The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Boston. The Red Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League’s eight charter franchises, the Red Sox’ home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The “Red Sox” name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, circa 1908, following the lead of previous teams that had been known as the “Boston Red Stockings”, including the forerunner of the Atlanta Braves. The team has won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of any MLB team, and they have played in 13. Their most recent World Series appearance and win was in 2018. In addition, they won the 1904 American League pennant, but were not able to defend their 1903 World Series championship when the New York Giants refused to participate in the 1904 World Series.
The Red Sox were a dominant team in the new league, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series in 1903 and winning four more championships by 1918. However, they then went into one of the longest championship droughts in baseball history, dubbed the “Curse of the Bambino” after its alleged inception due to the Red Sox’ sale of Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees two years after their world championship in 1918, an 86-year wait before the team’s sixth World Championship in 2004. The team’s history during that period was punctuated with some of the most memorable moments in World Series history, including Enos Slaughter’s “mad dash” in 1946, the “Impossible Dream” of 1967, Carlton Fisk’s home run in 1975, and Bill Buckner’s error in 1986. Following their victory in the 2018 World Series, they became the first team to win four World Series trophies in the 21st century, with championships in 2004, 2007, 2013 and 2018. The team’s history has also been marked by the team’s intense rivalry with the New York Yankees, arguably the fiercest and most historic in North American professional sports.
The Boston Red Sox are owned by Fenway Sports Group, which also owns Liverpool F.C. of the Premier League in England. They are consistently one of the top MLB teams in average road attendance, while the small capacity of Fenway Park prevents them from leading in overall attendance. From May 15, 2003, to April 10, 2013, the Red Sox sold out every home game—a total of 820 games (794 regular season) for a major professional sports record. Both Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and The Standells’ “Dirty Water” have become anthems for the Red Sox.
As of the end of the 2021 season, the franchise’s all-time regular-season record is 9,718–9,014 (.519).