The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball's American League Eastern Division. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, around 1908, following previous Boston teams that had been known as the "Red Stockings". They have played in 12 World Series, winning eight. Following their recent victory in the 2013 World Series, they became the first, and so far, only team to win three World Series trophies in the 21st century, having previously been the first team to win two championships in the 21st century, with wins in 2004 and 2007.
Boston was 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, called by some the "Curse of the Bambino" after its alleged beginning with the Red Sox's 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 name Red Sox, chosen by owner John I. Taylor after the 1907 season, refers to the red hose in the team uniform beginning 1908. Sox had been previously adopted for the Chicago White Sox by newspapers needing a headline-friendly form of Stockings, as "Stockings Win!" in large type would not fit on a page. The team name "Red Sox" had previously been used as early as 1888 by a 'colored' team from Norfolk, Virginia. The Spanish language media sometimes refers to the team as Medias Rojas, a translation of "red socks".
The Red Stockings nickname was first used for a baseball team by the Cincinnati Red Stockings, who were members 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 by Boston businessman Ivers Whitney Adams 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.
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