Continuing glacial progress towards contention, Carrigan’s charges won six more games than in 1927 – but there was such a long way to go. That only meant a 57-96 record. Still, they got under the 100-loss barrier.
Other than Tampa in 1919, this year was the first year the Red Sox went to Florida for spring training, to Bradenton, after years in Virginia, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana (and the bizarre 1911 spring in Redondo Beach).
With a 7-5 win against Washington on Opening Day, April 10, the Red Sox were in first place for the first time since April 19, 1924. Heady as it must have been, it only lasted a day. They were a .500 club by April 11, and never broken even from that point on, though an astonishing seven-game winning streak from May 11 to May 21 got them to one game under .500. It was their longest winning streak since 1919 (and they didn’t have another one that long until August 1937).
The 1928 Red Sox had a 19-game winner in Big Ed Morris; he lost 15 but was the only pitcher with a winning record. Red Ruffing led the league in losses, a 25-game loser (10-25), but really a bit of a hard-luck one in that his earned run was a decent 3.89.
Bill Regan (75) and Phil Todt (73) drove in the most runs, in Todt’s case boosted by his team-leading 12 home runs. The veteran Ken Williams, purchased from the Browns over the winter, finished second with eight. Aging Ira Flagstead scored 84 runs and young third-baseman Buddy Myer added 78. The team finished 43 ½ games out of first place, in their customary eight hole.
After the season, things began to look up a bit in their economic prospects when Massachusetts voters agreed in a November referendum to permit baseball on Sundays, heretofore prohibited. Because Fenway Park was too close to a nearby house of worship, the Red Sox would have to play their Sundays at Braves Field, but the extra revenue brought in by larger crowds was going to be welcome.
The Red Sox had stopped trading as often with the Yankees. President Bob Quinn admitted that the public reaction to the shift of talent from Boston to New York in the Frazee years was decidedly negative and he confessed to being skittish on the subject.By Bill Nowlin
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- Bill Carrigan, Bill Regan, Bob Quinn, Braves Field, Buddy Myer, Ed Morris, Ira Flagstead, Ken Williams, Phil Todt, Red Ruffing