One hundred years ago this month, in October of 1916, the Boston Red Sox were in the middle of a seven year period in which they won four pennants and four World Series Championships, the only four they would win until 2004. They won in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918.
When they next won the Series, in 2004, it kicked off a ten year period when they would win three World Series Championships in ten years after a drought of 86 years.
In the intervening years, the Sox got to the World Series four times and lost all four times, four games to three. In 1946, after finishing seventh of eight teams in 1945, the Sox won the pennant and lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1967, after finishing ninth of ten teams in 1966, the Sox won the pennant and lost the World Series to the Cardinals again.
In 1975, after finishing third of six teams in 1974, the Sox won the pennant and lost the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. In 1986, after finishing fifth of seven teams in 1985, the Sox won the pennant and lost the World Series to the New York Mets.
In their 108 year history as the Red Sox, they have been in eleven World Series. They won the first four appearances in a row, lost the next four appearances in a row and have now won the next three appearances in a row.
Prior to the streak from 1912 to 1918, playing as the Boston Americans, the team had won the first World Series, in 1903, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, five games to three. They adopted the name Red Sox in 1908 and in the four years before their first World Series as the Red Sox, never finished higher than third, finishing fifth of eight, 24 games behind, in 1911 before winning their first World Series the next year.
The Sox have a history of streaks when it comes to the World Series. They appeared in four World Series in seven years, from 1912 to 1918, winning all four times, in their first streak. In their next four appearances, although it took 86 years to complete, they lost all four times, taking their opponent to seven games each time. In their next three appearances, they won all three times.
A World Series win in 2016 would complete the third streak, giving them four wins in four appearances over 13 years. As Red Sox fans watch two other teams play in the World Series starting Tuesday, many will be day dreaming about just such a possibility after the 2015 season ended with what I call the Miracle of Yawkey Way.
The Sox have a history of success in years following disappointing years. Whether they can pull off another Worst to First scenario in 2016 is something we will have to wait to find out but don’t bet against it at this point.