THE ONE-SIDED RIVALRY: NEW YORK YANKEES VS BOSTON RED SOX

Photo courtesy of wadetours.com.

Baseball has many memorable rivalries, but none more famous or legendary than the one between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The roots of this rivalry are the 1904 AL pennant race won by Boston and Boston selling Babe Ruth to New York. The latter changed both club’s fortunes. Prior to the trade, Boston was not only more successful but also the most successful team in the game, after Ruth switched teams it became the other way around. In fact, Boston waited 86 years to win another World Series right after. Along the way came the 1978 AL East playoff, the 1999 ALCS and the 2003 ALCS. All won by the Bronx Bombers. There was also that time that the Bombers acquired an MVP that Boston had an agreed deal for. Boston finally got revenge by becoming the first team to win a series after trailing it 3-0, when they won the 2004 ALCS, on the way to winning the World Series.

This year, the two teams faced each other in the ALDS and Boston won. So what does this do for this rivalry? First of all, the New York Yankees hold the lead in wins all-time: 1,202-1,018 with 14 ties.

I decided to look at their rivalry year by year. The two teams competed with each other directly for the pennant since 1903 and the division since 1969, therefore any time that one team did better that season than the other, then they won the rivalry for that season. Generally this is decided by having a better record, but if a team went further in the playoffs with the worse record, then that team had the better season. Let’s look at the graph:

YEAR BETTER TEAM

1903 BOS

1904 BOS

1905 BOS

1906 NYY

1907 NYY

1908 BOS

1909 BOS

1910 NYY

1911 BOS

1912 BOS

1913 BOS

1914 BOS

1915 BOS

1916 BOS

1917 BOS

1918 BOS

1919 NYY

1920 NYY

1921 NYY

1922 NYY

1923 NYY

1924 NYY

1925 NYY

1926 NYY

1927 NYY

1928 NYY

1929 NYY

1930 NYY

1931 NYY

1932 NYY

1933 NYY

1934 NYY

1935 NYY

1936 NYY

1937 NYY

1938 NYY

1939 NYY

1940 NYY

1941 NYY

1942 NYY

1943 NYY

1944 NYY

1945 NYY

1946 BOS

1947 NYY

1948 BOS

1949 NYY

1950 NYY

1951 NYY

1952 NYY

1953 NYY

1954 NYY

1955 NYY

1956 NYY

1957 NYY

1958 NYY

1959 NYY

1960 NYY

1961 NYY

1962 NYY

1963 NYY

1964 NYY

1965 NYY

1966 BOS

1967 BOS

1968 BOS

1969 BOS

1970 NYY

1971 BOS

1972 BOS

1973 BOS

1974 NYY

1975 BOS

1976 NYY

1977 NYY

1978 NYY

1979 BOS

1980 NYY

1981 NYY

1982 BOS

1983 NYY

1984 NYY

1985 NYY

1986 BOS

1987 NYY

1988 BOS

1989 BOS

1990 BOS

1991 BOS

1992 NYY

1993 NYY

1995 BOS

1996 NYY

1997 NYY

1998 NYY

1999 NYY

2000 NYY

2001 NYY

2002 NYY

2003 NYY

2004 BOS

2005 NYY

2006 NYY

2007 BOS

2008 BOS

2009 NYY

2010 NYY

2011 NYY

2012 NYY

2013 BOS

2014 NYY

2015 NYY

2016 BOS

2017 NYY

2018 BOS

TOTALS

TEAM BETTER SEASONS

NYY 78

BOS 37

What about in other categories? This time I’m imcluding the two seasons that only the Boston Red Sox existed (1901 and 1902).

MVP AWARDS

NYY 22

BOS 11

CY YOUNG AWARDS

NYY 5

BOS 7

MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

NYY 3

BOS 2

100+ WIN SEASONS

NYY 20

BOS 4

SEASONS ABOVE .500

NYY 94

BOS 75

SEASONS BELOW .500

NYY 21

BOS 40

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

NYY 27

BOS 8

PENNANTS

NYY 40

BOS 14

DIVISION TITLES

NYY 17

BOS 10

The New York Yankees won every category that I used to compare the two teams except for the amount of Cy Young awards won. I think that it’s pretty clear that this has been a mostly one-sided rivalry and this year’s ALDS hasn’t changed that fact.

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