Adding Jimmie Foxx to the Red Sox was huge. At the time, Foxx could lay claim to being the most powerful right-handed hitter in baseball history. He already had 302 home runs to his credit from his years in Philadelphia. He added 41 more in 1936, along with 143 RBIs. He hit. 338, walked a lot, and scored 130. He was far out ahead of the rest of the Red Sox in all those categories, and he had an excellent .990 fielding percentage at first base to boot. Before Foxx, the Red Sox player with the most home runs in a season had been Babe Ruth, with 29 back in ’19.

Cronin broke his thumb at one point and had Eric McNair play as the regular shortstop; McNair was second in RBIs with 74. McNair, Heinie Manush, Doc Cramer, and pitcher Johnny Marcum all joined the Sox before the season – every one of them coming from the Athletics. Connie Mack got a lot of Yawkey’s cash. Not a single regular on the whole team had first been signed by the Red Sox. They’d all come in deals with other teams. And GM Collins wasn’t finished yet, adding Pinky Higgins after the season was done. He was building a farm system and doing some of his own scouting as well. One road trip he was glad he took came during the summertime when he looked over the Pacific Coast League and signed two teenagers, one named Bobby Doerr and the other named Ted Williams.

Wes Ferrell was 20 games again, 20-15. Lefty Grove again had a sub-3.00 ERA (it was 2.81), but – as with Wes - he won fewer games, finishing 17-12. The Sox scored 775 runs, up from 1935’s 718, but the pitching and defense allowed 764 runs to the 732 in ’35. The team ERA, which had improved to just over four runs a game (4.05) dipped to 4.39. And the Red Sox finished 74-80, six games under .500 and in sixth place.

By Bill Nowlin

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Bobby Doerr, Connie Mack, Doc Cramer, Eddie Collins, Eric McNair, Heinie Manush, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Johnny Marcum, Lefty Grove, Pinky Higgins, Ted Williams, Tom Yawkey
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