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   1. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 23, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1699767)
According to BBRef, they were the Americans in 1901, the Somsersets in 1902 and became the Pilgrims in 1903 when they won the World Series. Now, the Boston AL franchise--according to the Hall of Fame--wore uniforms with BA written on them, suggesting perhaps they were still called the Americans. So I guess the answer is, I don't know.
   2. Bob T Posted: October 23, 2005 at 08:49 PM (#1699780)
Bill Nowlin has extensively researched this matter and wrote about in a SABR publication. I believe his conclusion was that the 1903 Boston AL franchise didn't have a nickname of any kind.

Pittsburgh had no "h" for a brief period when the US Board of Geographic Names (or its forerunners) decreed that no city ending in "burg" could have an "h". The decision was reversed, but only for Pittsburgh, PA. California has a Pittsburg.
   3. Barnaby Jones Posted: October 23, 2005 at 10:49 PM (#1699935)
the US Board of Geographic Names

Wait, this is where my tax dollars go?
   4. Lawa Posted: October 23, 2005 at 10:50 PM (#1699938)
Before clubs firmly adopted offical team nicknames they were often identified in print with their league designation used in place of a nickname. This was necessary because many cities had teams in both leagues; AL and NL or (in the 1880's)the NL and AA. Many AL teams were referred to as the "Americans", but the name indicated their league, not an official nickname. During this time the Highlanders were often referred to as the NY Americans and the Giants as the NY Nationals. The AL team in Boston was referred to by a variety of different nicknames; but the use of "Americans" was not confined to the current Red Sox. It was done to differentiate them from the NL team which also played in Boston.
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 24, 2005 at 12:17 AM (#1700106)
Lawa has it right, and for many years, team "names" were often little more than the most popular designation given out by newspaper headline writers at any given moment. That's how "Highlanders" became "Yankees" around 1913, and also how Cleveland became the "Naps" or the "Molly Maguires" at various times. In the case of Washington, although "Senators" didn't become the official name until about 1956 or 1957, newspapers and scorecard publishers had been using that name for decades, interchangably with "Nationals" or "Nats." And although the Dodgers were always referred to as the "Robins" (after their manager Wilbert Robinson) all the way up to 1930, that was never their formal name. I strongly doubt that there'll be any way to settle the Boston nickname question for once and for all.

It's only too bad that this informal and rather delightful practice can't be continued today---let a thousand nicknames bloom, so to speak.
   6. pv nasby Posted: October 24, 2005 at 12:24 AM (#1700127)
Do you reccomend a book or study on this Andy or Lawa? This has always interested me, not what the name was, but who chose the name? Please email if you do, or sell at bookstore, if that's the case.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 24, 2005 at 01:37 AM (#1700382)

The best source for this is the 1948 Sporting News Dope Book, plus the various Putnam team histories which were published in the 40's and 50's. I have quite a few of the Putnams for sale, but not the 1948 Dope Book.

Checking online, though, I found this entry at the advanced search of

The Sporting News
Bookseller: Austin Book Shop (phone 800-676-4556)
(Kew Gardens, NY, U.S.A.) Price: US$ 47.50
[Convert Currency] Shipping within U.S.A.:
US$ 3.50
[Rates & Speeds]
Book Description: The Sporting News, 1948, 1948. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Good (with wear to covers). Soft Cover. Good (with wear to covers). First Edition. Illus. 160pp Contents are in good condition. (loc /1). Bookseller Inventory # 13214

The later editions (it was published every year up through 1985) don't have this information.
   8. Sean Forman Posted: October 24, 2005 at 02:46 PM (#1701241)
The Pilgrims name is incorrect on BR. I need to change it, but want to be more definitive before doing so.
   9. Bob T Posted: October 24, 2005 at 02:52 PM (#1701257)
   10. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 24, 2005 at 03:20 PM (#1701311)
Here' the dope from that 1948 Dope Book:

"Called Somerset when they began operating in 1901, because Charles W. Somers was their owner. Other nicknames, prior to 1907, were Puritans and Plymouth Rocks. Before Red Sox became the official title, some scribes called the club the Speed Boys. Red Stockings had been part of the equipment of all Boston National League teams up to 1907, but Fred Tenney, manager in that year, told Peter F. Kelley, the Boston Journal's baseball writer, he would abandon the red stockings in favor of white stockings, because of the danger that colored stockings might cause leg injuries to become infected. Kelley wrote a story condemning Tenney for parting with the Boston National League club's tradition. The next day, John Irving Taylor, Boston American League club president, told the Boston Journal writer: 'Here's a scoop for you. I am going to grab the name Red Sox, and the Boston American League club will wear red stockings.'"

'Nuf sed.
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 24, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1701313)
<strike>Somerset </strike>Somersets
   12. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: October 24, 2005 at 05:48 PM (#1701575)
Wait, this is where my tax dollars go?

When Geographer Mug becomes Chairman of the Board on Geographic Names, he will not be taking kindly to those who question his featherbedding.
   13. Arrieta, Gentile Arrieta Posted: October 26, 2005 at 06:34 PM (#1706116)
Coincidentally, I found Nowlin's article earlier today.

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