James R. McAleer purchased a 50% controlling share of the Red Sox from John I. Taylor in September 1911 and was named the club's president, a role he maintained until November 1913, when he sold his share in the organization to Joseph J. Lannin. Prior to his ownership role with the Red Sox, McAleer played for the National League's Cleveland Spiders and Cleveland Blues and also managed the Blues during parts of his stints there. He was instrumental in the founding of the new American League in 1901 and was a player/manager for the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles), one of the AL's charter franchises, from 1901-1909. He also managed another AL charter franchise, the Washington Senators (now the Minnesota Twins) from 1909-1911.
During McAleer's tenure with the Red Sox he presided over the opening of Fenway Park on April 20, 1912 and as one of his first moves upon purchasing a majority stake in the club, McAleer recruited Jake Stahl to be team's manager. Under Stahl, the 1912 Red Sox won 105 games during the regular season, still the highest total in club history, en route to winning the second World Series in the franchise's history.