The Boston Red Sox is the team that everyone loves to hate, unless you live in Boston, of course. Don’t take it personally, Boston- your team is just too darn good! Despite any personal predilections about these MLB tyrants, er, champions, we are here to present all of the surprising fan facts that you will definitely want to know!
Number Eight: The Unlucky Red Seat
In the Boston Red Sox’s iconic home field, Fenway Park, a single, red seat sits among the others in Section 42 of the bleachers. Unsurprisingly, there is a legend (and a story) that made this historic seat. In a 1946 game, the legendary Ted Williams hit a home run that soared 502 feet into the hat of Joe Boucher. Boucher, however, was a notorious Yankees fan from Albany, and the team sure knew it. As he was napping in the unlucky seat, Williams claimed to aim right for the brim of his hat to show him how a real baseball team performs.
Number Seven: The Green Monster
The Green Monster, a huge 37-foot barricade over Fenway Park, was introduced with field when it emerged in 1914. According to history, the wall was built by Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey to prevent peering eyes from getting free admission to the team’s games.
Number Six: The History of the Wall
Until it was repainted in the well-known shade of green it bears today, the monstrous wall was covered in advertisements that helped to build the early team. In 1947, it was repainted, and a journalist was responsible for coining the term “Green Monster”. It just sort of caught on, and now serves as a historic baseball landmark with the autographs of hundreds of MLB stars who passed through it.
Number Five: The Red Sox Poles
Every Boston Red Sox fan is familiar with the Pesky Pole that lay to the right of home plate, but the left one has earned a historic title as well. Known as the Fisk Foul Pole by diehard fans, this pole helped Carlton Fisk to win one of the most memorable MLB games in 1975. During the game, Fisk achieved a home run solely because the ball bounced straight into fair ground after hitting the pole. Sadly, they still lost the game.
Number Four: The Epic Wave
The origin of “the wave” is largely speculated and will remain unknown possibly forever, but Sox fans have cultivated a story of their own for the origin of the mass cheer. They claim that the movement started when a fan in the crowded seats of Fenway Park had to get up for a beer, the whole row was brought to their feet to make room. When the row stood up, the following row would stand too, to keep the game in view. Apparently, this unison movement sprouted the birth of the wave.
Number Three: The “X” in Boston Red Sox
Okay, so this has probably been eating away at you for quite some time now: do the Sox know that they’re spelling their own name wrong? In fact, the “X” in Boston Red Sox was actually a marketing gimmick. Prior to 1907, the teams actually went under the name of the Boston Americans. This name wasn’t too exciting, so they created a new one from the iconic red socks that the team was known for. However, when they put “Red Socks” on a uniform, it didn’t quite look right. So, they made the name Red Sox to add more visual appeal.
Number Two: The Curse of the Bambino
When the Sox sold the Great Bambino to the Yankees in 1919, you’d better believe there was hell to be paid. As a result of this, speculations circulated about “The Curse of the Bambino” which “caused” the Sox to lose every World Series they participated in from 1918 until 2004. While it was more of a joke, a large number of fans got way too into the concept, and went to extreme measures to break it. Over history, fans have tried vandalizing the field, exorcism, and even convincing the team to retrieve the Babe’s corpse from six feet under to break the curse. All to no avail. One of the most famous efforts to break the curse was by the famous Jimmy Buffet, who parodied the extreme fans by “channeling” Babe Ruth in a song.
Number One: The Curse of Billy Buckner
It must have been really awful to be the Sox in those 86 years, but it was even worse to be Billy Buckner after one of the biggest flops in MLB history. In the final losing World Series the team played, the Sox managed to tie the score with the Mets in the 1986 World Series. In the extra innings of the tie game, Buckner made a crucial blow to the team’s chances- a mistake he would regret for life. Just as a ground ball was headed straight for his glove, he somehow missed the ball, and the Mets rang in a winning score. He received so many death threats that he had to be taken out of the league for a couple of years. We hope you enjoyed discovering the top eight surprising facts to know about the Boston Red Sox!