Boston Red Sox
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In 1967, incoming manager Dick Williams promised, “We’ll win more than we lose.” Bill Carrigan never promised that, and never delivered that, but for the third year in a row, Carrigan’s team won more than the year before – albeit just one more game in ’29 compared to ’28. They still finished in last place. And Carrigan finally had enough, retiring to his business ventures in Maine for good.
The first organized Sunday baseball game in Boston was a preseason exhibition game between the Braves and the Red Sox, at Braves Field, a 4-0 win for the Braves. The City of Revere offered plans for a stadium in Revere, and the American League approved the Red Sox to play on Sundays in Revere, but the Braves and Sox presidents worked out a deal for Braves Field (and even talked about possibly moving all the Red Sox games to the somewhat-larger ballpark. The first regular-season Sunday Sox game came on April 28, a 7-3 loss to the Athletics before 23,000 paying customers. The game featured one former Brown, catcher Alex Gaston, and his brother Milt – the first brother combination to play for the Red Sox. Even with Sunday baseball, attendance dipped. The team just wasn’t won that inspired.
The Sox had two 18-game losers (Danny MacFayden and Jack Russell), one 19-game loser (Milt Gaston), and one 22-game loser (Red Ruffing again, 9-22). Ed Morris won 14 to lead the staff; he also lost 14. Ruffing had pitched in six seasons for the Red Sox and had a record of 39-93 to show for it. One might wonder how he ever became enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The answer was simple. After posting three more losses in early 1930, he was traded to the Yankees where he won 231 games and lost 124, apparently pitching with more confidence (his ERA was more than one run better over the years in New York than it had been in Boston).
The switch-hitting Jack Rothrock played infield and outfield and was as close to an offensive star as there was. He was the only player to hit .300 (that’s what he hit, .300, and no one hit better). He hit six home runs, two more than second-place Phil Todt. He drove in 59; Todt drove in 64, and outfielder Russ Scarritt drove in 71. And he scored a team-best 70 runs.By Bill Nowlin