Good Morning and a Happy 4th to you all! Before I begin with a heartfelt thank you to my friend Jordan Rich who hosted me in his studio on WBZ Radio to talk about the 1975 Red Sox. My son Josh made his Boston radio debut and Jordan’s son Andrew was in the producers booth so it was quite a night. Jordan will be emceeing all the events at the Esplanade in Boston tonight.
Today the United States celebrates its 239th birthday. Wow, that’s a lot of candles. Now I don’t want to be a stick in the mud, nor do I want to diminish the accomplishments of those 56 guys who autographed that spectacular document, however the real birthday of this great nation is June 21st! What? Yup, it’s true.
In fact it’s June 21, 1788, for that was the day that the great state of New Hampshire ratified the Constitution of the United States making it the law of the land and creating the entity of the United States. But that’s OK, I don’t always celebrate my birthday when it really occurred, in fact sometimes I don’t think I was really born until a November night 36 years after I got here but that’s another story for another time.
Best state motto in the country!
Last night the Red Sox stumbled, bumbled and fumbled their way to a 12-8, 10 inning loss to the Astros. Today they will take on those same Astros at 1:30 with the ever erratic Clay Buchholz on the hill.
Well this morning I did a little July 4th research on the Sox. After all, there is nothing more American than baseball on the Fourth right?
So here’s the results of my short July 4th research foray. In this century the Red Sox are 7-7 on July Fourth! They did not play on the Fourth last year. Hmmmm, don’t remember why so I’ll guess rain was a factor. Anyway, they have played six of the games at Fenway and are 3-3 and eight games on the road and they are 4-4! Now the optimist in the group will say that they have been the model of consistency, the realist might say they are very mediocre!
The last time the Sox played on July 4th was in 2013 (Nice Year!) They pummeled the Padres for 18 hits, at Fenway, in an 8-2 rout. The winning pitcher that day was Allen Webster! Who?
Allen Webster was acquired from the Dodgers in that get rid of all those guys trade in 2012. He was 1-2 with the Red Sox in 2013 and was traded to the Diamondbacks as part of the Wade Miley deal. His one Sox win came on July4th, 2013.
After discovering the mediocrity of the Red Sox on July 4th in the 21st century, I decided to look at how they made out on our country’s birthday in years they were pennant winners.
Well here goes….Their record in the years they were AL Champs is 12-6! From 1903 through 1946, the played doubleheaders on July 4th each pennant winning years with the exception of 1915. (No baseball allowed on Sundays in Boston back in those days)
In 1946,1918 and 1916 they played the Philadelphia Athletics in Philly in ’46’ and ’18’ and at Fenway in ’16’. Nice touch I think, Boston, Philly, July 4th!!!! I LIKE IT!
Shibe Park/ Connie Mack Stadium 1909-1976 home to the Athletics and the Phillies.
As I clicked my way through July 4ths I stumbled, bumbled and fumbled on to something worth passing on….
Although the 1915 World Champion Boston Red Sox did not play on July 4th that year, I found it interesting what they did do! Now before you go on…….Take a deep breath!
On June 26th they split a doubleheader with the Yankees at Fenway. The following day no games, Sunday. On Monday they split another doubleheader with those same Yankees. They played a single game on Tuesday beating New York 4-3 in 10 innings.
Philadelphia arrived in Boston Wednesday and the Sox swept a double-header. That made nine games in seven days. And it gets better!
Rain claimed Thursday and Friday forcing a double-header on Saturday July 3rd, a split! A train ride to Washington on Sunday the Fourth, and then double-headers on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday against the Senators, all sweeps by the Red Sox.
Thursday it was the train to Detroit for a respite, four straight days of only single games. The last one was a 10 inning game which they won 15-12 following which they boarded a train for Cleveland to play, you guessed it, a double-header the next two days making in 24 games in 18 days!!
But in the immortal words of the lovely Miss Vito in My Cousin Vinny, “There’s moah!”
A single game on Thursday, a train ride to Chicago Friday for a double-header Saturday and then another respite! They only played single games on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Following their third win in a row Tuesday, they took the train to St. Louis and beat the Browns Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before playing double-headers both Saturday and Sunday! They won the first game of Saturday’s twin bill, lost the night-cap and the first game on Sunday before closing out the road trip with a 1-1 tie; Ran out of sunlight!
From June 26th until July 25th they played a total of 34 games including 12 double-headers in four cities. Oh, and there were six days in that stretch in which they did not play and on two of them they were on a train.
The longest game took them 3:06 minutes to play and that was the 10 inning 15-12 game in Detroit. The shortest, 1:35 minutes.
Smoky Joe Wood lost to Cleveland 3-2 in an hour and 35 minutes in the first game of he July 14, 1915 double-header. He gave up 13 hits walked one and struck out only one.
So what does this all mean? Hmmmmmm, not a damn thing; except that the Red Sox will take the field today and play the Astros at 1:30.
But I have an idea. How about a new tradition for major league baseball? Each year the Red Sox and the Phillies play each other on July 4th! It switches parks every year and they wear the throwback uniforms from 1915, the last time they played each other in the World Series.
1915 World Champion Boston Red Sox
Oh and on the 4th….they play a double-header!
And so it is on this day in history, July 4th 2015…..Happy Birthday America