Even better than their pulling even in 1934, the 1935 edition of the Sox actually won more games than it lost. They finished in fourth place again, with a 78-75 record.

The Red Sox had not one, but two, 20-game winners. Wes Ferrell was 25-14 (3.52 ERA) and Lefty Grove was 20-12, with a superb 2.70 earned run average.

Ferrell (Wes, not Rick) hit seven home runs in 150 at-bats. (Rick hit three in more than three times as many AB’s, though he did hit very, very well - a .301 average.) A decade earlier, Ferrell – like Babe Ruth – might have been a pitcher who led the club in four-base hits. Billy Werber hit 14, while newcomer (and new Red Sox manager) Joe Cronin hit nine. Babe Dahlgren also hit nine.

Cronin was a player/manager, as he’d been in Washington. He played 144 games at shortstop and hit .295, with his 95 RBIs topping the rest of the team. Four players drove in runs totaling in the 60s, Roy Johnson’s 66 being second to Cronin.

The Red Sox saw the first full season of Mel Almada, the first major-league ballplayer born in Mexico. Almada hit .290, drove in 59 and scored 85.

Wes Ferrell was such a good hitter (.347) that Cronin sometimes asked him to pinch-hit when he wasn’t pitching. On July 21, his pinch-hit three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave the Red Sox a 7-6 win over the Tigers. He started the game on the 22nd and went the distance, his towering solo home run helped him win the 2-1 game against the Browns.

The team playing steadily throughout, never winning more than four in a row but never losing more than four in a row, either.

After the season, Tom Yawkey added another future Hall of Famer in Jimmie Foxx (Cronin and Grove are both enshrined in Cooperstown, too).

By Bill Nowlin

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