Johnny Pesky

What is BostonBall? The site launched on Opening Day of the 2014 Red Sox season. That is…the reigning World Champion Red Sox. The site intends to offer the deepest history of any Red Sox site, with contemporary comment as well. There will be more Boston ball, too; we expect to offer material on the Boston Braves, too. But there’s no hesitation in saying that the focus will be Red Sox.

Much of the material has been developed by Bill Nowlin over the years (that’s me.) I’ve written or edited somewhere over 25 books that are Red Sox-related. Maybe I should stop and count them, but for now I’ll just say it’s a lot of books. Some of them are out of print, or to some extent outdated. This is a way to keep them available, and in updated fashion. For instance, my book Day By Day with the Boston Red Sox was published in 2006. That was complete through December 31, 2005 – but there’s been a lot happen with the Red Sox since then. Among other things, two more world championships. I’ve been progressively updating the database ever since. Now I am able to provide it through the 2013 season and beyond. There are already entries from 2014 in there. You’ll find the material in the TODAY IN TEAM HISTORY section.

In the section labeled THE TEAM, you’ll find biographies of every player who ever played for the Red Sox. At this point, the biographies are of two sorts: longform bios, as written for SABR’s BioProject, and briefer bios. The list is complete for all players who have completed their Red Sox careers – though if Manny Ramirez ever comes back, we’ll need to update his bio. Many of the longform SABR bios are my own work. I’ve written about 375 of them. When there wasn’t a longform bio, I’ve written a capsule bio. We also link you to player stats for every player – current as well as historical, covering their major-league career and their minor-league days, and even if they played in Japanese ball – thanks to Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference.com. Both sites are amazing. We hope you’ll check them out but also come back to BostonBall.

In THE YEARS, you will find that I’ve written a brief description of each year. In some cases, such as the first year of the franchise – 1901 – you will find a lot more information. More will be added to what’s already there for 1901. A lot more. If I live long enough, and response to this site is encouraging enough, I’d love to expand the other years as well.

RANDOM ITEMS will present all sorts of random stuff, mostly drawn from my book Red Sox Threads, which delved into all sorts of tangents – lists of Native American players on the Red Sox (sorry to see you go, Mr. Ellsbury), sets of relatives who have played for the Red Sox (did you know that Willie Harris’s uncle was Ernie Riles?), players who changed their names (George Wilson played one year, then changed his name to George Prentiss and played the next year)… it’s really almost endless. Who’s the only player born in Saudi Arabia to ever play for the Red Sox? (Hint: his name’s Wilson, too.) There’s a lot there.

You’ll find complete lists of Red Sox uniform numbers, every exhibition game the Red Sox ever played – back to 1901 – and much, much more. The site will be adding more material over the months.

There is a blog as well. I don’t intend to try to compete with all the many other blogs out there. There are many really good ones. But I will, at least from time to time, offer observations on the team. The more encouragement I get – the more page views I see – the more I’ll be inspired to add material there, too.

Do note the credits for site development. Dave Taylor designed the site and is working on the UX for future designs behind the scenes. Bill Babcock is the data architect and continually developing ways to present our information. We hope to add other contributors as the site grows.

Keep checking back, see what’s new. Feedback is more than welcome.

--Bill Nowlin

Bill with Ted Williams and Black Betsy