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Succeeding Marty McManus as manager was Bucky Harris. There was a new look to Fenway Park, which had undergone a major renovation over the wintertime. The team was being made over, too. GM Eddie Collins had gotten well underway with improvements to the pitching staff, bringing in veterans life Lefty Grove, Herb Pennock, and Rube Walberg, and adding a couple of solid younger pitchers in Wes Ferrell and Fritz Ostermueller. The older trio put up a collective record of 16-15 (Grove had a sore arm), but Ferrell (acquired from the Indians) was 14-5 all by himself. And Ostermueller had the best ERA on the staff – a bit better than Ferrell’s – but just a 10-13 record. Johnny Welch won 13 but lost 15. Gordon Rhodes won 12 but lost 12.

The Sox had another brother duo in Wes and his brother (and frequent batterymate) Rick. Wes offered more in the way of power; he hit four homers to Rick’s one. Billy Werber led the team with 11 home runs and scored 129. A speedster, he stole 40 bases. Second in homers were two outfielders – Moose Solters and Roy Johnson. The RBI leader was Johnson, with 119. Werber (.321) and Johnson (.320) hit for the best averages.

For the first time since Babe Ruth was with the Red Sox in 1919, the team scored more runs than it allowed: 820-775.

Consider the preceding decade-plus of the Red Sox in the doldrums, and then combine that with the natural love for baseball in Boston and the major push that Yawkey was clearly making in player acquisition and investment in the ballpark, and it’s not surprising that fans responded. Attendance more than doubled from the year before.

It may not seem a major accomplishment to have finished 76-76, but it was the first time since 1918 that the team hadn’t lost more games than it won. Their .500 winning percentage got them solidly in fourth place, their first taste of the first division since 1918, too. And Yawkey was hardly done dealing, making a huge splash in October by buying Joe Cronin from the Senators.

By Bill Nowlin
 

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Tagged:
Billy Werber, Bucky Harris, Eddie Collins, Fritz Ostermueller, Gordon Rhodes, Herb Pennock, Joe Cronin, Johnny Welch, Lefty Grove, Marty McManus, Moose Solters, Rick Ferrell, Roy Johnson, Rube Walberg, Tom Yawkey, Wes Ferrell

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