The Red Sox are the defending champions after beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The team bounced back from a last-place finish in 2013 to take the title, and are now one of the favorites to do it again in 2014. The Sox lost CF Jacoby Ellsbury in free agency to the Yankees, as well as Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Stephen Drew, but the Sox brass believes guys like Grady Sizemore, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts will fill in nicely for them. The Sox locked up slugger David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia as well, so expect this team to be in the mix for many years to come.
The 1904 club was almost as good as the previous team, but due to the surprise emergence of the New York Highlanders , the Boston club found itself in a tight pennant race through the last games of the season. A predecessor to what would become a storied rivalry, this race featured such controversial moves as the trade of Patsy Dougherty to the Highlanders for Bob Unglaub . The climax of the season occurred on the last, dramatic doubleheader at the Highlanders' home stadium, Hilltop Park . In order to win the pennant, the Highlanders needed to win both games. With Jack Chesbro , the Highlanders' 41-game winner, on the mound, and the score tied 2–2 with a man on third in the top of the ninth, a spitball got away from Chesbro and Lou Criger scored the go-ahead run on one of the most famous wild pitches in history.