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The Red Sox moved to a new spring training home – City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Florida. They’d been at Winter Haven since 1966. One could call it the end of an era. The ’93 Sox maintained tradition in one regard, though – they signed another over-the-hill, aging ballplayer – this time it was a two-year contract lavished on 38-year-old Andre Dawson. They got 13 home runs, 67 RBIs, and a .273 average from the future Hall of Famer. In 1994, they got even less. They were trying to make up for the power drought of 1992. That they did, but the biggest single producer was first baseman Mo Vaughn. In his sophomore season, he hammered out 29 homers, driving in 101 runs. He hit for a .297 average. Mike Greenwell was second in RBIs, with 72. His .315 led the team, and his 13 HR’s tied him with Dawson for second on the Sox. Roger Clemens had a very disappointing year, his first losing season, 11-14, losing eight of his last 10 decisions on the year. He had a 4.46 earned run average, more than two runs worse than 1992. Except for a 4.60 year in 1999 (with the Yankees), it was the worst season of his long career. Frank Viola was 11-8. Danny Darwin won more games than anyone else – 15-11, 3.26. The Sox were hitless in Seattle on April 22. Chris Bosio walked the first two Red Sox batters of the game, and then retired the next 27 in a row, beating Boston, 7-0. But the Red Sox held first place for the first 17 games. Then it was down, down, down – and from June 10 through the All-Star Break, they were in fifth place. Starting on July 19, in the midst of a 10-game winning streak, they experienced something very unusual – they climbed one rung in the standings every day. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – landing in first place (albeit tied for first) on July 23, with a 6-5, 10-inning win over Eck and Oakland at Fenway Park. As late as August’s Friday the 13th, they were just one game out of first, trailing both New York and Toronto with a record of 64-51. From there, Boston went into a swoon, winning 16 and losing 31 for the rest of the year, finishing in fifth, 15 games out of first, and leaving Butch Hobson with another losing record, 80-82. Hobson lacked a sense of history, too. Greg Harris finished the year with a club-record 80 appearances. If Hobson had put him in to face even just one batter on, say, the October 2 game, Harris would have appeared in exactly half the season’s games. Unlike Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots who gave Doug Flutie the opportunity to score via the point-after dropkick in 2006 (the first one in NFL play since 1941), the Red Sox seemed to lack a feel for such things. Likewise, they never let the ambidextrous Harris pitch left-handed. GM Lou Gorman said it would "make a mockery" of the game. Harris reportedly grumbled, “Boston is so conservative. People are afraid to try anything." In November, Haywood Sullivan enjoyed Thanksgiving. The former catcher had bought into the Red Sox with nothing but a $1 million loan from Jean Yawkey. On November 23, he sold his shares to the Yawkey estate for $12 million. Nice work if you can get it.

By Bill Nowlin
 

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Tagged:
Andre Dawson, Butch Hobson, City of Palms Park, Danny Darwin, Dwight Evans, Frank Viola, Greg Harris, Haywood Sullivan, Jean Yawkey, Mike Greenwell, Mo Vaughn, Roger Clemens

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