Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox

I Want That Baseball! What Some People Would Do For A Foul Ball – 1947

You’ll Never See Fans Go For A Baseball Like This Again

God forbid someone was to try and climb the backstop screen at a baseball game today. If this situation seen here happened now, a potential climbee would be pulled down, arrested and barred from the stadium for life.

If no one from the ballpark interfered with you, you could fall, break some bones and then hire a lawyer and sue the team for not protecting you from yourself.

Seventy years ago this was obviously not the case.

The place is Shibe Park in Philadelphia, The date is September 7, 1947. The Philadelphia Athletics would sweep a Sunday doubleheader from the Boston Red Sox by scores of 7-4 and 4-3. Times of the games: 2:19 and 1:50.

But for part of one inning this mad dash for a foul ball was the entertainment for the 32,464 fans in attendance.

Amateur Aerialists Steal Baseball Show

Philadelphia, PA… When a high foul ball lodged in wire mesh screen behind the home plate in the 8th inning of the Boston-Philadelphia game at Shibe Park, these two boys stole the show from the diamond in their efforts to race for the ball as a souvenir. Neck-craning spectators may be seen in the lower foreground. A television camera is peeping through the screen on the center. The upper boy got to the ball and got back to terra firma safely, much to the relief of the crowd. 9-8-47 photo: Mike Freeman, International News

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Boston’s New Fenway Park Packs In 45,400 Fans -1934

How They Squeezed 45,400 Fans Into Boston’s Fenway Park

Fenway Park April 22 1934There’s only one way to get 45,000 people into Boston’s Fenway Park and that is to let the fans sit everywhere, including the outfield.

Yes that’s right, square on the field of play.

Boston’s owner Tom Yawkey never spared expenses when it came to his beloved Red Sox. After the 1933 season during the height of the Great Depression, Yawkey decided to update Fenway Park.

The biggest changes would be the new outfield stands in center and right field. And of course the new 37 foot tall left field wall which would eventually become known as the Green Monster.

During the renovation on January 5, 1934, a large fire destroyed the bleachers and the outfield walls which had wood, oil and debris stored under them.

After the clean-up,  work was quickly resumed and the new outfield stands were made fireproof, being encased in reinforced concrete. The new electronic scoreboard indicating balls, strikes and outs was an innovation. The feature known as Duffy’s Cliff, a hill in left field, was removed, leaving only a small incline.

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Carl Yastrzemski Heads Up The Red Sox Outfield – 1961

Spring Training 1961, Carl Yastrzemski Offers Hope To Red Sox Faithful

Carl Yastrzemski and Red Sox 1961 outfieldEarly indications in the Red Sox spring training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona are that this trio will be patrolling the outfield for the Red Sox in 1961. (l-r) Carl Yastrzemski, Gary Geiger and Jackie Jensen. (March 1961 – photo: Sporting News)

After 1960, the Boston Red Sox would be without their stalwart star Ted Williams who had retired at the end of the season. The reins to lead the team would be passed to Carl Yastrzsemski and he would not disappoint. Yastrzemski was born and raised in Long Island, NY and was signed by the Red Sox organization in 1958 and rapidly advanced through the minor league system.

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Yogi Berra Remembered In Photos

Yogi Berra Dies At 90 – A Remembrance In Rarely Seen Photos Of The Yankee Great

Yogi Berra during the 1960 World Series - photo Marvin E. Newman

Yogi Berra during the 1960 World Series – photo Marvin E. Newman

Lawrence Peter “Yog”i Berra died Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at the age of 90 in West Caldwell, New Jersey where he had been living in an assisted-living facility.

While countless obituaries will appear over the next few days recounting Berra’s storied baseball career, business acumen and quotable life, we thought it best not to dwell on Berra’s passing or try and tell all about his amazing life in just a few paragraphs. Yogi’s life story will be be well covered by his former teammates, friends, journalists and colleagues.

We will tell you that Yogi was not a great catcher when he first arrived in the majors. Yogi worked hard with former Yankee catcher Bill Dickey to make himself into a great defensive catcher. Also three American League MVP awards tell you that Yogi was extremely valuable to the Yankees. What those awards will not tell you was that Yogi was one of the best bad ball hitters ever – whether the ball was up by his eyes or literally in the dirt – Yogi could do massive damage on a pitch that most batters would not be able to do anything with.

We decided the best way to remember this Hall of Famer was with some old press photos that appeared long ago in magazines and newspapers and mostly have not been seen since.

Spec Shea Yogi Berra 1947 first start in World SeriesFrank “Spec” Shea and Yogi Berra before game 1 of the 1947 World Series at Yankee Stadium. 1947 marked the first of a record 10 world championships for Berra.

Berra Rizzuto 5 15 50 photo AcmeYogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto enjoy playing cards on a Yankees charter flight from New York to St. Louis, May 15, 1950 – photo Acme

clockwise - Yogi Berra (without cap), Mickey Mantle, Vic Raschi and Allie Reynolds celebrate 3-2 World Series game 6 victory over Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field - October 6, 1952

Clockwise – Yogi Berra (without cap), Mickey Mantle, Vic Raschi and Allie Reynolds celebrate 3-2 World Series game 6 victory over Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field – October 6, 1952. Berra homered in the seventh inning, Mantle homered in the eighth, Raschi got the victory and Reynolds the save.

Yogi Berra Batting sequence 1955 9 6September 6, 1955 – Yogi’s Off And Running – Yogi Berra the New York Yankees formidable catcher, shows the wrist action that provides the power that makes him one of the club’s long ball hitters. Berra currently hitting .273 has pounded out 23 homers and driven in 94 runs. He has hit 18 doubles and two triples. – AP wirephoto  Continue reading

New Hampshire, A Frozen Lake, A Young Babe Ruth and His First Wife

Babe Ruth At Lake Winnipesaukee, NH – 1916

Babe Ruth and wife Helen Lake Winnipesaukee NH 1916 Hunt auctionsIn this rare photograph the dapper and relatively slender Babe Ruth stands on frozen Lake Winnipesaukee in his Red Sox warm-up jacket. With Babe is his first wife Helen Woodford who was just 16 when they married in 1914. While the Babe may not look very happy at least he does not look too cold.

Babe’s marriage never interfered in his womanizing. His appetite for women was Continue reading

One Of The Greatest Pitching Performances Ever

49 Years Ago, Satchel Paige Shut Out The Red Sox For Three Innings. 

No Big Deal, Except That He Was 59

Satchel Paige, age 59 warming up on September 13, 1965  two weeks before facing the Red Sox photo: AP

Satchel Paige, age 59 warming up on September 13, 1965 two weeks before facing the Red Sox photo: AP

To hold “a day” for a ballplayer years after he last played in the major leagues is a special treat for the player. What makes it even more special is when the player participates in the game.

Forty nine years ago on September 25, 1965, Satchel Paige stepped on to the field at Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium on Satchel Paige Night as the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Athletics. It was supposed to be a publicity stunt conceived by Athletics owner Charlie Finley to boost attendance, but Paige took his pitching seriously and would not be embarrassed.

Paige considered by many to be the Negro League’s best pitcher for over two decades, came to the Major Leagues when he was 42-years-old in 1948 when he was signed by Indians owner Bill Veeck.

Paige went 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA that year and helped Cleveland win the pennant. Paige stayed in the majors until he was 46 and continued playing in the minors and barnstorming into the early 1960’s.

At Satchel Paige Night, Charlie Finley had provided a rocking chair for Paige to sit in before the ball game began and a nurse was stationed next to Paige to massage him and keep his arm loose.

The visiting Boston Red Sox did not lay down for Paige. They tried, but the crafty 59-year-old was not going to let a bunch of kids show him up on his own night.

In the first three innings the Red Sox managed to get a runner on with an error and a double by Sox star Carl Yastrzemski.

At the beginning of the fourth inning with the A’s winning one to nothing, Paige went to the mound Continue reading

An Incredible Babe Ruth Accomplishment

The Babe Hit Homers, But Didn’t Give Them Up

Babe Ruth 1916 at Comiskey Park LOC 2When I’m asked who was the greatest baseball player of all-time, I never hesitate in my answer that it was Babe Ruth. For the few people still living who saw Ruth play, they will attest to his skills as not just a great hitter, but an excellent fielder, surprisingly fast base runner (excepting his 1926 World Series blunder) and of course a dominant pitcher.

In 1916 with the Boston Red Sox, Ruth did something that only five other pitchers in the modern era have accomplished. Ruth pitched over 300 innings (324) without allowing a home run. Can you imagine that? Even in the deadball era when home runs were tough to come by, this is still an amazing achievement and one that will likely never be done again.

Starting pitchers today do not come close to pitching 300 innings, let alone not give up homers. The last pitcher Continue reading

Collision At Home Plate

Billy Klaus Takes Down Yogi Berra, Ted Williams Picks Up 2,000th Hit – 1955

Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 1  ©  Daily News Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 2   ©  Daily News

Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 3   ©  Daily News Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 4   ©  Daily News

Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 5   ©  Daily News Yogi Berra Billy Klaus Red Sox Aug 11 1955 6   ©  Daily News

In this series of photographs from August 11, 1955 at Yankee Stadium, Red Sox shortstop Billy Klaus smashes into Yankees catcher Yogi Berra.

The play unfolded in the fifth inning after Klaus singled and Ted Williams hit a ground-rule double advancing Klaus to third. Norm Zauchin then hit a fly ball to right and Hank Bauer made a great throw to Berra.  Klaus barreled into Berra knocking the ball loose.

What I like about the photograph besides the action, is that umpire Jim Honochick looks on rather passively not moving very far from where he calls balls and strikes, to make what should have been a very close call at the plate!

The Red Sox would lose this game 5-3. After the game with an ice bag pressed to his face Berra was sore and said, “I don’t know what he hit me with, but I hurt all over.”

One very important event happened in the game, Ted Williams became the 96th player in major league history to record 2,000 hits. He picked it up on a bloop single in the first inning that fell in left center between Phil Rizzuto, Mickey Mantle and Elston Howard. When Williams reached first he jokingly commented to Yankee first basemen Moose Skowron, “What a smash.”

With the hit, Williams became one of only four active players to be in the 2,000 hit club, the others being Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter and Mickey Vernon.

Joe DiMaggio’s Comeback 1949

The Yankee Clipper Gets Ready To Return To Play – June 21, 1949

Many who saw Joe DiMaggio play say he was the greatest all-around ballplayer who ever lived. Everything he did seemed effortless. Of course this is a huge exaggeration. Everything DiMaggio did so well required practice, patience and hard work.

When DiMaggio missed the first three months of the 1949 baseball season with a painful heel injury, many fans, players and sportswriters thought he might never play again.

So it was hush-hush when DiMaggio went to an empty Yankee Stadium to test out his heel in a full workout on June 21, 1949.

Things went well and DiMaggio returned to the Yankee line-up on June 28, 1949 at Fenway Park against the Red Sox to start a three game series. He hit a homerun in the first game which the Yankees won by a score of 5-4. The Yankees swept the series and when DiMaggio left Boston, he had hit four homeruns and driven in nine runs.

The impact of his return cannot be understated. In the 76 games DiMaggio played for the remainder of the year, he batted .346, hit 14 homeruns and drove in 67 runs. His on base percentage was the highest of his career, .459. In 329 plate appearances he struck out only 18 times.

The Yankees ended up edging the Red Sox by one game in the final season standings, propelling the Yankees into the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

DiMaggio would go on to have the worst World Series performance in his storied career, batting just .111. But the Yankees still defeated the Dodgers four games to one, starting their stretch of winning five World Championships in a row.