Events of Note: Games is probably the wrong word at this juncture, so we'll temporarily change this to "Events of Note." The first such event: back in 1920, Red Sox manager Ed Barrow, like so many other Boston properties, heads to the New York Yankees. Barrow will become the general manager (or business manager, but he took on the role of the field manager in assembling the roster. General manager starts to make a lot more sense with this in mind), and will be significantly responsible for building the Yankees dynasty that comes out of this era. With Barrow in charge from 1920 through 1945, the Yankees won 14 pennants and 10 World Series championships. Why, exactly, was it considered the curse of Babe Ruth, when Ed Barrow existed?
Barrow had managed the Red Sox over the last three seasons, winning a World Series in 1918. While that is itself famous, there are plenty of other famous things Barrow did in his career. Besides the whole 10 championships thing, he also was the first to put numbers on his player's jerseys, and retired Lou Gehrig's number -- the first to be given the honor. He allowed fans to keep foul balls that landed in the stands, and required the national anthem to be played before all games, not just those on holidays.
Barrow was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1953, the same year that he died at the age of 85. Just a few years earlier, Barrow had managed an exhibition game played in his honor, where he managed a team of retired stars. This was the cap to what was essentially a life in baseball: Barrow, who had begun working in baseball selling concessions in 1894, stuck in the sport nearly until his death well over 50 years later.
Jumping ahead to 1975, Fred Lynn wins the American League Rookie of the Year award, besting teammate Jim Rice. Lynn and Rice were the only two players to receive any votes at all, with Lynn taking 23.5 first place votes, and Rice getting the other half of a vote. George Bankert of the Quincy Patriot Ledger split his vote between Lynn and Rice, keeping Lynn from being unanimous. What's strange -- not to take anything away from Rice -- is that the gap between Lynn and Rice was more like a chasm. Lynn hit .331/.401/.566 with over seven wins above replacement, while Rice hit .309/.350/.491, with 2.6, thanks to inferior defense. Rice's campaign is a good one for a rookie, normally the kind of thing that would get you attention. But Lynn's rookie season is one of the greatest ever for a first-timer, the kind of thing we would have appreciated just a little bit more in a pre-Mike Trout world.
Transactions: It's October 29, 2002, and two veteran hitters are granted their free agency from the Red Sox. Carlos Baerga was disappointing in his one season in Boston, hitting just .286/.316/.379 in 73 games at DH, third, and second. Rickey Henderson, despite being 43, hit better than Baerga. He put up a .223/.369/.352 line, besting Baerga's OPS and on-base percentage despite the average in the .220s. It wouldn't be Henderson's last year in the majors, though, as he would spend the 2003 campaign with the Dodgers.
Birthdays: Just one Red Sox in history has a birthday on October 29. Mandy Romero, who played with the Red Sox in 1998, turns 45 today. Romero played in just 12 games, which doesn't sound like a lot, but for someone who only played in 42 in their entire career, it's a sizable amount.