Baseball Thinking

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This week in Red Sox History

In 1919, Babe Ruth intentionally missed the boat, the Arapahoe, as his teammates boarded and headed for spring training in the Tampa area. Ruth was in a salary dispute and joined the team several days later, utilizing the rail service. In 1997, the 25 foot Coke bottle was unveiled over the left field wall, remaining to this day. In 1961, Sears purchased a controlling interest in Ted Williams, Inc. John Michael Paveskovich appeared in Salem court to officially change his surname and that of his wife Ruth to Pesky (1947). Babe Didrikson started a 1931 spring training game for the Red Sox in Florida, against the Cardinals. She gave up three runs in the first inning. In 1926, manager Lee Fohl set up a system of warning bells for the bullpen and supplied the pitchers with the signals. Unfortunately, the other players got wind and played a few pranks, such as having pitchers warm up so long they were too tired to enter the game. Adam Hyzdu was traded – again. In 1911, the Red Sox shipped home 25 crates of oranges. Some witty, single women in the shipping area decided it was their chance to meet a ballplayer, so they composed letters “of their intentions” to their desired player. Most of the oranges arrived home to wives and mothers, who were not amused. (Day by Day with the Boston Red Sox, by Bill Nowlin)

Monday, March 12, 2007

This week in Red Sox History – March 11th – 17th

Grady Little was named manager on 3/11/02. Ground breaking ceremonies took place on 3/12/1901 for the Huntington Avenue Grounds, the first home field for the Boston Americans. In 1937, the first ever radio broadcast to New England took place of the Yankee broadcast network (no relation to the team). In 1944, Cy Young tells the world his middle name is True, not Tecumseh. In 1943, the Sox participated in spring training at Tufts University, practicing indoors due to the weather, and practicing in Medford due to WWII. Kevin Youkilis was born on March 15th. Beware the Ides of March! In 1943, Ted Williams undergoes a hernia operation, threatening his training as an aviator cadet. On March 14th, 2000, the Red Sox pitched a perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays, with Pedro Martinez getting the start. Of course, it was spring training, so the stats weren’t entered in any record books. 1902 – It took the team just one year to raise ticket prices. It appears that this formula has been diligently followed by the Red Sox ever since! In 1980, Thomas Yawkey was elected to the Veterans Committee to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. In 1953, National League owners approve the move of the Boston Braves to Milwaukee, WI. In 1919, Babe Ruth missed the boat, the Arapahoe. He was in a contract dispute and had no plans on sailing down to Tampa for spring training. He settled a few days later and took the train down to meet his teammates. (Day by Day with the Boston Red Sox, by Bill Nowling)

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Changes for the Red Sox?

What is different about the Red Sox this year? Let’s take a look. Terry Francona had more surgery during the off-season, so nothing has changed there. Gabe Kapler turned in his glove for a manager’s role. David Ortiz remains the same, even-keeled guy. JD Drew brings a whole new set of personality traits to the team. The Sox picked up another billion fans over the winter by signing Japanese players. Another new look to the bullpen. Curt Schilling is talking. Wait, that isn’t any different now, is it? Fresh faces are among the coaching ranks. Theo Epstein was married. Defense changed to offense. Closer turned to starter. Lead-off hitter falls to the bottom of the order. More updates to Fenway Park. New radio team. New radio network. No baseball on UPN. More annoying WB Mason commercials. More drama is surrounding Manny Ramirez again. As you look at it, the more things change, well, the more they stay the same.

Today in Red Sox History – March 8th

On this day in 1979, pitcher Bill Lee said that “I’ve never smoked the stuff”, referring to marijuana, although in the past he did claim that he sprinkled the stuff on his buckwheat pancakes. Long live the Spaceman! In 1920, Cuban star Armando Marsans signed a contract with the Sox, but never played another game in the majors. Boston city councilor Isadore Muchnick announced that he would file a motion in three days, prohibiting the Red Sox from playing any games on Sunday unless all players received equal treatment. This was in 1948. (Day by Day with the Boston Red Sox, by Bill Nowlin)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Today in Red Sox History – March 7th

In 1937, pitcher Wes Ferrell was drawn to the big lights of Hollywood as he passed a screen test with flying colors and even starred in a few plays. Hollywood, however, had a different opinion as they felt his southern drawl was too pronounced for the movies. In 1917, megaphone announcer Wolfe Jacobs signed up for duties at both Fenway Park and Braves Field. After battling shoulder problems, pitcher Juan Pena was released in 2003.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

This Day in Red Sox History – March 3rd

In 1945 Sam Lacy of Baltimore’s Afro-American wrote GM Eddie Collins explaining a way to facilitate the integration of Negro players in major league baseball. The Red Sox had a history-making decision to make, but failed in the opportunity to sign Jackie Robinson. In 1911, rainfall that averaged nearly six months total rain wiped out most of the Red Sox games in a ten day span. (Day by Day with the Boston Red Sox, by Bill Nowlin)

Friday, March 02, 2007

This Day in Red Sox History – March 2nd

On this day in 2005, a large group went to the White House to be greeted by George Dub-Yah Bush, earning congratulations for the World Championship in 2004. Dick Wakefield of the Tigers bet Ted Williams that he would out-perform Williams in several stats. Williams won several thousand dollars in 1946. (Day by Day with the Red Sox, by Bill Nowlin).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Today in Red Sox History - March 1st

Within an hour after suiting up for the first day of spring training, Ted Williams breaks his collarbone while diving for a ball. He doesn’t return to action until May 15th, 1954. Jimmy Collins, formerly of Boston’s National League team, is hired to manage and play third base for Boston’s brand new America League team in 1901. (Day by Day with the Boston Red Sox, by Bill Nowlin)