In 1912, the Boston Red Sox pitchers pitched a total of 1,362 innings. The five gentlemen we have already met, Wood, Bedient, O’Brien, Collins and Hall pitched 1, 241 of them! However there were six other pitchers who saw action at Fenway Park in 1912 and they accounted for the remaining 121 innings. So let’s meet them in order of innings worked.
First off is Mr. Larry Pape. Pape appeared in 13 games for the Red Sox in 1912, starting two of them. He was 1-1 and hurled a total of 46 2/3 innings. His major league career lasted three years, all with Boston and ended following the 1912 season. He never pitched in the World Series and he passed away in 1918 on his 33rd birthday, a victim of stomach cancer.
Next is Mr. Eddie Cicotte. Cicotte pitched for the Red Sox from 1908 into 1912. He displayed flashes of brilliance however, he never quite developed the way Red Sox ownership felt he should. He fell into disfavor and after a 1-3 start in 1912 he was sold to the White Sox in July of Fenway’s inaugural season. He earned the moniker “Knuckles” as he was one of the first big league pitchers to master the knuckleball and he also gained infamy during the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919 when he took $10,000 from gamblers to tank the World Series. One of the “eight men out” banned from baseball forever, he lived out his years as a strawberry farmer in Michigan. “I did wrong” he said “and I paid for it for 45 years.” When he died in 1969, his death certificate read, occupation, baseball player.
Benjamin Harrison Van Dyke (no relation to Dick of TV and movie fame) pitched in five major league baseball games. Three of them, totaling 14 1/3 innings, for the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park’s birth year, 1912. He had no career decisions.
John Francis Bushelman’s career was a bit longer than Benny Van Dyke’s. He pitched three seasons for a total of 26 2/3 innings but history will record that he notched one major league win, coming during Fenway Park’s very first season. Jack toiled for nine seasons in the minor leagues winning 115 games.
Douglass Weldon Smith’s major league baseball career began and ended on July 10, 1912, a three inning stint at Fenway Park against the Detroit Tigers in which he surrendered one run. He was not involved in the decision, a 6-5 Tigers win. He never pitched in the minor leagues.
Joe Wood (L) and Casey Hageman.
Kurt Moritz “Casey” Hageman, was another with an abbreviated major league baseball career. He pitched in three seasons with the Red Sox, Cardinals and Cubs amassing a 3-7 record in 32 games. His contribution to the 1912 Boston Red Sox totaled one and one third inning pitched. Casey pitched seven seasons of minor league ball and while pitching for the Grand Rapids Stags in the Ohio State League in 1909, he fatally beaned Dayton second baseman Charles “Cupid” Pickney. No doubt a contributing factor to his abbreviated career.
“Smokey Joe Wood, “Buck” O’Brien, Hugh Bedient, Ray Collins and Charley Hall carried the pitching load for the 1912 World Champion Boston Red Sox. Together they threw 117 complete games and made 46 relief appearences.
However the names of: Larry Pape, Eddie Cicotte, Ben Van Dyke, Jack Bushelman, Doug Smith and Casey Hageman are forever etched in history as part of Fenway Park’s inaugural season. The season of 1912.
And so it was at this time in Fenway Park history, 1912, her very first year.