Yankees vs. the Red Sox- A One-Sided Rivalry 10-2003

The Yankees vs the Red Sox

A One-Sided Hundred-Year Rivalry


Richard J. Garfunkel

October 2003


I have been doing some research regarding the Yankees and the Bosox. Here are my preliminary findings:


a) The Yankees and the Bosox have been in the same league or division for 101 years-

b) The league was 8 teams from 1903 to 1960, 10 teams until 1968, and then 6 teams and now less.

c) From 1903 to 1919 the pre NY Ruthian Era, the Red Sox finished ahead of the Highlander-Yankees 12 out of 16 times. The Sox won 6 pennants, two seconds and finished last only once in those 16 years.

d) In that same period the Yanks never won a pennant, finished 2nd 3 times and finished last twice.

e) After the acquisition of Babe Ruth, conditions rapidly changed. In the period from 1920 thru 1934 (15 years) the Yanks finished ahead of the Sox all 15 times, winning 7 flags to zero for the Sox. The Yanks also had 4 seconds, and no lasts. The Sox never finished second and had nine last place finishes. In fact from 1922 to 1930, a period of nine years they finished last 8 times and next to last once. They finished last 6 years in a row and after that ignominious stretch, they finished in 6th place in 1931 and then fell to last again in 1932. So out of those 15 years they 11 times in last or 7th! This ended the Ruthian Era!

f) From 1935 to 1945 (the Bronx Bomber era) and the end of the war- a period of 11 years, the Yanks again were ahead of the Sox all 11 years, with 7 pennants and one second. The Sox improved a bit with the spending of their new owner Tom Yawkey and the emergence of Ted Williams in 1939. They finished 2nd four times, 11 games back in 1938, 17 games back in 1939, 17 games back in 1941, and 10 games back in 1942.

g) In the last stretch of the remarkable Yankee dynasty from 1946 to 1964 they finished ahead of the Sox 17 out of 19 years. Only in 1946 and 1948 when the Sox won pennants were the Yanks behind the Sox in 3rd place. Over those 19 years, the Yanks won 15 pennants and one 2nd, never finishing below 3rd. The Sox on the other hand won twice and finished one time second (1949) by 1 game, the closest AL race between them since 1904 when the Yanks were second by 3 games. (Jack Chesbro won 41 games for the Highlanders that year, still the record).

h) Over that that Dynastic stretch from 1920 to 1964, the Yanks out paced the Sox in their division 44 out of 46 years!

1) The Dynasty took a tumble from 1965 thru 1975, a period of 11 years. The Yanks were only able to beat out the Sox in 2 out of those 11 years. They had no pennants and finished 2nd twice and last once. The Sox had 2 pennants and also two-second place finishes. In 1967 the Red Sox pennant year the Yanks finished 20 games behind. In 1975 the Sox next pennant winning year the Yanks were 12 games behind!

j) In the next era, that was revived under the numerous reigns of Billy Martin, Bob Lemon and others, 1976 to 1993, a period of 18 years, the Yanks finished ahead of the Sox 11 years and had 4 pennants or division flags. The Sox were ahead of the Yanks in 7 of those years with 1 flag! In 1977 and 1978 the Sox finished close, being only 3 and one game behind. In 1986 the Yanks finished 5 games behind the Sox.

k) In the latest era 1994- to 2003, a period of ten years the Yanks have outpaced the Sox in 9 of those years, winning 8 flags to one for the Sox.

l) Overall the Yankees have finished ahead of the Sox 71 times out of the 101 years played. In fact over those 100 years there have been few real pennant races!

m) Over those 101 years the Yanks have won 100+ games 15 times, the Sox three times. In that same period the Yanks have won over 90 games another 35 times. Therefore over 100 years they have won over 90+ games 50 times! The Sox have won over 90+ games another 18 times. The have won over 90+ games 21 times in 101 years.

n) From 1919 (1918 was a short season because of WWI) to 1942, the Sox did not win at least 90 games, a period of 23 straight years. From 1907 to 1917 the Yanks never won over 90 games, a period of 11 years. From 1951 thru 1966, a period of 16 years, the Sox again did not win 90 games.

o) From 1980 thru this year, a period of 24 years, the Sox have won over 90 games 4 times. The Yanks in that same period have won over 90+ games 14 times.

p) Greatest yearly differentials:

                                  1912 Boston 105 wins Yanks 50

                                  1915 Boston  101 wins Yanks 69

                                  1923 Yanks     98 wins Sox   61

                                  1926 Yanks     91 wins Sox   46

                                  1927 Yanks   110 wins Sox   51

                                  1930 Yanks     86 wins Sox   52

                                  1932 Yanks   107 wins Sox   43

                                  1943 Yanks    98 wins Sox   68

                                  1954 Yanks  103 wins Sox   69

                                  1960 Yanks    97 wins Sox   65

                                  1961 Yanks   109 wins Sox   76


Most Wins in a season: 1998 Yanks  114 1912 Sox  105

                                    1927 Yanks  110 1946 Sox  104 

                                    1961 Yanks  109 1915 Sox  101

                                    1932 Yanks  107

                                    1963 Yanks  104

                                    1942 Yanks  103

                                    1954 Yanks  103

                                    1980 Yanks  103

                                    2002 Yanks  103

Most years over 100 losses- Yanks twice 1908-103, and 1912-102

                           Sox   Seven: 1932-111, 1926-107, 1906-105, 1925-105, 1927-103, 1930-102, 1965-100                  

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