Events of Note: Ted Williams finally wins an MVP award on this date in 1946. Williams had come in second in 1941 and 1942, and then was out of the majors thanks to World War II for the next three seasons. When he returned in '46, it was as if he had never left, as he hit .342/.497/.667 with 38 homers and a league-leading 156 walks. This was the third-straight season Williams led the majors in walks -- if you ignore the years he wasn't there, anyway -- amid a streak that would run for six years, interrupted by his truncated 1950 campaign.
Williams had gone deep in his first at-bat of the season, and hit .400/.544/.700 over the season's final month as the Red Sox made their way to their first pennant in nearly 30 years. This would not be his lone MVP, nor was it his greatest season, but it's an achievement worth remembering in a career full of them.
Jumping ahead to 2005, another Red Sox slugger nearly wins an MVP. David Ortiz finishes second, his highest placement ever, behind Alex Rodriguez, who set a record for homers hit by a third baseman in a season with 48. Rodriguez receives16 first-place votes, Ortiz 11, and this made for a very close vote of 331 points to 307. It maybe should not have been as close as it was, though, since Rodriguez put up very similar numbers to Ortiz offensively, and at that time, was still a positive contributor in the field. Ortiz, of course, contributes nothing defensively, since he isn't a defensive player. That's not to take away from his stellar campaign, but Rodriguez's was even better given it was more of a complete package.
Transactions: Boston released Jim Dorsey on this date in 1985. Dorsey was part of the return in the Fred Lynn trade to the Angels back in 1981, and had played for the Red Sox for two seasons. The hurler tossed all of eight innings in those two seasons, though, and was awful doing it. Heading into his 30s, without much of a big-league or minor-league track record to speak of, this was the end of Dorsey's professional career.
Birthdays: Retired Red Sox ace and Boston Hall of Famer Curt Schilling turns 46 years old today. Schilling pitched with the Red Sox from 2004 through 2007, compiling a 3.95 ERA in 675 innings, courtesy of 5.3 times as many punch outs as free passes. He also threw 46-2/3 innings in the playoffs for the Sox, with a 3.66 ERA and a 6-1 record in the eight games he pitched. Boston won two World Series with Schilling around, and he was a huge part of that both times around.