Organizied in 1901 as one of the four eastern teams in the new major league (the American League) the Boston Pilgrims, or Purtians, or Americans, or Somersets or Plymouth Rocks as they were called quickly signed star National League third baseman Jimmy Collins, who not only played but managed a team awash in stars signed from the National League. Included were pitcher Cy Young and slugger Buck Freeman. Going 79-57 in their inaugural season the Pilgrims battled with the Chicago White Sox all season and ended in 2nd place, only four games out.
By 1907 the team changed its name to the Red Sox and were so popular that songs were written about their early baseball battles ("Boston Americans March") and ("Red Sox Speed Boys"). In fact - in the first two decades of the 1900s, the Red Sox won six pennants and five world championships.
In their 1903 World Title the team was led by a six-man pitching staff - Cy Young was 28-9, Tom Hughes 20-7, Bill Dinneen 21-13, Norwood Gibson 13-9, George Winter 9-8, and Nick Altrock 0-1.
In this era teams carried only 20 players per/team. The Red Sox main position players were Jimmy Collins, Lou Criger, Patsy Dougherty, Hobe Ferris, Buck Freeman, Candy LaChance, Jack O'Brien, Freddy Parent and Chick Stahl. Others on the 1903 champion squad included Duke Farrell, Harry Gleason, Alex Smith, George Stone and Jake Stahl.
Baseballhistorian.com - Archives Page 71