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The Red Sox made some changes to try to take better advantage of their hot prospect, Ted Williams. Over the wintertime, construction crews built bullpens in right and right-center field, effectively bringing home run territory 23 feet closer to the plate. And Williams was moved to left field, where the sun wouldn’t be in his eyes in the afternoons (which meant almost every afternoon, since the lights for night games weren’t installed until after the 1946 season), and where he had less ground to have to cover.

The Detroit Tigers won the pennant, one game ahead of the Indians, who were in turn one game ahead of the Yankees. The Red Sox finished fourth, eight games behind the leaders, with a record of 82-72, seven fewer wins than in 1939. They had four players who drove in 100 or more runs: Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, and Ted Williams. Foxx hit the most homers – 36, with Ted hitting 23, Doerr hitting 22, and Jim Tabor hitting 21.

Dominic DiMaggio broke in playing center field, batting .301. Williams batted .344 and scored 134 runs. Foxx (106) and Cronin (104) both scored more than 100. Doc Cramer, who’d moved from center to right field, collected an even 200 hits and batted .303. The team average was .286 and they scored 875 runs.

All this offense brought fans to the ballpark, and more than 150,000 extra seats were sold, the first year the Red Sox had drawn more than 700,000 fans. The pitching proved the weak link, with a rather high 4.89 team ERA – and when and when he threw a couple of innings in the August 24 game against the Tigers, Ted Williams proved to be better than average: he allowed just one run, for a 4.50 ERA. It was the only time Ted ever pitched in the big leagues.

The most any pitcher won was a dozen games; Joe Heving was 12-7 (4.01) and Jack Wilson was 12-6 (5.08) Jim Bagby Jr. won 10. Emerson Dickman won eight.

By Bill Nowlin
 

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Tagged:
Bobby Doerr, Doc Cramer, Dom DiMaggio, Emerson Dickman, Jack Wilson, Jim Tabor, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Ted Williams

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