Tag Archives: Boston Red Sox


TODAY IN BASEBALL TAKES US TO SEOUL, KOREA FEBRUARY 19, 1953. Ted Williams told the Associated Press (AP) on this date that trying to find a target with a Marine Panther jet “is harder than trying to hit that ball.” It was difficult even for Ted Williams.

The Boston Red Sox slugger had just returned from his sixth combat mission into North Korea. He was on the second military tour of his major league career. He served three years during World War II, and two more in Korea.

Williams was not alone among major league stars to interrupt some of their most productive years to get involved when the country was at war. Detroit Tiger slugger Hank Greenberg and Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Feller were some of the first to enlist after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 ushering the United States into World War II.

Baseball Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis asked President Franklin D. Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor if major league baseball should cease operations for the duration of the war and FDR said no, it would be good for morale.

While baseball continued during World War II, quality of play diminished significantly. If you were able-bodied enough to play baseball you were able-bodied enough to be drafted. Most players who hadn’t enlisted here.

By 1945, the last year of World War II, teenagers such as Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Red-Legs and men with conditions which kept them out of the service, such as one-armed Pete Gray of the St. Louis Browns were filling up MLB rosters. After June, 1945 many of the players began to return from military duty, which was difficult even Ted Williams, and get back to what they knew best – baseball.

Contributing sources:
David Whitley, ESPN.com on Ted Williams
David Hornestay, Baseball Survives World War II, January 7, 2008

JULY 11- Babe Ruth makes his debut

1914 | BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – 19-yer old George Herman Ruth played in his first major league game today in baseball history – July 11, 1914. Babe Ruth was the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox against the Cleveland Naps (today’s Cleveland  Indians). He won the game 4-3 win. The Red Sox had purchased the Babe from the Baltimore Orioles of the International League two days before.

Ruth didn’t astonish fans that first season. He made 4 appearances as a pitcher, three as a starter. He finished with a record of 2-1 and ERA of 5.67. Ruth came to bat ten times, had two hits for a .200 batting average, two RBI, a run scored and struck out four times.

It didn’t take long for Ruth to show star quality. He won 78 games as a pitcher the next four seasons. His hitting was even more impressive, forcing the Red Sox to put him in the outfield just about every game in 1919 and Ruth didn’t disappoint, hitting 29 home runs and driving in 114 runs in 130 games.

Unfortunately for Red Sox fans, its owner needed money to finance a Broadway play, so Ruth was sold to the Yankees after the 1919 season.

And the rest is…