We have met the four main cogs of the Red Sox rotation of 1912, “Smokey” Joe Wood, Hugh Bedient, “Buck” O’Brien and Ray Collins. There was a fifth man in the mix and his name was Charley Hall.
Now before we get into that, we need to understand a couple of things about pitching. Today pitching is done with a five man starting rotation which means that a starting pitcher will pitch every sixth game. There are 7th inning specialists, 8th inning specialists and then of course the closer. That 9th inning shutdown guy who comes into the game in the ninth inning when his team is ahead by one, two or three runs.
In 1912 there was a four man starting rotation so they pitched every fifth game. The job of the starter was to pitch a complete game and every starter would, at various times throughout the season, appear in relief.
Carlos Luis “Charley” Hall, earned the nickname “Sea Lion” because he was said to have a voice like a walrus. He pitched in the major leagues in nine different seasons. Five of them were with the Red Sox and his best one was Fenway Park’s inaugural season of 1912. Filling the slot in the rotation left by the injured Ray Collins, it was “Charley” who was the winning pitcher in the first game ever played at Fenway Park. Relieving “Buck” O’Brien in the eighth, he was the beneficiary of the Red Sox 11 inning win. He went 15-8 on the year and pitched twice in the 1912 World Series.
Pitching 8 innings of relief in an 11-4 World Series loss, Hall gained a sliver of immortality as he is the only relief pitcher in World Series history to get three hits in a game, going 3 for 3.
His last game in the bigs was in 1918 with the Tigers but he pitched in the minor leagues through the 1925 season. He totaled 18 seasons of minor league ball winning 285 games. Among them were five no-hitters, one which he lost in 12 innings.
Following his baseball career he went home to Ventura California where he became a police officer. He passed away in 1943 at the at the age of 59, his place in Fenway Park history secure as a member of Fenway Parks first ever World Champions, the 1912 Boston Red Sox.
Charley Hall, arms folded over the A in Arlington, with the Red Sox in Hot Springs Arkansas in the spring of 1912.
And so it was at this time in Fenway Park history, 1912 and 13, Charley’s time.
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