Sunday, September 30, 2007
The Story of the Royal Rooters
The Royal Rooters were the original "fan club" members of the Boston Red Sox. They became legend in 1903, when they inspired the Red Sox to win the first World Series in baseball history. After losing three of the first four games in the series, the Red Sox rallied to win their next four games to win what was then a best-of-nine competition.
While many may compare The Royal Rooters to the modern day Red Sox Nation, such a comparison is superficial. The Royal Rooters were not a national or even Boston-wide phenomena. Rather, they were a small group of die-hard fans who drank together before games and cheered rowdily during them.
The hangout of the club was "Third Base", a drinking establishment so named because it was where fans would stop after games before heading home. Many consider the establishment to be the first sports bar in the Boston area. The bar's owner, Michael T. McGreevy was the leader of The Royal Rooters. He was considered to be the most vocal of the infamously vocal crew, earning him the nickname "Nuf Ced".
The Royal Rooters would sign the show tune "Tessie" in order to rally their team. The original 1902 version of the song included the lines, "Don't blame me if I ever doubt you/You know I wouldn't live without you." The song's lyrics however were often altered in ways that would taunt and upset opposing teams.
The Royal Rooters saw the first baseball dynasty of the 20th century. From 1903 to 1918, the Red Sox won five of the first 15 World Series. After the 1918 season however, the Royal Rooters disbanded. Boston wouldn't see a World Series championship for another 86 years. Ironically, that was the year that The Dropkick Murphys remade "Tessie", the theme song of The Royal Rooters.
Here in the 21st century, modern "Royal Rooters" look to will the Red Sox on to dynasty status once again. But when we can't cheer for our beloved Sox, we settle for discussing them.