Longest winning streak in Boston Red Sox franchise history

Ted Williams' return from World War II was triumphant, indeed.
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox / Paul Rutherford/GettyImages

By 1946, the Boston Red Sox were already in the throes of the franchise's Dark Ages, the Curse of the Bambino.

Beginning in 1918 and ending in 2004, the Red Sox didn't win a single World Series after capturing five of the first 15 ever held. But that didn't mean the team wasn't winning games at all. In fact, from April 25 to May 10 in the year 1946, the Red Sox embarked on the longest winning streak in franchise history. For 15 straight games, Boston went undefeated.

The 1946 season was one of the Red Sox's closest calls at breaking the curse. Boston icon Ted Williams had just returned from his stint as a fighter pilot in World War II. '46 was the first of Williams' American League MVP seasons, and the award was well-deserved.

On April 24, the Red Sox sat just one game behind the first-place New York Yankees. Boston shared second place with the reigning champion Detroit Tigers. The next day, the Sox began the tear.

Red Sox icon Ted Williams was the star of the team's longest-ever winning streak

The 15-game win streak took off, and Boston beat the Yankees and swept the Tigers over that time. The Red Sox took sole possession of first place in the AL and they held it until the regular season ended. Attendance at Fenway Park spiked, then soared. An average showing at Fenway was usually less than 10,000 fans, but in 1946, the Sox were watched by an average of 18,166 people per game.

Over the Sox's 15 consecutive victories, Williams raked. He logged a .442 batting average with 4 homers and 17 RBI. He finished the season with a .342 average, 176 hits, 38 home runs and 123 RBI — a campaign that could still earn someone in the present day an MVP nod.

Even after the winning streak ended, Boston's dominance did not. The Sox followed up with another 12-game hot streak running from May 29 to June 11, which included another sweep of the then-champs, Detroit. Boston won 105 games in 1946 and it made it to the World Series that postseason.

But the St. Louis Cardinals walked away with the big prize. In a hard-fought series, the Cardinals pulled away in the eighth inning of Game 7 to win it all.

Despite falling just short, the 1946 Red Sox were a team for the ages. They secured Boston's first pennant since 1918, and the only Williams ever won. And some of their franchise records still hold to this day.

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