Boston Red Sox
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The team sported a new name and red stockings, and even their jerseys had a stylized red sock on the front. It was the first year of many when they trained in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the springtime.
April 14, Opening Day 1908 was the first time the team played a regular-season ballgame as the Boston Red Sox. Cy Young started, at age 41 the oldest pitcher to ever throw the first game of a season. He beat Washington, 3-1.
Young had an outstanding year, the last one he would ever have for the team, and on June 30 had the best day any Boston pitcher has ever had against their New York rivals. He faced the minimum 27 batters; the only man to reach base was leadoff batter Harry Niles – and he was thrown out trying to steal second. While he was at it, Young got three hits in the game, too, won by an 8-0 score. It was his third no-hitter.
Another excellent performance came on September 4 when Frank Arellanes threw a one-hitter (a sixth-inning home run) and beat the Athletics, 10-1. Arellanes was of Mexican descent, though his ancestors had been in California for well over 150 years – much longer than many of the Irish Americans on the Red Sox. There seemed to be no controversy whatsoever over his joining the team and pitching from 1908-1910.
There was another change of manager during the season, but only one. On August 28, Deacon McGuire resigned so that John I. Taylor could appoint Fred Lake in his stead. Lake had been working as a Red Sox scout for the prior two years and not only completed 1908 and managed for all of 1909 as well.
On September 28, Cy Young made his last start (#325) for the Red Sox, and it ended in a 2-2 tie with Chicago. His final season with the Red Sox was 21-11 and a superlative 1.26 earned run average, the best of his long career.
Second in wins was another Cy, Cy Morgan (14-13, 2.46); the team as a whole had an ERA of 2.28. The team hit 14 home runs, one more than in 1907, but no one player hit more than Doc Gessler’s three. Gessler drove in 63 runs; no one else even reached 50.
The team climbed two runs in the standings, finishing fifth, 75-79. President Taylor decided some changes were in order, and on one day alone – November 10 – he sold off 10 players, looking ahead to the 1910 season.By Bill Nowlin