Posts Tagged ‘1903’

The First BoSox Dynasty (Fall and Rise)

November 21, 2009

In 1903 the Red Sox won the first Word Series. Although there was no Series in 1904, they finished first in the American League again Then in 1905 the wheels came off. In the next three years they finished 4th, last, and 7th (next-to-last). What happened?

To start with the pitching didn’t pan out. In 1904 five men (count ’em, 5) pitched every inning of every game. Of those five, only Cy Young, the oldest of  the crew at 37, continued on to a solid career. Bill Dinneen, the hero of ’03, went 11-14 in 1905, 8-19 in ’06, and was traded in 1907. Only Tannehill had another 20 win season for the Sox (1905 with 22 wins).

The hitting hadn’t been that great anyway, and continued to deteriorate. Take a look at the catcher. In 1904 Lou Criger, intrepid backstop, hit .211. It was downhill from there. He hit .198 in 1905. How to solve the problem? Bring in Charlie Armbruster, who managed to hit a whopping buck forty-four. So back to Criger who hit .181 and .190 over the next two seasons. This is the worst example of what happened, but the hitting problems were pretty much team-wide.

It began to change in 1909. The Sox picked up Bill Carrigan to catch (he could at least hit .200), Tris Speaker became a regular. The next season Harry Hooper and Larry Gardner became regulars, and in 1910 Duffy Lewis joined the outfield. That set the stage for 1912.