the lifestyle which once was his trademark).

In 1964, the Halos again finished in the American League first division (fifth place), and pitcher Dean Chance won the Major League Cy Young Award that year. The need for a new stadium became more and more evident. It was thought the Angels would never develop a large fan base playing as tenants of the Dodgers. Also, O'Malley imposed fairly onerous lease conditions on the Angels; for example, he charged them for 50% of all stadium supplies, even though the Angels at the time drew at best half of the Dodgers' attendance.

Stymied in his attempt to get a new stadium in Los Angeles, Autry looked elsewhere. His first choice for a stadium was the site offered by the city of Long Beach. However, the city insisted the team be renamed the Long Beach Angels, a condition Autry refused to accept. He was able to strike a deal with the suburban city of Anaheim in Orange County, and construction began on Anaheim Stadium (nicknamed The Big A by Southern Californians), where the Angels moved in 1966. On September 2, 1965, team ownership announced the Los Angeles Angels would thenceforth be known as the California Angels, in anticipation of the team's move to Anaheim the following year. They were the second Major League baseball team to be named after an entire state, following the Minnesota Twins. At the time, though they were one of three major league teams in the state of California, the Angels were the only American League team in the state. (Despite the move of the Kansas City Athletics to Oakland in 1968, the Angels retained their California moniker through 1996.) In their last year at Chavez Ravine, the Angels drew only 566,727 paying customers. In their 1966 inaugural year in Anaheim, the Angels drew over 1.4 million, leading the American League in attendance. In 1967, their second year in Anaheim, the Angels contended for the American League pennant as part of a five-team pennant race (along with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and eventual winner Boston) before fading in late August, but eventually became the "spoilers" by defeating Detroit at Tiger Stadium in the last game of the regular season to give Boston its first AL pennant in 21 years. In 1970 the Angels finished third in the AL Western Division and Alex Johnson became the first (and so far only) Angel to win an American League batting title. Other notable Angels of this period included pitchers Clyde Wright and Ken McBride, shortstop Jim Fregosi, outfielders Albie Pearson and Leon Wagner, and catcher Buck Rodgers. Fregosi and Rodgers later managed the Angels.

During the 1970s, although Angel fans endured some mediocre years on the field they also were able to enjoy the heroics of fireballer Nolan Ryan, who tossed four of his seven no-hitters as an Angel. He also set several strikeout records throughout his career, most notably a 383-strikeout mark in 1973, still a major league record. Ryan was acquired in a trade that sent Jim Fregosi to the Mets. Ryan had been a middle relief pitcher on the "Miracle Mets" team that captured the 1969 World Series. Ryan's feats caused him to be named the Ryan Express, after the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express, which starred Frank Sinatra. His prowess, combined with that of fellow moundsman Frank Tanana, produced the refrain, "Tanana, Ryan and Two Days of Cryin'", a derivative of the refrain, "Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain," coined when Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain anchored the pitching staff of the then Boston Braves in the 1940s.

The Angels won their first American League West Division championship in 1979 under manager Jim Fregosi, a former Angel shortstop who was sent to the New York Mets in 1972 as part of the trade that brought Nolan Ryan to the Angels. Don Baylor became the first designated hitter to win the American League Most Valuable Player award. Other contributors to the team, which featured a powerful offense, were Bert Campaneris, Rod Carew, Dan Ford and Bobby Grich. However, the Angels lost what then was a best 3-out-of-5 American League Championship Series to the Baltimore Orioles, managed by Earl Weaver, 3 games to 1. The Halos won Game 3 at home, scoring twice in the bottom of the 9th inning to shade Baltimore 4-3.

1979 had been the Angels' last season at the "old" Big A. The Los Angeles Rams football team agreed to move to Anaheim for the 1980 season, with seating increased to almost 65,000. The expansion completely enclosed the stadium, replacing the view of the San Gabriel and Santa Ana Mountains with three decks of gray concrete. In the 1980s, like many other baseball teams of that era, the Angels learned the difficulties of marketing the team while playing in a multi-purpose facility with a seating capacity too large for baseball.

Again, the Halos nearly reached the World Series in the 1986 postseason. Baylor was gone, but among the new additions were American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Wally Joyner and pitcher Chuck Finley. Champions of the AL West for the third time, the Angels faced the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Leading in the series 3 games to 1, the Angels were one out away from defeating Boston and going to the World Series for the first time in their history. Leading 5-2 in the top of the ninth inning of Game 5, starter Mike Witt surrendered a two-run home run to former Angel Don Baylor, cutting the Angels' lead to 5-4. After reliever Gary Lucas hit Rich Gedman with his first and only pitch, closer Donnie Moore came in to shut the door. Though twice the Angels were one strike away from the Series, Moore gave up a two-out, two-ball, two-strike, two-run home run to Dave Henderson that put Boston ahead 6-5.

Although the Angels managed to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, Henderson again came through for the Red Sox with a sacrifice fly in the 11th, eventually giving Boston a 7-6 victory. Thoroughly shocked, the Angels then travelled to Fenway Park and were blown out in Games 6 and 7 as the Red Sox claimed the pennant. Boston would go on to lose the 1986 World Series in seven games to the New York Mets, a series known for the infamous Bill Buckner error in Game 6.

In the aftermath of the ALCS, Angels fans regarded Henderson's home run off Moore as the point at which their team had been closest to the World Series, and thus Moore became the scapegoat for the Angels' loss of the pennant. Although the fans were hard on him, Moore (who had battled depression in the past) was even harder on himself, and that one pitch to Henderson that turned the tide of the ALCS haunted him for the rest of his days. He would take his own life three years later, claiming to have never gotten over that moment. Moore's suicide was the latest in a series of tragedies that dogged the team (star outfielder Lyman Bostock was shot to death in 1978 while visiting friends in Gary, Indiana) and gave rise to talk of a "hex" on the franchise. The Angels would not qualify for the playoffs for the next 16 years.

For most of the 1990s, the Angels played sub-.500 baseball, due in no small part to the confusion which reigned at the top. Gene Autry, though holding a controlling interest in the Angels, was in control in name only due to poor health in his advanced years. Autry’s wife Jackie, 20 years his junior, at times seemed to be the decision-maker, and at other times the Disney Company, then a minority owner, seemed to be in charge.

On May 21, 1992, an Angels' team bus traveling from New York to Baltimore crashed on the New Jersey Turnpike. Twelve members of the team ensemble were injured, including manager Buck Rodgers, who was hospitalized and missed the next two months of the season.

In 1993, the Angels had a new spring training camp in Tempe, Arizona after 31 previous seasons in Palm Springs Stadium in Palm Springs, an idea Autry developed from the days when he stayed in his desert resort home. The Angels hoped a new facility would rejuvenate and improve the roster in the long run. The 1993 and 1994 seasons proved to be worse for the Angels than the previous three, particularly since the 1994 season ended in a baseball player strike that kept Angel fans waiting even longer for the team's fate to change.

In 1995, the Angels suffered the worst collapse in franchise history. In first place in the AL West by 11 games in August, the team again lost key personnel (particularly shortstop Gary DiSarcina) and went on an extended slide during the final stretch run. By season's end, they were in a first-place tie with the surging Seattle Mariners, prompting a one-game playoff for the division title. The Mariners, managed by Lou Piniella and led by pitching ace Randy Johnson, laid a 9–1 drubbing on the Angels in the playoff game, clinching the AL West championship and forcing the Angels and their fans to endure yet another season of heartbreak and bitter disappointment.

Given the clubs's inability to win a pennant thus far, the postseason disasters of 1982 and 1986, the 1995 collapse, and tragedies such as Bostock's murder and Moore's suicide, it was suggested that there must be a "curse" on the Angels. Since there did not appear to be a single defining moment when things started to go downhill, or one where "the baseball gods" might have been offended, some suggested that it was Autry who was the cause, a grand life seeing all its good luck evened out in his ownership of a baseball team. The idea of a "Curse of the Cowboy" did not take hold, however, due to the great affection Autry engendered as a public figure, and the idea would diminish with the sale of the team and its later postseason success.

To some extent, the idea of a different curse did take hold, however. Prior to the Angels' World Series victory in 2002, some had theorized that the team did not have success because its stadium, The Big A, was supposedly built upon an ancient Native American burial ground (although Anaheim city historians have not been able to either confirm or debunk the theory).

The Disney Company effectively took control of the Angels in 1996, when it was able to gain enough support on the board to hire Tony Tavares as team president. Autry remained as chairman until his death. In 1999, Tavares hired Bill Stoneman as team general manager, under whose watch the Angels eventually won their first World Series Championship.

Although Disney did not technically acquire a controlling interest in the team until after Autry's death in 1998, for all practical purposes Disney ran the team (the Autry loyalists on the board acted as 'silent partners') through its Anaheim Sports subsidiary (which also owned the NHL's Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the time).

Disney, of course, had been a catalyst for the development of and population growth in Orange County, having opened its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim in 1955. Walt Disney was named to the Angels’ Board of Directors by Autry in 1960, serving until his death in December 1966, and was one of the proponents of the team’s move to Orange County in 1965-66. Walt Disney Pictures also produced the 1994 movie Angels in the Outfield, which featured a fictionalized version of the team.

In 1995, the year of the Angels' worst regular season collapse, the Los Angeles Rams had moved to St. Louis, citing the deteriorating conditions at Anaheim Stadium as a primary cause for the move. Angels management, stuck in an aging, oversized "white elephant" of a stadium, hinted the team might be moved from Southern California as well.

In 1997, negotiations between the Angels and the city of Anaheim for renovation of Anaheim Stadium ended with an agreement to rehabilitate and downsize the facility into a baseball-only stadium once more. One condition of the stadium agreement was that the Angels could sell naming rights to the renovated stadium, so long as the new name was one "containing Anaheim therein." Anaheim Stadium was almost immediately renamed Edison International Field of Anaheim, though it was almost always referred to as simply Edison Field. Sportscasters also referred to the stadium at the time as The Big Ed, with a few others (most notably KMPC's Pete Arbogast) continuing to use the Big A nickname and, at times, Anaheim Stadium.

Another condition of the stadium renovation agreement was that the team name itself be one "containing Anaheim therein." The emerging Disney ownership was itself in the process of renovating and upgrading its aging Disneyland park. Disney hoped to market Anaheim as a "destination city", much the same way it had done with Orlando, Florida, where Walt Disney World was located. Accordingly, the team changed its name again, to the Anaheim Angels on November 19, 1996. Many fans of the team protested the name change, believing the Anaheim name was small-time, though in time the protests fizzled out.

Team uniforms changed in 1997 as well. The familiar "A-N-G-E-L-S" spelled out on the jersey front was replaced with a logo designed by Disney Studios, being a stylized form of the team name with an enlarged angel wing to the left of the "A", on new pinstriped vest jerseys. These uniforms were universally ridiculed, being referred to as the "softball beer league" uniforms by Chris Berman of ESPN and as "periwinkle jerseys" by many Angel fans.

Then came 2002. The year began with the team scrapping its pinstriped vest jerseys after five years, reverting to uniforms conforming more to the team's traditional uniforms, but now mostly red, with but a bit of navy blue trim. Significantly, the Angels' road jerseys now read "Anaheim", the first time the team's geographic location had been noted on its uniforms since 1965.

Pundits predicted the Angels to be third-place finishers in the four-team AL West division, and the team met those expectations with a 6-14 start to the regular season. The Angels, managed by former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia, then went on to win 99 games and earn the American League "wildcard" berth. The Oakland Athletics won 103 games, putting the Angels in second place in the division. The Halos defeated the New York Yankees 3 games to 1 in the American League Division Series and the Minnesota Twins 4 games to 1 in the ALCS to win the American League pennant for the first time in their history.

In the 2002 World Series they met the San Francisco Giants, paced by slugger Barry Bonds, in what ended up being the highest-scoring World Series of all time. San Francisco took Game 1 (4–3), but the Angels followed that up by winning Games 2 (11–10) and 3 (10–4). The Giants came back to win Games 4 (4–3) and 5 (16–4). The turning point in the series came in Game 6. The Angels trailed 5–0 and were 8 outs away from elimination before rallying for 3 runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to win 6–5. The Angels then won Game 7, 4–1, to claim their franchise's first and only World Series Championship, finally erasing the past failures that had haunted the franchise since its inception.

Third baseman Troy Glaus was named the MVP of the Series. Twenty-year-old rookie relief pitcher Francisco Rodríguez won a record five postseason games, despite never having won a regular-season game before. Angel pitcher John Lackey became the first rookie pitcher to win the seventh game of the World Series in 93 years. The morning after the win, The Orange County Register celebrated the Angels' win with the headline "7th Heaven," referring to the Angels' name and fact that it took seven games for the Angels to win the World Series.

The Angels' dire 2001 season marked the introduction of an unofficial mascot known as the Rally Monkey. The whole movement began as a joke by the video crew in the stadium during a game where the Angels were trailing the Giants 6-3. A looped clip of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective where a monkey jumps up and down was shown on the Jumbotron Video Screen with the flashing sign of "Rally Monkey" during a pitching change. The Angels went on to win that game, and started to build a following as "the comeback kids", most famously exemplified in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series (coincidentally against the Giants).

On May 15, 2003, Disney sold the Angels to Angels Baseball, L.P., a group headed by advertising magnate Arturo "Arte" Moreno. The sale made the Angels the first major American sports team to be owned by a Hispanic owner and also signaled the beginning of the end of Disney's involvement in professional sports. The company sold the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim hockey team two years later.

In December 2003, after a seven-year run as Edison International Field of Anaheim, Edison removed its name from the stadium. The stadium was renamed Angel Stadium of Anaheim, again almost always referred to as simply Angel Stadium or, The Big A, although the original name, Anaheim Stadium, is still used by many locals. The stadium is owned by the City of Anaheim, which has shown no compunction toward changing the name. Over the years, there have been few, if any, complaints from Anaheim officials about the dropping of "of Anaheim" from common parlance when referring to the stadium.

The inclusion of Los Angeles reflects the original expansion name and returns the Angels as Major League Baseball's American League representative in the Greater Los Angeles territory.

The new name sparked outrage among Anaheim and Los Angeles city leaders, who argued that a team that does not play its home games within the city or county of Los Angeles should not claim to be from Los Angeles. They also regarded the name a lingual farce, as the English "The Angels" was mixed with the Spanish "Los Angeles," especially in a region where Spanish is so heavily used. With the support of the city of Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Company, and every city in Orange County, the city of Anaheim sued the Angels, claiming the team violated its lease with the city. The team countered that they were in full compliance with the lease, since the lease only stipulated that the team name contain "Anaheim", and the new name was well within the bounds of this stipulation. A jury trial, which concluded February 9, 2006 resulted in a verdict siding with the Angels and allowing the team to keep the new name.

Although organized fan resistance to the new name has subsided, legal challenges to restore the name Anaheim Angels went forward. On January 13, 2009, Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle announced that the city council had voted unanimously to drop the legal challenge.

The LA Angels employ a team of ten young women who participate in live promotion during games, and appearances around the greater Los Angeles area for charity events.

From 2004 to the present the Angels have been in the unfamiliar role of perennial playoff contender; however, they have not returned to the World Series since the 2002 campaign.

In 2004, newly acquired free-agent Vladimir Guerrero won the American League Most Valuable Player Award as he led the Angels to their first American League West championship since 1986.

Also in 2004, the Angels mounted a comeback to overcome the division leading Oakland Athletics in the last week of the regular season, clinching the title in the next-to-last game. However, they were swept in the American League Division Series 3 games to 0 by the Boston Red Sox, who, after beating their longtime rivals, the New York Yankees (after being down in the ALCS 3 games to none), went on to win their first World Series since 1918.

In the 2005 season, the Halos became the first team in the American League to clinch their division, doing so with 5 games left in the regular season. It was also the first time the team had made the playoffs in back-to-back years. The Angels went on in 2005 to beat the New York Yankees in the Division Series in 5 games, but lost in the American League Championship Series to the eventual World Series Champions Chicago White Sox in 5 games. Pitcher Bartolo Colón, who went 21-8 for the season, was voted A.L. Cy Young Award winner in 2005, only the second Angel to be so honored (Dean Chance won the award in 1964).

While the Angels were not able to play October baseball, several players met or broke individual records in 2006. Closer Francisco Rodriguez led the major leagues and broke a franchise record in saves with 47, and became the youngest closer to record 100 career saves. Scot Shields led American League setup men in holds with 31, and was second in the league in innings of relief pitched with 87.2 innings. Chone Figgins was second in the American League in stolen bases with 52. Jered Weaver tied Whitey Ford's American League rookie record by winning the first nine decisions of his career.

The Angels finished in second place in the American League West for the 2006 season, missing the post-season for the first time since 2003. While a disappointing development for the franchise, the 2006 campaign was the Angels' third straight season with a winning record, a first in club history. Owner Arte Moreno vowed that the club would make "major" changes during the offseason, a comment that generated talk in trades or free agent signings of players such as Carlos Lee, Miguel Tejada, Aramis Ramirez or perhaps even Alex Rodriguez. Center fielder Gary Matthews, Jr. signed a 5-year, $50-million contract in a deal.

The 2007 season proved to be a success for the Angels. The Angels got off to the best start in club history, becoming the first club in the major leagues to win fifty games while maintaining a lead in the American League West. Chone Figgins set a club record for the most hits in a single month with 53, and became just the second Angel to go six-for-six in a single, nine-inning game. Ace John Lackey was the first starter in the American League to win ten games. Lackey, along with Francisco Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero, were chosen to represent the Angels at the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco. Guerrero became just the third Angel to win the Home Run Derby, and Rodriguez was the first to earn a save in an All-Star Game.

2007 was also a resurgent year for veteran outfielder Garret Anderson. On August 21, Anderson set a new club record for most RBIs in one game with 10 against the New York Yankees. He also posted a new Angel record with eleven consecutive games with an RBI on September 6 after hitting a single off Indians pitcher Paul Byrd. On September 7, Anderson again posted a new Angel record with twelve consecutive games with an RBI single against Cleveland's pitcher Jake Westbrook.

On September 23, 2007 the Angels defeated the Seattle Mariners to clinch the championship of the American League West Division. This is the club's sixth division title and seventh overall playoff berth in its history. The Angels were unable to follow up their success in the regular season with playoff success, as the club, depleted by injuries, was swept by the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.

After the 2007 playoff campaign ended, general manager Bill Stoneman retired and was replaced by Tony Reagins. Reagins quickly made two headline roster moves: the acquisition of free agent outfielder Torii Hunter, previously of the Minnesota Twins, as well as the trade of shortstop Orlando Cabrera to the Chicago White Sox for starting pitcher Jon Garland.

Though hampered by injuries on Opening Day 2008 (including to veteran starting pitcher John Lackey), the Angels had the best record in the American League (tied with the Chicago Cubs for best record in MLB) going into the All-Star Break. On July 20, closer Francisco Rodríguez accumulated 40 saves in 98 team games, becoming the fastest pitcher to accumulate 40 saves since John Smoltz did so in 108 team games in 2003. Rodríguez broke Bobby Thigpen's all-time record for saves in a season on September 13 in a game against the Seattle Mariners and eventually finished with 62 saves. The Angels made another headline trade on July 29, acquiring first baseman Mark Teixeira from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Casey Kotchman and minor league pitcher Stephen Marek.

On September 10, 2008 with a win over the New York Yankees and a loss by the Texas Rangers to the Seattle Mariners, the Angels clinched their seventh American League West Division title. By clinching on September 10, the Angels set a new mark for the earliest clinch date in American League West history. They would finish the 2008 regular season setting a franchise record for wins at 100, breaking the previous club record of 99 wins set by the 2002 World Series championship team. For the second straight year, the Angels faced off against the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS, but were unable to advance, losing the series 3 games to 1.

As of 2008, the Angels' flagship radio station is KLAA 830AM, which is owned by the Angels themselves. It replaces KSPN (710ESPN), on which frequency had aired most Angels games since the team's inception in 1961. That station, then KMPC, aired games from 1961 to 1996. In 1997 & 1998, the flagship station became KRLA (1110AM). In 1999, it was replaced by KLAC for four seasons, including the 2002 World Series season.

Rory Markas, Terry Smith, and Steve Physioc split play-by-play duties. Smith, Physioc and Rex Hudler call games on radio when Markas and Mark Gubicza appear on television.

In 2008, KLAA broadcast spring training games on tape delay from the beginning on February 28 to March 9 because of ironclad advertiser commitments to some daytime talk shows. Those games were available only online. Live preseason broadcasts were to begin on March 10.

Angels radio broadcasts are also in Spanish on KWKW 1330AM and KWKU 1220AM.

Television rights are held by FSN West and MyNetworkTV affiliate KCOP, with various announcers. Physioc and Hudler call about 100 games, while Markas and Gubicza have the remaining game telecasts (about 50, depending on ESPN and Fox exclusive national schedules). The split arrangement dates back to the 2007 season, when Jose Mota and Gubicza were the second team. Markas debuted on TV in a three-game series at the Toronto Blue Jays in August 2007. Physioc signed a new contract with the team for 2008, but reportedly he and Hudler are now team employees, not network or station employees. This could be linked to a new assignment Physioc received in late 2007 to call selected college basketball games for ESPNU, owned by a rival to FSN.

Mota, who is bilingual and the son of former Dodger Manny Mota, has also called Angels games in Spanish and at one time did analysis from the dugout rather than the usual booth position.

All games are produced by FSN regardless of the outlet actually showing the games.

Dick Enberg, who broadcasted Angels baseball in the 1970s, is the broadcaster most identified with the Angels, using such phrases as Oh My! and The Halo Shines Tonight, both phrases he used during the 2002 World Series victory celebration outside of Anaheim Stadium.

Former Angels broadcasters over the past three decades include Dave Niehaus, Don Drysdale, Bob Starr, Joe Torre, Paul Olden, Larry Kahn, Mario Impemba, Sparky Anderson, Jerry Reuss, Ken Brett, and Ron Fairly.

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Montreal Expos

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The Montreal Expos (French: Les Expos de Montréal) were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from 1969 until 2004. After the 2004 season, the franchise was relocated by Major League Baseball, its owners since 2002, to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals. The Nationals retained all the Expos' records, player contracts, and minor league affiliates, as well as their spring training complex in Viera, Florida.

In 1960, Montreal lost its International League team, the Montreal Royals (an affiliate of the former Brooklyn Dodgers). Although the Royals had been a fixture in Montreal for many years and many Dodgers prospects had played in Montreal, such as Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider, with the parent team's move to Los Angeles in 1958 the Dodgers chose to locate their main farm team closer to L.A. The move to get a new team for Montreal was the result of a seven-year-long effort led by Gerry Snyder, who at the time was the member from the district of Snowdon on Montreal City Council. Snyder was a high-profile figure in Montreal during the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to representing Snowdon on council from 1957 to 1982, Snyder chaired the city's Executive Committee during the 1960s, served as Mayor Jean Drapeau's primary liaison to the English-speaking community, and was instrumental in bringing both the 1976 Summer Olympic Games and the Formula One Grand Prix of Canada to the city.

On December 2, 1967, Snyder presented a bid for a Montreal franchise to Major League Baseball's team owners at their winter meetings in Mexico City. One potential wildcard in Montreal's favour was that the chair of the National League's expansion committee was influential Los Angeles Dodgers president Walter O'Malley, under whom the Royals had become affiliated with the Dodgers. On May 27, 1968, O'Malley announced that franchises were being awarded to Montreal and San Diego, to begin play the following year (1969).

After prominent Montreal businessman Jean-Louis Lévesque withdrew his support, Snyder convinced Charles Bronfman, a major shareholder in the worldwide Seagram distilling empire, to lend his considerable weight to the project and provide the funding guarantees required. Bronfman purchased the majority of the shares and was Chairman of the Board of Directors. The other investors and founding directors included Vice-Chairmen Lorne Webster and Paul Beaudry, plus Sidney Maislin, Hugh G. Hallward, Charlemagne Beaudry (Paul's brother), and team President and Executive Director John McHale.

With its long history of use in Montreal, "Royals" was one of the candidate nicknames for the new franchise, but the Kansas City team had already adopted this name. The new owners therefore conducted a contest to name the team. Many names were suggested by Montreal residents (including the "Voyageurs" and, in a coincidental twist, the "Nationals", the name now used by the team in its current home in Washington), but there was a clear winner. The Expos name also had the advantage of being the same in either English or French, the city's two dominant languages.

The Expos had to overcome another obstacle before they could take the field: they had to find a home ballpark. Delorimier Stadium, the former home of the Montreal Royals, was rejected as too small even for temporary use. Team officials initially settled on the Autostade, but city officials balked at the cost of adding a dome (thought necessary because of Montreal's often cold temperatures in April and September) and 12,000 seats. By August 1968, the league was threatening to withdraw the franchise. National League president Warren Giles and Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau visited Jarry Park, a 3,000-seat park in the city's northwest corner, and decided it could be a suitable temporary facility. Within six months, the park was transformed into a 28,500-seat makeshift facility, saving the franchise.

Montreal's international profile was raised considerably in the 1960s. The 1967 World's Fair, called Expo 67 was a success, and the city soon won the bid for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The city also opened a new subway system, the Montreal Metro. This string of achievements was capped by the winning of one of the four expansion franchises awarded by Major League Baseball for 1969..

The Montreal Expos were the first franchise awarded to a Canadian city by a major league organization originating in the United States. It was considered a huge step for the city of Montreal, the province of Quebec, the nation of Canada, and Major League Baseball. One of the challenges for French-language broadcasters was inventing a whole new lexicon to describe the game to fans. The Expos' success inspired Major League Baseball to add a second Canadian team, the Toronto Blue Jays, in 1977.

The Expos won their first game, on the afternoon of April 8, 1969, against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, beating the Mets by a score of 11-10. The Expos took the field for the first time with Bob Bailey playing first base, Gary Sutherland playing second base, Maury Wills playing shortstop, Coco Laboy playing third base, Mack Jones playing left field, Don Hahn playing centerfield, Rusty Staub playing right field, John Bateman at catcher and Mudcat Grant on the mound. The first manager was former Philadelphia Phillies manager Gene Mauch. Wills had the first hit in Expos history and also scored the first run. The first home run in franchise history came from an unlikely source - relief pitcher Dan McGinn. Bailey had the first RBI, and Don Shaw was credited with the win. Carroll Sembera pitched the final inning against the Mets and recorded the first save.

The first game at Jarry Park was played on April 14 — an 8-7 Expos win over the St. Louis Cardinals, broadcast nationwide on CBC television and radio. A crowd of 29,184 jammed every corner of Jarry Park to watch the first major league baseball game ever played outside the United States. Jarry was only intended as a three-year temporary facility until what became Olympic Stadium could be completed. However, a strike delayed the Expos' first game there until 1977. The Expos had to postpone several early and late-season games during their first seven seasons because Jarry was completely exposed to the elements, and there was no protection whatsoever for the fans. On several occasions, MLB threatened to yank the franchise due to the construction delays.

Following that first series in Montreal, the Expos went to Philadelphia to play the Phillies. On April 17, Bill Stoneman pitched the first no-hitter in the club's history, as the Expos won 7-0. Stoneman's feat gave the Expos the record for the earliest no-hitter recorded by any major league baseball franchise — only ten days after their very first game.

Rusty Staub and Mack Jones would become the darlings of the Montreal fans during the early years of the team. Staub was affectionately known as "Le Grand Orange" (in tribute to his red hair), and with Jones playing left field for the team, the left field bleachers at Jarry Park came to be known as "Jonesville". Staub also endeared himself to Montrealers by learning French.

In 1972, Staub was traded to the New York Mets in exchange for 3 young prospects: first baseman-outfielder Mike Jorgensen, infielder Tim Foli, and outfielder Ken Singleton). While the trade landed Montreal three youngsters that would help the still maturing expansion team, many Montrealers were saddened to lose a popular player. Staub was reacquired by Montreal in July 1979. At his first game back in Montreal, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Staub received a long and heartfelt standing ovation from the adoring fans, welcoming "Le Grand Orange" back. Staub left the team for good after the 1979 season. His number 10 was eventually the first one retired by the Expos.

After 10 straight losing seasons under Mauch (1969-75), Karl Kuehl and Charlie Fox (1976) and Dick Williams (1977-78), in 1979 under Williams the Expos posted a 95-65 record — the first of five consecutive winning seasons, and their best record for any complete season in Montreal franchise history — and finished in second place in the NL East.

The Expos made their only postseason appearance in Montreal franchise history during the split season of 1981. In the 1981 playoffs, the Expos defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 in the divisional series, but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in the National League Championship Series, on a game postponed from Sunday to Monday afternoon due to rain. The difference in the game was a ninth inning home run by Los Angeles Dodgers Rick Monday. The game has since been referred to as Blue Monday.

Montreal was led through the 1980s by a core group of young players, including catcher Gary Carter, outfielders Tim Raines and Andre Dawson, third baseman Tim Wallach and pitchers Steve Rogers and Bill Gullickson. The promising aspects of the Expos gave rise to the name "Team of the 80s". Attendance at Olympic Stadium went up each year from 1979 to 1983 (excluding the strike year in 1981), and the fans would express their excitement in song — the "The Happy Wanderer" being a fan favourite after offensive explosions.

In spite of the team's talent, the Expos were unable to finish above third place from 1982 to 1991. They had up-and-down years, with a winning percentage of .484 in 1984 under managers Bill Virdon and Jim Fanning and 1986 under Buck Rodgers, but above .500 seasons in 1985, 1987, and 1990 under Rodgers.

Gary Carter was traded to the New York Mets on December 10, 1984, for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans. Andre Dawson left as a free agent after the 1986 season. Tim Raines was traded to the Chicago White Sox on December 23, 1990, in a five-player deal that brought Iván Calderón to Montreal.

Owner Charles Bronfman decided to sell the Expos, saying that the economics of the sport made it impossible. Bronfman cited escalating baseball salaries, as well as lack of support from the city of Montreal for a new stadium (Olympic Stadium was considered long unsuitable), saying that the New York Yankees' broadcast revenue alone was equal to what the Expos could earn from all sources.

On June 14, 1991, Claude Brochu, the team's President and Chief Operating Officer since September 4, 1986, became the managing general partner of a consortium of 14 owners, which also included BCE, Canadian Pacific, the City of Montreal, Nesbitt Burns, and Univa (Provigo).

After a 20-29 start in 1991, general manager David Dombrowski (who had inherited manager Buck Rodgers upon assuming the GM position in 1988) fired Rodgers and replaced him with Tom Runnells, who completed the season with a record of 51-61 for an overall winning percentage of .441. Runnells switched third baseman Tim Wallach to first base, a move unpopular with the Montreal fans. The most notable highlight of 1991 was the perfect game thrown by Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28, 1991.

On September 18, 1991, Dombrowski left Montreal to become the general manager for the Florida Marlins expansion franchise, and Dan Duquette became the Expos general manager.

At spring training in 1992, Runnells held a meeting while dressed in combat fatigues, giving the team's pre-season training the appearance of a boot camp. The team failed to respond to Runnells's attempt at humour, and Runnells was fired on May 22, with a 17-20 record.

Felipe Alou, a long time member of the Expos organization since 1976, was promoted from bench coach to field manager, becoming the first Dominican-born manager in MLB history. Alou promptly returned Wallach to the third base position. Alou led the team to a 70-55 record, for an overall winning percentage of .537. Under Alou, Montreal had winning records from 1992 to 1996, with the exception of 1995. The Expos finished second in the National League East in 1992 and 1993.

In January, 1994, Dan Duquette left the Montreal Expos for his dream job, general manager of the Boston Red Sox. Kevin Malone, the Expos director of scouting, took over as Montreal's GM.

The year 1994 proved to be heartbreaking for the Expos. The team's key contributors included outfielders Larry Walker, Moisés Alou, Marquis Grissom, and Rondell White; infielders Wil Cordero and Sean Berry; starting pitchers Ken Hill, Pedro Martinez, and Jeff Fassero; and the relief corps of Jeff Shaw, Gil Heredia, Tim Scott, Mel Rojas and John Wetteland.

The Expos had the best record in Major League Baseball, 74–40, when the start of a players' strike on August 12, 1994 brought the season to a premature close and resulted in the cancellation of the World Series. The team was six games ahead of the second place Atlanta Braves and on pace to win 105 games. The strike damaged the Expos' campaign for a new stadium, and the local ownership group chose not to invest additional funds to retain the team's best players.

The major overhaul after the 1994 season damaged the franchise and disheartened its fan base. Kevin Malone resigned as general manager in October, 1995, saying "I'm in the building business, not in the dismantling business." Moisés Alou and Mel Rojas left as free agents after the 1996 season, and Pedro Martínez was traded after the 1997 season, shortly after winning the Cy Young Award. The team's attendance flatlined as a result of the fire sale, and never really recovered.

The Expos had losing seasons until 2002, except for 1996, when the team finished second with a .543 winning percentage. In 2002 and 2003, the team finished with identical .512 records. After losing superstar Vladimir Guerrero to free agency, the Expos finished 2004, the team's final year in Montreal, with a 67–95 record.

In 1998, the Régie des installations Olympiques replaced Olympic Stadium's orange retractable roof with a permanent blue roof. The retractable roof was removed after the Expos homestand ending on May 10, and on May 21, the Expos played their first outdoor home game since September 8, 1991. During this time when Olympic Stadium was once again an open-air park, Rondell White became the only person to hit a ball out of Olympic Stadium — on June 10, against the New York Yankees, White hit a foul ball out of the third-base side of the stadium.

On December 9, 1999, American art dealer Jeffrey Loria became the Expos' chairman, CEO, and managing general partner, purchasing Claude Brochu's ownership stake, and naming his stepson, David Samson, executive vice-president. Loria made his initial splash by signing Graeme Lloyd for $3,000,000, and acquiring Hideki Irabu's $4,125,000 contract and Lee Stevens's $3,500,000 contract in trades. The total sum of these contracts was nearly 50% of the 1999 payroll.

Loria subsequently lost a considerable amount of goodwill by failing to sign television and English radio broadcast contracts for the 2000 season, as the team tried to increase their revenue from the broadcast rights.

During the 2000 season, Loria requested additional public funding for the planned new ballpark in downtown Montreal, Labatt Park. However, the municipal and provincial governments vetoed public funding; Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard said that he couldn't in good conscience allow public funding for a new stadium when the province was being forced to close hospitals. In addition, Olympic Stadium still had not been paid for (and wouldn't be paid for until 2006). As a result, the plans for the proposed downtown ballpark were canceled.

Attendance in the 2001 season dropped to fewer than 10,000 per game, and consequently the future of the franchise in Montreal was called into question. Felipe Alou was fired at the end of May, ending his Montreal managerial career with a total of 691 wins, the most of any Expos manager. On November 6, 2001, the Major League Baseball franchise owners voted 28–2 to contract MLB by two teams — according to various sources, the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins, both of which reportedly voted against contraction.

On December 20, 2001, the Boston Red Sox were sold to a partnership led by John W. Henry, the owner of the Florida Marlins. The purchase was approved by the MLB owners in January. Henry sold the Marlins to Loria and the MLB owners approved the sale on February 1, 2002, before Loria and Henry had signed a formal contract, in order to clear the way for Henry's group to formally take control of the Red Sox. The Major League Baseball owners voted 30-0 to form a Delaware partnership, Expos Baseball, LP, to buy the Expos for US$120 million from Loria, an apparent first step to eliminate the franchise. After buying the Marlins, Loria moved the entire Expos management and coaching staff, including manager Jeff Torborg, to Miami — leaving the Expos without personnel, scouting reports, and office equipment, including the team's computers. Without a viable owner willing to operate the team in Montreal, it appeared that the Expos would either be disbanded or moved.

However, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, operator of the Metrodome, won an injunction requiring the Twins to play there in 2002. Without a second team to join them in oblivion, the loss of the Expos would have left MLB with an odd number of teams, thus requiring one team to be idle every day. With this constraint, it would have been logistically impossible to preserve a 162-game schedule within MLB's six-month season. As MLB did not wish to reduce the number of games in a season, and lacking sufficient time to move the Expos to another city, MLB was forced to keep the Expos in Montreal at least through the 2002 season. MLB named Anaheim Angels president Tony Tavares team president, Mets assistant general manager Omar Minaya vice-president and general manager, and MLB's chief disciplinarian Frank Robinson manager. It also installed a new FieldTurf surface to replace Olympic Stadium's aging AstroTurf. However, rather than buy the new surface, MLB leased it for one year with an option for a second — an indication that MLB did not intend to remain in Montreal for the long term.

On August 30, 2002, MLB signed a collective bargaining agreement with the players association, which prohibited contraction through the end of the agreement in 2006.

Although their attendance increased from 7,935 per game in 2001 to 10,031 in 2002, MLB decided that the Expos would play 22 of their home games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2003. Despite being a considerably smaller facility (it seats approximately 19,000) than Montreal's Olympic Stadium, attendance in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium averaged 14,222, compared with 12,081 in Montreal. The Puerto Rican baseball fans embraced "Los Expos" (particularly Puerto Rican players Jose Vidro, Javier Vazquez and Wil Cordero, and other Latin players like Vladimir Guerrero and Liván Hernández) as their home team (as well as the Latin players from other teams), all the while hoping the team would make a permanent move to Puerto Rico. Expos players held clinics and made personal appearances on behalf of the team in Puerto Rico. Thanks in part to the San Juan games, the Expos were able to draw over a million fans at home in 2003 for the first time since 1997. The Expos' season in Puerto Rico was chronicled in the MLB-produced DVD Boricua Beisbol - Passion of Puerto Rico.

Led by Vladimir Guerrero, the 2003 Expos were part of a spirited seven-team Wild Card hunt. On August 28, they found themselves in a five-way tie for the lead with Philadelphia, Florida, St. Louis, and Houston. However, MLB, led by Bud Selig, in what ESPN's Peter Gammons called "a conflict of interest," decided that it could not afford an extra $50,000 to call up players from its minor leagues to take advantage of MLB's expanded roster limit during September. The budget was some $35 million. This doomed any hopes of reviving the franchise. Minaya later said, "Baseball handed down a decree.” They would not be allowed to call up players from the minors on September 1, as it was deemed too expensive. They would have to make do with what they had. "It was a message to the players," Minaya said. "It was a momentum killer." He also stated: "They're a tough group of guys. You cannot ever forget 2003; they were as good as the Marlins, who won the World Series. But nobody knows this because nobody saw Montreal in 2003. What killed us was not getting the call-ups." This restriction was later cited by shortstop Orlando Cabrera as the reason he wanted to leave the team (he would be traded away in July, 2004).

The Expos had a 12-15 record from August 29th to the end of the season, finishing eight games out of the wild card race.

The Players' Union initially rejected continuing the San Juan arrangement for the 2004 season, but later relented. Meanwhile, MLB actively looked for a relocation site. Some of the choices included Washington, D.C.; San Juan; Monterrey, Mexico; Portland, Oregon; New Jersey; Northern Virginia; and Norfolk, Virginia. During the decision-making process, Selig added Las Vegas, Nevada, to the list of potential Expos homes. In addition, the Washington Post reported that prior to the move, Major League Baseball was negotiating with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

On September 29, 2004, MLB officially announced that the Expos franchise would move to Washington, D.C. for 2005. Later that night, the Expos played their last game in Montreal, a 9-1 loss to the Florida Marlins before a season-high crowd of 31,395 fans. Although the team had worried about fan reaction, negative incidents were relatively mild: in the top of the third inning, golf balls were thrown onto the field, and the Expos players left the field at 8:01 for eight minutes, returning after the public address announcer warned the crowd of MLB's rule on forfeiting a game due to fan interference. At 9:11, another golf ball was thrown from the left field bleachers, resulting in another warning being displayed on the scoreboard.

To commemorate their unfinished 1994 season, the Expos unfurled a banner reading "1994 Meilleure Équipe du Baseball / Best Team in Baseball." The fans gave standing ovations to team stars Tony Batista, Brad Wilkerson, and Liván Hernández, and applauded loudly up until the final out. After the game, thanks were given to the crowd by Claude Raymond in French, Jamey Carroll in English, and Hernandez in Spanish.

On November 15, 2004, arbitrators struck down a lawsuit by the former team owners against MLB and former majority owner Jeffrey Loria, ending the legal fight to keep the Expos in Montreal. The MLB owners approved the move to Washington in a 28–1 vote on December 3. Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos cast the sole "nay" vote, resenting the franchise's relocation and intrusion into the Baltimore/D.C. market.

The Expos played their final game on October 3, 2004 at Shea Stadium, losing to the New York Mets by a score of 8-1. The Expos' run came to an end against the same team it began against, 35 years earlier.

Willie Stargell hit the longest home run at Olympic Stadium on May 20, 1978, driving the ball into the second deck in right field for an estimated distance of 535 feet. A yellow seat now marks the location where the ball landed. Stargell also hit a notable home run at the Expos's original Montreal home, Jarry Park, which landed in a swimming pool beyond the right field fence.

On April 4, 1988, the Expos Opening Day, Darryl Strawberry hit a ball off a speaker which hangs off a concrete ring at Olympic Stadium, estimated to have traveled 525 feet.

The longest home run hit to left field was Vladimir Guerrero's blast on July 28, 2003, that hit an advertising sign directly below the left field upper deck. The ad was later replaced with a sign reading "VLAD 502".

The first no-hitter in Expos history was pitched by Bill Stoneman during its ninth game, on April 17, 1969, winning 7–0 against the Philadelphia Phillies and striking out eight batters. The team's second no-hitter was another 7–0 victory thrown by Stoneman in the first game of an October 7, 1972, doubleheader at Jarry Park, against the New York Mets.

The Expos's third no-hitter came from Charlie Lea on May 10, 1981, against the San Francisco Giants. The fourth and final no-hitter in the history of the Montreal franchise was a perfect game by Dennis Martinez on July 28, 1991, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Expos broadcaster Dave Van Horne, called the final out on the telecast: "In the air...center field...El Presidente, El Perfecto!" Martinez's perfect game was the thirteenth in Major League Baseball history since 1976.

Two other no-hit games were pitched in shortened games. David Palmer won 4-0 on April 21, 1984 in 5 innings during the second game of a double-header vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. Pascual Pérez beat the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 in a 5-inning game on Sept. 24th, 1988.

On August 14, 1993, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of his first payment to the National League for the Montreal expansion franchise, Charles Bronfman was inducted to the Expos Hall of Fame as its inaugural member. In a pre-game ceremony, a circular patch on the right field wall was unveiled, with Bronfman's name, the number 83, which he used to wear during spring training, and the words "FONDATEUR / FOUNDER".

When the franchise moved in 2004, other than #42, the Washington Nationals returned the numbers retired by the Expos to service and assigned them to new players. On October 18, 2005, the Montreal Canadiens honoured the departed team by raising an Expos commemorative banner, listing the retired numbers, to the rafters of the Bell Centre.

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Wilton Guerrero

Wilton Alvaro Guerrero (born October 24, 1974 in the Don Gregorio, Dominican Republic) was a second baseman in Major League Baseball. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1996-1998), Montreal Expos (1998-2000, 2002), Cincinnati Reds (2001-2002), and Kansas City Royals (2004).

Guerrero was 21 years old when he made his major league debut September 3, 1996, with the Los Angeles Dodgers. On June 1, 1997, the Dodgers rookie led off against the Cardinalss in St. Louis by grounding out. His broken bat shattered, and when he scrambled to pick up the pieces instead of running it out, the umpires became suspicious. The bat had been corked. Guerrero was ejected, suspended for eight games, and fined $1,000.

He was a utility player and played strong defense at any position he played. Although he had the ability to hit for average, he had limited power. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals to a minor league contract in January 2005 with an invitation to spring training, but did not play during the 2005 season with St. Louis. He has since been playing in the Dominican Republic.

He is the older brother of Vladimir Guerrero and cousin of Cristian Guerrero.

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30-30 club

The 30-30 club is a grouping of Major League Baseball players who have reached the 30 home run and 30 stolen base plateaus in the same season.

The term "club" is used rather loosely, as it is generally used by sports writers and fans to group players together under a common heading. The word "club" was likely coined based on the original exclusiveness and rarity of a 30-30 season. Statistically, the 30-30 club is of note due to the pairing of power and speed - two nominal measurements usually isolated from one another. Power, in this case, is measured through the number of home runs hit during a season. Speed is measured through the amount of bases stolen in that same season. For example, a slugging first baseman, like Prince Fielder, would not usually accumulate high stolen base totals. Likewise, a speedy center fielder, like Juan Pierre, may be more adept at stealing bases, but may not supply much power. Thus, many players may be able to either steal 30 bases or hit 30 home runs, but only a rare handful may be able to do both.

Recent trends show that club membership has steadily increased since the 1970s. Ken Williams was the first player to reach the mark in 1922 with 39 home runs and 37 stolen bases. He was the sole member of the club for 34 years until Willie Mays had back-to-back 30-30 seasons in 1956 and 1957. Occurrences then began to increase thereafter, as there were 2 in the 1960s, 5 (4 by Bobby Bonds) in the 1970s, 7 in the 1980s, and 20 (5 by Barry Bonds) in the 1990s. So far there have been 16 instances since 2000, and there has been at least 1 30-30 player every year since 1987 (except for the strike-shortened season of 1994, when the feat would have been much more difficult due to the cancellation of a quarter of the season).

Most 30-30 seasons come from players who play the outfield, particularly left and right field. However, several center fielders have enjoyed 30-30 seasons, including Willie Mays, Dale Murphy, Grady Sizemore, Preston Wilson, and Carlos Beltran. The remaining breakdown is as follows: first baseman (2) (Joe Carter, Jeff Bagwell); shortstop (4) (Barry Larkin, Alex Rodriguez, Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez); third baseman (3) (David Wright, Tommy Harper, Howard Johnson). The only players to record a 30-30 season at second base are Alfonso Soriano, before he moved to his current position of left field, and Brandon Phillips. (Tommy Harper and Ron Gant had previously played 2B earlier in their careers). There has not been a 30-30 season recorded by a player who predominately plays catcher or pitcher, with the closest being Ivan Rodriguez, a catcher who hit 35 home runs and stole 25 bases in 1999, when he was named the American League Most Valuable Player.

There have been 52 30-30 seasons by 32 different players. Barry and Bobby Bonds account for 10 of those seasons.

There have been three seasons in which four separate players recorded 30-30 seasons. The first was 1987 (Joe Carter, Eric Davis, Howard Johnson, and Darryl Strawberry). The second was 1996 (Dante Bichette, Barry Bonds, Ellis Burks, and Barry Larkin). The last occurrence was in 1997 (Jeff Bagwell, Bonds, Raúl Mondesí, and Larry Walker). The last time a player did not record a 30-30 season was 1994 - the season shortened by the player's strike. The closest player was Barry Bonds, who finished with 37 home runs and 29 stolen bases (112 games), while Sammy Sosa had a shot with 25 home runs and 22 steals (105 games). During the shortened 1981 season, Andre Dawson finished with 24 home runs and 26 steals in 103 games. The last full season without a 30-30 player was 1986.

The players with the most 30-30 seasons are Bobby Bonds and his son Barry with 5 each. The only other players with more than 2 are Alfonso Soriano with 4, and Howard Johnson with 3. Players with two 30-30 seasons: Willie Mays, Ron Gant, Sammy Sosa, Jeff Bagwell, Raúl Mondesí, Vladimir Guerrero, and Bobby Abreu. The rarer 30-40 season has been repeated only by Bobby Bonds (4), Barry Bonds (2), and Alfonso Soriano (2), the 40-30 season only by Barry Bonds (2) and Jeff Bagwell (2), and only Barry Bonds and Alfonso Soriano have had at least one 40-30 and one 30-40 season. There have been only two 30-50 seasons (Eric Davis and Barry Bonds), and no 50-30 seasons. For more elite seasons, see the 40-40 club. However, the 30-30 season has only been accomplished by two players on the same team during the same season twice: the New York Mets in 1987 and the Colorado Rockies in 1996.

40-40 club seasons in bold.

A 20-20 season (20 home runs and 20 stolen bases) is also of note, however it is much more common. A 20-20 season is usually noticed on a local level by sports writers or team officials, especially if the player is a second baseman or catcher. The only 20-20 season by a catcher was achieved by Iván Rodríguez in 1999 with 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases; Russell Martin has been discussed as a potential 20-20 catcher, with 19 home runs and 21 stolen bases in 2007. The oldest 20-20 player, at 38-years-224-days, was Paul O'Neill in 2001, with 21 home runs and 22 stolen bases. Gary Sheffield, who turned 39 in November 2007, broke this record with 25 home runs and 22 stolen bases for the '07 season.

There is a nightclub in Manhattan, New York with the name "Club 30-30", however this name is presumed to be based on the address (which is 30-30), and not the grouping of baseball players. Jay-Z owns a nightclub named The 40/40 Club, also located in Manhattan. The name is based on the 40-40 club, implying a sense of prestige and exclusiveness .

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Barry Bonds

20060825 Barry Bonds follow through.jpg

Barry Lamar Bonds (born July 24, 1964) is a Major League Baseball outfielder who is currently a free agent. He is the son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds, godson of Hall of Famer Willie Mays, nephew of 1964 Olympian Rosie Bonds, and a distant cousin of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. He debuted in the Major Leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986 and joined the San Francisco Giants in 1993, where he stayed through 2007. Bonds filed for free agency following the 2007 World Series.

Bonds' accomplishments place him among the greatest baseball players of all-time. He has a record-setting seven Most Valuable Player awards, including a record-setting four consecutive MVPs. He is a fourteen-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove-winner. He holds numerous Major League Baseball records, including the all-time Major League Baseball home run record with 762 and the single-season Major League record for home runs with 73 (set in 2001), and is also the all-time career leader in both walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688).

Since 2003, Bonds has been a key figure in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) scandal. He was under investigation by a federal grand jury regarding his testimony in the BALCO case, and was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges on November 15, 2007. The indictment alleges that Bonds lied while under oath about his alleged use of steroids.

Born in Riverside, California, Bonds grew up in San Carlos, California and attended Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, California and excelled in baseball, basketball and football. As a freshman, he spent the baseball season on the JV team. The next three years—1980 to 1982—he starred on the varsity team. He batted for a .467 batting average his senior year, and was honored as a prep All-American. The Giants drafted Bonds in the second round of the 1982 MLB draft as a high school senior, but the Giants and Bonds were unable to agree on contract terms, so Bonds instead decided to attend college.

Bonds attended Arizona State University, hitting .347 with 45 home runs and 175 runs batted in (RBI). In 1984 he batted .360 and had 30 stolen bases. In 1985 he hit 23 home runs with 66 RBIs and a .368 batting average. He was a Sporting News All-American selection that year. He tied the NCAA record with seven consecutive hits in the College World Series as sophomore and was named to All-Time College World Series Team in 1996. He graduated from Arizona State in 1986 with a degree in criminology. During college, he played part of one summer in the amateur Alaska Baseball League with the Alaska Goldpanners.

Bonds was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round (6th overall) of the 1985 Major League Baseball draft. Bonds joined the Prince William Pirates of the Carolina League and was named July 1985 Player of the Month for the league. In 1986, he hit .311 in 44 games for the Hawaii Islanders of the Pacific Coast League, and he made his major league debut on May 30.

In 1986, Bonds led National League (NL) rookies with 16 home runs, 48 RBI, 36 stolen bases and 65 walks, but he finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting. He hit 25 home runs in his second season, along with 32 stolen bases and 59 RBIs. Bonds improved in 1988, hitting .283 with 24 home runs. Bonds finished with 19 homers, 58 RBIs, and 14 outfield assists, which was 2nd in the NL.

Bonds won his first MVP award in 1990, hitting .301 with 33 home runs and 114 RBIs. His 52 stolen bases were third in the league. He won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards. In 1991, Bonds also put up great numbers, hitting 25 homers and driving in 116 runs, and obtained another Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. He finished second to the Atlanta Braves' Terry Pendleton (the NL batting champion) in the MVP voting. The next season, Bonds won his second MVP award. He dominated the NL, hitting .311 with 34 homers and 103 RBIs, and propelling the Pirates to their third straight National League East division title. However, Pittsburgh was defeated by the Braves in a seven-game National League Championship Series. Bonds was involved in the final play of Game 7 of the NLCS, where he fielded a base hit by Francisco Cabrera and attempted to throw out Sid Bream at home plate. But the throw to Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere was late and Bream scored the winning run. For the third consecutive season, the NL East Champion Pirates were denied a trip to the World Series.

In 1993, Bonds left the Pirates to sign a lucrative free agent contract worth a then-record $43.75 million over 6 years with the Giants, with whom his father spent the first 7 years of his career, and with whom his godfather Willie Mays played 22 of his 24 Major League seasons. The deal was at that time the largest in baseball history, in terms of both total value and average annual salary. To honor his father, Bonds switched his jersey number to 25 once he signed with the Giants, as it had been Bobby's number in San Francisco. (His number during most of his stay with the Pirates, 24, was retired in honor of Mays anyway). Bonds hit .336 in 1993, leading the league with 46 home runs and 123 RBI en route to his second consecutive MVP award, and third overall. As good as the Giants were (winning 103 games), the Atlanta Braves won 104 in what some call the last great pennant race (due to the Wild Card being instituted shortly after).

In the strike-shortened season of 1994, Bonds hit .312 with 37 home runs and a league-leading 74 walks, and he finished 4th in MVP voting. In 1995, Bonds hit 33 homers and drove in 104 runs, hitting .294 but finished only 12th in MVP voting.

In 1996, Bonds became the first National League player and second (of the current list of four) major league player(s) to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season. The other members of the 40-40 club are José Canseco—1988, Alex Rodriguez—1998, and Alfonso Soriano—2006; his father Bobby Bonds was one home run short in 1973 when he hit 39 home runs and stole 43 bases. Bonds drove in 129 runs with a .308 average and walked a then-National League record 151 times. During the 1996 season Bonds became the 4th player in history to steal 300 bases and hit 300 home runs for a career, joining Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, and Bobby Bonds in the 300-300 club, but he only finished fifth in the MVP balloting. In 1997 Bonds hit .291, his lowest average since 1989. He hit 40 home runs for the second straight year and drove in 101 runs, leading the league in walks again with 145. He tied his father in 1997 for having the most 30/30 seasons, and he again placed fifth in the MVP balloting.

In 1998, he hit .303 with 37 home runs and drove in 122 runs, winning his eighth Gold Glove, and became the first player ever to enter the 400-400 club by having career totals of 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases. With two outs in the 9th inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 28, 1998, Bonds became only the fifth player in baseball history to be given an intentional walk with the bases loaded. Nap Lajoie (1901), Del Bissonette (1928) and Bill Nicholson (1944) were three others in the 20th century who received that rare honor; however Abner Dalrymple was the first to receive one in 1881. Bonds finished 8th in the MVP voting.

In 2000, the following year, Bonds hit .306 with a slugging percentage of .688 (career best at that time) and hit 49 home runs in just 143 games (also a career high to that point), while drawing a league-leading 117 walks.

The next year, Bonds' offensive production reached even higher levels, breaking not only his own personal records but several major league records. In the Giants' first 50 games in 2001, Bonds hit 28 home runs, including 17 in May—a career high. He also hit 39 home runs by the All-star break (a major league record), drew a major league record 177 walks, and had a .515 on-base average, a feat not seen since Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams over forty years earlier. Bonds' slugging percentage was a major league record .863 (411 total bases in 476 at-bats), and, most impressively, he ended the season with a major league record 73 home runs.

Bonds re-signed with the Giants for a five-year, $90 million contract in January 2002. That year, he hit 46 home runs in 403 at-bats. He won the NL batting title with a career-high .370 average and struck out only 47 times. Despite playing in nine fewer games than the previous season, he drew 198 walks, a major-league record, 68 of them intentional. He slugged .799, then the fourth-highest total all time. Bonds broke Ted Williams' major league record for on-base average with .582. Bonds also hit his 600th home run, less than a year and a half after hitting his 500th.

In 2003, Bonds played in just 130 games. He hit 45 home runs in just 390 at-bats, along with a .341 batting average. He slugged .749, walked 148 times, and had an on-base average well over .500 (.529) for the third straight year. He also became the only member of the career 500 home run/500 stolen base club.

In 2004, Bonds had perhaps his best season. He hit .362 en route to his second National League batting title, and broke his own record by walking 232 times. He slugged .812, which was fourth-highest of all time, and broke his on-base percentage record with a .609 average. Bonds passed Mays on the career home run list, hitting his 700th near the end of the season. Bonds hit 45 home runs in 373 at-bats, and struck out just 41 times, putting himself in elite company, as few major leaguers have ever had more home runs than strikeouts in a season. Bonds would win his fourth consecutive MVP award and his seventh overall. His seven MVP awards are four more than any other player in history. In addition, no other player from either league has been awarded the MVP four times in a row. (The MVP award was first given in 1931). On July 4, 2004 he tied and passed Rickey Henderson's career bases on balls record with his 2190th and 2191st career walks..

As Bonds neared Aaron's record, Aaron was called on for his opinion of Bonds. He clarified that he was a fan and admirer of Bonds and avoided the controversy regarding whether the record should be denoted with an asterisk due Bonds' to alleged steroid usage. He felt recognition and respect for the award was something to be determined by the fans. As the steroid controversy received greater media attention during the offseason before the 2005 season, Aaron expressed some reservations about the statements Bonds made on the issue. Aaron expressed that he felt drug and steroid use to boost athletic performance was inappropriate. Aaron was frustrated that the media could not focus on events that occurred in the field of play and wished drugs or gambling allegations such as those associated with Pete Rose could be emphasized less. In 2007, Aaron felt the whole steroid use issue was very controversial and decided that he would not attend any possible record-breaking games. Aaron congratulated Bonds through the media when Bonds broke Aaron's record.

Bonds' salary for the 2005 season was $22 million, the second-highest salary in Major League Baseball (the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez earned the highest, $25.2 million). Bonds endured a knee injury, multiple surgeries, and rehabilitation. He was activated on September 12, 2005, and started in left field. In his return against the San Diego Padres, he nearly hit a home run in his first at-bat. Bonds finished the night 1-for-4. Upon his return, Bonds resumed his high-caliber performance at the plate, hitting home runs in four consecutive games from September 18, 2005 to September 21, 2005 and finishing with five homers in only 14 games.

In 2006, Bonds earned $20 million (not including bonuses), the fourth highest salary in baseball. Through the 2006 season he had earned approximately $172 million during his then 21-year career, making him baseball's all-time highest paid player. Bonds hit under .200 for his first 10 games of the season and did not hit a home run until April 22, 2006. This 10-game stretch was his longest home run slump since the 1998 season. On May 7, 2006, Bonds drew within one home run of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the all time list, hitting his 713th career home run into the second level of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, off pitcher Jon Lieber in an ESPN nationally-televised game in which the Giants lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. The towering home run—one of the longest in Citizens Bank Park's two-season history, traveling an estimated 450 feet (140 m)—hit off the facade of the third deck in right field.

Then, on May 20, 2006, Bonds tied Ruth, hitting his 714th career home run to deep right field to lead off the top of the 2nd inning. The home run came off left-handed pitcher Brad Halsey of the Oakland A's, in an interleague game played in Oakland, California. Since this was an interleague game at an American League stadium, Bonds was batting as the designated hitter in the lineup for the Giants. Bonds was quoted after the game as being "glad it's over with" and stated that more attention could be focused on Albert Pujols, who was on a very rapid home run pace in early 2006.

On May 28, 2006, Bonds passed Ruth, hitting his 715th career home run to center field off Colorado Rockies pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim. The ball was hit an estimated 445 feet (140 m) into center field where it went through the hands of several fans but then fell onto an elevated platform in center field. Then it rolled off the platform where Andrew Morbitzer, a 38-year-old San Francisco resident, caught the ball while he was in line at a concession stand. Mysteriously, radio broadcaster Dave Flemming's radio play-by-play of the home run went silent just as the ball was hit, apparently from a microphone failure. But the televised version, called by Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper, was not affected.

On September 22, 2006, Bonds tied Henry Aaron's National League career home run record of 733. The home run came in the top of the 6th inning of a high-scoring game against the Milwaukee Brewers, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The achievement was notable for its occurrence in the very city where Aaron began (with the Milwaukee Braves) and concluded (with the Brewers, then in the American League) his career. With the Giants trailing 10–8, Bonds hit a blast to deep center field on a 2–0 pitch off the Brewers' Chris Spurling with runners on first and second and one out. Though the Giants were at the time clinging to only a slim chance of making the playoffs, Bonds' home run provided the additional drama of giving the Giants an 11–10 lead late in a critical game in the final days of a pennant race. The Brewers eventually won the game, 13–12, despite Bonds' going 3 for 5, with 2 doubles, the record-tying home run, and 6 runs batted in.

On the following day, September 23, 2006, Bonds surpassed Aaron for the NL career home run record. Hit in Milwaukee like the previous one, this was a solo home run off Chris Capuano of the Brewers. This was the last home run Bonds hit in 2006. In 2006, Bonds recorded his lowest slugging percentage (a statistic that he has historically ranked among league leaders season after season) since 1991 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In January 2007, the New York Daily News reported that Bonds had tested positive for amphetamines. Under baseball's amphetamine policy, which had been in effect for one season, players testing positive were to submit to six additional tests and undergo treatment and counseling. The policy also stated that players were not to be identified for a first positive test, but the New York Daily News leaked the test's results. When the Players Association informed Bonds of the test results, he initially attributed it to a substance he had taken from the locker of Giants teammate Mark Sweeney, but would later retract this claim and publicly apologize to Sweeney.

On January 29, 2007, the Giants finalized a contract with Bonds for the 2007 season. After the commissioner's office rejected Bonds's one-year, $15.8 million deal because it contained a personal-appearance provision, the team sent revised documents to his agent, Jeff Borris, who stated that "At this time, Barry is not signing the new documents." Bonds signed a revised one-year, $15.8 million contract on February 15, 2007, and reported to the Giants' Spring Training camp on time.

Bonds resumed his march to the all-time record early in the 2007 season. After an opening game in which all he had was a first-inning single past third base against a right-shifted infield (immediately followed by a stolen base and then a base-running misjudgment that got him thrown out at home) and a deep out to left field late in the game, Bonds returned the next day, April 4, 2007, with another mission. In his first at-bat of the season's second game at the Giants' AT&T Park, Bonds hit a Chris Young (of the San Diego Padres) pitch just over the wall to the left of straightaway center field for career home run 735. This home run put Bonds past the midway point between Ruth and Aaron.

Bonds did not homer again until April 13, 2007 when he hit two (736 and 737) in a 3 for 3 night that included 4 RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Home runs number 739 and 740 came in back to back games on April 21, 2007 and April 22, 2007 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The hype surrounding Bonds' pursuit of the home run record escalated on May 14, 2007. On this day, Sports Auction for Heritage (a Dallas-based auction house) offered US$1 million to the fan that caught Bonds' record-breaking 756th-career home run. The million dollar offer was rescinded on June 11, 2007 out of concern of fan safety. On that same day, Bonds launched home run 747, ending the relative drought of the previous month. This one came off Josh Towers of the Toronto Blue Jays, and landed in AT&T Park's right center field stands. His next home run, 748, came on Father's Day, June 17, 2007, in the final game of a 3-game road series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, where Bonds had never previously played. With this homer, Fenway Park became the 36th major league ballpark in which Bonds had hit a home run. He hit a Tim Wakefield knuckleball just over the low fence into the Giant's bullpen in right field. It was his first home run off his former Pittsburgh Pirate teammate, who became the 441st different pitcher to surrender a four-bagger to Bonds. The 750th career home run, hit on June 29, 2007, also came off a former teammate: Liván Hernández. The blast came in the 8th inning and at that point tied the game at 3–3.

On July 19, 2007, after a 21 at-bat hitless streak, Bonds hit 2 home runs, numbers 752 and 753 against the Chicago Cubs. He went 3–3 with 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, and a walk on that day. The struggling last place Giants still lost the game 9–8. On July 27, 2007, Bonds hit home run 754 against Florida Marlins pitcher Rick VandenHurk. Bonds was then walked his next 4 at bats in the game, but 2-run shot helped the Giants win the game 12–10. It marked the first game Bonds had homered in that the Giants won since he had hit #747. On August 4, 2007, Bonds hit a 382 foot (116 m) home run against Clay Hensley of the San Diego Padres for home run number 755, tying Hank Aaron's all-time record. Bonds greeted his son, Nikolai, with an extended bear hug after crossing home plate. Bonds greeted his teammates and then his wife, Liz Watson, and daughter Aisha Lynn behind the backstop. Hensley was the 445th different pitcher to give up a home run to Bonds. Ironically, given the cloud of suspicion that surrounded Bonds, the tying home run was hit off a pitcher who'd been suspended by baseball in 2005 for steroid use. He was walked in his next at bat and eventually scored on a fielder's choice.

On August 7, 2007 at 8:51 PM PDT, Bonds hit a 435 foot (133 m) home run, his 756th, off a pitch from Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals, breaking the all-time career home run record, formerly held by Hank Aaron. Coincidentally, Bacsik's father had faced Aaron (as a pitcher for the Texas Rangers) after Aaron had hit his 755th home run. On August 23, 1976, Michael J. Bacsik held Aaron to a single and a fly out to right field. The younger Bacsik commented later, "If my dad had been gracious enough to let Hank Aaron hit a home run, we both would have given up 756." After hitting the home run, Bonds gave Bacsik an autographed bat.

The pitch, the seventh of the at-bat, was a 3–2 pitch which Bonds hit into the right-center field bleachers. The fan who ended up with the ball, 22-year-old Matt Murphy from Queens, New York (and a Met fan), was promptly protected and escorted away from the mayhem by a group of San Francisco police officers. After Bonds finished his home run trot, a ten-minute delay followed, including a brief video by Aaron congratulating Bonds on breaking the record Aaron had held for 33 years, and expressing the hope that "the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams." Bonds made an impromptu emotional statement on the field, with Willie Mays, his godfather, at his side and thanked his teammates, family and his late father. Bonds sat out the rest of the game and was replaced in left field.

The commissioner, Bud Selig, was not in attendance in this game but was represented by the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, Jimmie Lee Solomon. Selig called Bonds later that night to congratulate him on breaking the record. President George W. Bush also called Bonds the next day to congratulate him. On August 24, 2007, San Francisco honored and celebrated Bonds' career accomplishments and breaking the home run record with a large rally in Justin Herman Plaza. The rally included video messages from Lou Brock, Ernie Banks, Ozzie Smith, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan. Speeches were made by Willie Mays, Giants teammates Omar Vizquel and Rich Aurilia, and Giants owner Peter Magowan. Mayor Gavin Newsom presented Bonds the key to the City and County of San Francisco and Giants vice president Larry Baer gave Bonds the home plate he touched after hitting his 756th career home run.

Bonds concluded the 2007 season with a .276 batting average, 28 home runs, and 66 RBIs in 126 games and 340 at bats. At the age of 43, he led both leagues in walks with 132.

There was much speculation before the 2008 season about where Bonds might play. However, no one signed him during the 2008 season — and as of the end of the 2008 calendar year, he was also without a contract for the upcoming 2009 season. If he ever returns to Major League Baseball, Bonds would be within close range of several significant hitting milestones: he needs just 65 hits to reach 3,000, 4 runs batted in in to reach 2,000, and 38 home runs to reach 800. He needs 69 more runs scored to move past Rickey Henderson as the all-time runs champion, and 37 extra base hits to move past Hank Aaron as the all-time extra base hits champion.

In 2003, Bonds became embroiled in a scandal when Greg Anderson of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), Bonds' trainer since 2000, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and charged with supplying anabolic steroids to athletes, including a number of baseball players. This led to speculation that Bonds had used performance-enhancing drugs during a time when there was no mandatory testing in Major League Baseball. Bonds declared his innocence, attributing his changed physique and increased power to a strict regimen of bodybuilding, diet and legitimate supplements.

During grand jury testimony on December 4, 2003, Bonds said that he used a clear substance and a cream that he received from his personal strength trainer, Greg Anderson, who told him they were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis. This testimony, as reported by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, has frequently been misrepresented. Later reports on Bonds's leaked grand-jury testimony contend that he admitted to unknowingly using "the cream" and "the clear".

In July 2005, all four defendants in the BALCO steroid scandal trial, including Anderson, struck deals with federal prosecutors that did not require them to reveal names of athletes who may have used banned drugs.

Bonds withdrew from the MLB Players Association's (MLBPA) licensing agreement because he felt independent marketing deals would be more lucrative for him. Bonds is the first player in the thirty-year history of the licensing program not to sign. Because of this withdrawal, his name and likeness are not usable in any merchandise licensed by the MLBPA. In order to use his name or likeness, a company must deal directly with Bonds. For this reason he does not appear in some baseball video games, forcing game-makers to create generic athletes to replace him. For example, Bonds is replaced by "Jon Dowd" in MVP Baseball 2005.

In March, 2006 the book Game of Shadows, written by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, was released amid a storm of media publicity including the cover of Sports Illustrated. Initially small excerpts of the book were released by the authors in the issue of Sports Illustrated. The book alleges Bonds used stanozolol and a host of other steroids, and is perhaps most responsible for the change in public opinion regarding Bonds' steroid use.

The book contained excerpts of grand jury testimony that is supposed to be sealed and confidential by law. The authors have been steadfast in their refusal to divulge their sources, and at one point faced jail time. On February 14, 2007, Troy Ellerman, one of Victor Conte's lawyers, pled guilty to leaking grand jury testimony. Through the plea agreement, he will spend two and a half years in jail.

In May 2006, former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman released a scathing biography of Bonds entitled Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Anti-Hero. The book also contained many allegations against Bonds. The book, which describes Bonds as a polarizing insufferable braggart with a legendary ego and staggering ability, relied on over five hundred interviews.

On November 15, 2007, Bonds was indicted for both four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice as it relates to the government investigation of BALCO.

On February 14, 2008 a typo in court papers filed by Federal prosecutors erroneously alleged that Bonds tested positive for steroids in November, 2001, a month after hitting his record 73rd home run. The reference was meant instead to refer to a November 2000 test that had already been disclosed and previously reported. The typo sparked a brief media frenzy.

His trial for obstruction of justice is to begin on March 2, 2009. Bonds is not expected to get prison time should he be convicted after a pro cyclist facing similar charges in the case was given house arrest and probation instead of jail time.

In April 2006 and May 2006, ESPN aired a few episodes of a 10-part reality TV (unscripted, documentary-style) series starring Bonds. The show, titled Bonds on Bonds, focused on Bonds' chase of Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's home run records. Some felt the show should be put on hiatus until baseball investigated Bonds' steroid use allegations. The series was canceled in June 2006, ESPN and producer Tollin/Robbins Productions citing "creative control" issues with Bonds and his representatives.

Bonds met Susann ("Sun") Margreth Branco, the mother of his first two children, in Montreal, Quebec in August 1987. They eloped in Las Vegas, Nevada February 5, 1988. They had two children (Nikolai and Shikari) and separated in June 1994, divorced in December 1994 and had their marriage annulled in 1997 by the Catholic Church. The divorce was a media affair because Bonds had his Swedish spouse sign a prenuptial agreement in which she "waived her right to a share of his present and future earnings" and which was upheld. Bonds had been providing his wife $20,000/month in child support and $10,000 in spousal support at the time of the ruling. During the hearings to set permanent support levels, allegations of abuse came from both parties. The trial dragged on for months, but Bonds was awarded both houses and reduced support. Nikolai was a batboy for the Giants and always sat next to his dad in the dugout during games.

Bonds remarried on January 10, 1998 in the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel in front of 240 guests. Bonds lives in Los Altos Hills, California, with his second wife, Liz Watson, and their daughter Aisha. He also owns a home in the exclusive gated community of Beverly Park in Beverly Hills, CA.

Bonds also had an extensive intimate relationship with Kimberly Bell from 1994 through May, 2003. Bonds purchased a home in Scottsdale, Arizona for Kimberly.

Bonds has an older brother, Bobby, Jr. who was a professional baseball player. His paternal aunt, Rosie Bonds, is a former American record holder in the 80 meter hurdles, and she competed in the 1964 Olympics. He is a distant cousin of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.

Besides holding Major League career records in home runs (762), walks (2,558), and intentional walks (688), Bonds also leads all active players in RBI (1,996), on-base percentage (.444), runs (2,227), games (2,986), extra-base hits (1,440), at-bats per home run (12.92), and total bases (5,976). He is 2nd in doubles (601), slugging percentage (.607), stolen bases (514), at-bats (9,847), and hits (2,935), 6th in triples (77), 8th in sacrifice flies (91), and 9th in strikeouts (1,539), through September 26, 2007.

Bonds is the lone member of the 500–500 club, which means he has hit at least 500 home runs (762) and stolen 500 bases (514). He is also one of only four baseball players all-time to be in the 40–40 club (1996), which means he hit 40 home runs (42) and stole 40 bases (40) in the same season; the other members are José Canseco, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano.

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Source : Wikipedia