SABR Digital Library: When Boston Still Had the Babe: The 1918 World Champion Red Sox

Boston Red Sox fans can commemorate the 100th anniversary of a World Series championship with the newest book from the SABR Digital Library:

When Boston Still Had the Babe: The 1918 World Champion Red Sox
Edited by Bill Nowlin

Associate Editors: Mark Armour, Len Levin, and Allan Wood

ISBN (paperback):
978-4-2940-9758-8, $19.95
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-943816-78-1, $9.99

234 pages, 8.5″ x 11″

Late into the Boston Red Sox’s infamous 86-year championship drought — from 1918 to 2004 — it was nearly taboo to talk seriously about the 1918 team. Some believed the Red Sox were cursed because the year after the Red Sox won their fifth World Championship, Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees (who went on to win the first of their many titles). The year the Sox had last won it all, 1918, became a sing-song taunt delivered by mocking Yankees fans, and a subject to be avoided.

But 1918 was a fascinating season, played in the shadow of the first World War with dozens of players leaving for military service or war-related work all year long. With superstitions of “the curse” dispelled by the Red Sox return to championship glory in 2004 (and 2007 and 2013) we are free to explore 1918 in full.

In this book, 28 members of the Society for American Baseball Research have compiled the most in-depth look at the 1918 Red Sox ever published. They have unearthed a wealth of information—much of it never seen before—about every one of the 32 players who suited up that year, from Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Harry Hooper to Red Bluhm, who batted only once. This SABR edition of When Boston Still Had the Babe is newly available to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1918 season.

Contributors include: Ron Anderson, Mark Armour, Ray Birch, Maurice Bouchard, Tony Bunting, Jon Daly, Aaron Davis, Nicole DiCicco, Alex Edelman, Rob Edelman, James E. Elfers, Michael Foster, Don Geiszler, Joanne Hulbert, David Jones, Craig Lammers, Len Levin, Dan Levitt, Les Masterson, John McMurray, Bill Nowlin, E.A. (Betsy) Reed, C. Paul Rogers III, Tom Simon, Doug Skipper, Mike Sowell, Glenn Stout, Christopher Williams, Allan Wood, and Paul Zingg.


SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

Buy the book


About the SABR Digital Library

For more than 40 years, SABR and its members have led the way in publishing the best baseball historical and statistical research. Our publications program is shifting to take advantage of new methods of publishing. Not only will we continue to publish new books like Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (released in December 2011); Detroit Tigers 1984: What A Start! What A Finish! (December 2012); Sweet ’60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (April 2013); Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (July 2013); Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (June 2015); The Team That Time Won’t Forget: The 1951 New York Giants (December 2015); Nuclear Powered Baseball/The Simpsons (February 2016), Au jeu/Play Ball: The 50 Greatest Games in the History of the Montreal Expos (April 2016); Cuban Baseball Legends (July 2016); Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1901-1957 (December 2016); Dome Sweet Dome: History and Highlights from 35 Years of the Houston Astrodome (February 2017); No-Hitters (May 2017); Puerto Rico and Baseball (June 2017); Bittersweet Goodbye: The Black Barons, the Grays, and the 1948 Negro League World Series (July 2017), The Whiz Kids Take the Pennant (January 2018), and Major League Baseball A Mile High: The First Quarter Century of the Colorado Rockies (May 2018), which showcase the best efforts of SABR’s members, chapters and committees, but new technology makes it possible for us to bring out-of-print titles like Run, Rabbit, Run: The Hilarious and Mostly True Tales of Rabbit Maranville (February 2012), Great Hitting Pitchers (March 2012), Nineteenth Century Stars (August 2012); Batting (January 2013); The Fenway Project (September 2013); ’75: The Red Sox Team That Saved Baseball (April 2015), and The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field (June 2017) back again.

Books will be available in digital formats as well as paperbacks produced by “print on demand” (POD).

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. If you’re not a member, click here to join SABR.

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at


Having trouble downloading our e-books? To view PDF files on your computer, click here to download the free Adobe Reader software. Having trouble downloading e-books to your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or iPad? Click here for additional help.

Originally published: October 19, 2018. Last Updated: August 20, 2020.