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John Irving Taylor

John I. Taylor owned the organization from 1904-1911 after his family purchased the club from Henry J. Killilea on April 19, 1904. The son of General Charles H. Taylor, who created the modern Boston Globe and also became a minority owner of the team, John made key changes and contributions that have become indelible parts of the franchise. In December 1907, Taylor adopted red as his team's color and changed the team name to the "Red Sox" after Boston's National League franchise got rid of their red stockings.

In early 1911, Taylor, looking to find a new home for his team, oversaw the land acquisition for a new ballpark in the "Fenway" neighborhood of Boston. The ground breaking for the new ballpark took place in September 1911, the same month Taylor sold 50% of the team's interests to James R. McAleer, who became the club's president. However, Taylor stayed on to oversee the construction of the new ballpark and also became its landlord as part of the transaction. The park's foundations were already in place by that December and construction continued to proceed at a swift pace. On April 9, 1912, the newly-christened Fenway Park hosted its first baseball game, an exhibition that the Red Sox won 2-0 over Harvard College. Eleven days later, on April 20, 1912, the park's first official regular season game was played between the Red Sox and the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees). When explaining his reason for choosing the new park's name, Taylor casually and rhetorically asked, "because [the park's] in the Fenway, isn't it?" The fact that the appellation provided free publicity for the Taylor family's Fenway Realty Company didn't hurt either.

The Red Sox Hall of Fame at Fenway Park (Credit: Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox)