Summer and baseball go together, and the success of the Boston Red Sox in recent years is fresh enough to keep everyone talking about the team’s chances again. After all, “the curse” has been broken.

Baseball is a sport of statistics and time-honored stories turn trivia into legends. There’s a Lewiston link to the Red Sox of nearly 100 years ago that stands head and shoulders above many of the greatest accomplishments in the history of our national pastime.

William F. “Rough” Carrigan was a Lewiston native who was one of the game’s greatest managers. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame just four years ago, almost 40 years after his death here in 1969.

Carrigan was an outstanding catcher, but more importantly, he is the only manager to lead the Bosox to two World Series titles until Tony Francona matched that feat in 2007. It all took place before the celebrated “curse” when Babe Ruth went from the Red Sox to the New York Yankees.

Under Carrigan, the Red Sox finished second in 1914 and then won the world championships in 1915 and 1916. What followed after 1918 was that long dry spell of shattered hopes for Red Sox fans.

The son of a storekeeper, Carrigan was born in Lewiston in 1883. It was his older brother John, a promising pitcher, who started the boy on the road to diamond fame. He convinced young Bill to be his practice catcher until John was sidelined by injuries.

Bill gained local fame on sandlot fields and at Lewiston High School, where he also excelled in football. He even played roller-polo, a kind of hockey played on roller skates. His brother persuaded Bill to give it up because of the many fights he got into.

In his prep school and college years, Bill sustained a football injury that limited his speed, and his full potential, when he got to the major leagues.

Carrigan replaced Red Sox starting catcher Lou Criger soon after signing a contract in 1906. In his first year, he was one of the catchers in the longest game in American League history – 24 innings against the Philadelphia Athletics.

An interesting fact about that long game is that the A’s pitcher was “Iron Man Jack” Coombs of Freeport.

Carrigan also had the distinction of catching three no-hit games.

He replaced Jack Stahl as Red Sox manager half way through the 1913 season.

In 1914, Babe Ruth joined the Sox. The Babe was a wild party animal, and in order to keep the Red Sox prize pitcher under control, Carrigan made himself Ruth’s roommate.

One night, Ruth sneaked out and got himself arrested, according to an account in “Magnificent Mainers,” a book by Jeff Hollingsworth. Carrigan refused to post bail.

Hollingsworth reported that Carrigan said, “I’ll bail him out tomorrow morning. That way, I’ll know where he will be for tonight.”

Carrigan’s nickname – “Rough” – was well earned, but he was regarded as being fair. He also was known as “The Human Stonewall” for his ability to block opposing runners at home plate.

In 1916, Carrigan retired to a career in banking in Maine. Although he returned to manage the Red Sox in 1927, he couldn’t recapture the former glory. Boston finished last for three seasons in a row.

Bill Carrigan died in Lewiston at the age of 85.

The next time some Lewiston fans travel to a game at Fenway Park, I hope they tell everyone near them about the days of Bill “Rough” Carrigan from Lewiston, Maine.