A Boston first baseman wins rookie of the year, the general managers debate instant replay, and the Red Sox make a trade
Events of Note: On this date in 1950, Red Sox rookie first baseman is voted the Rookie of the Year in the American League. Dropo hit .322/.378/.583 with a 134 OPS+, hit 34 long balls, and drove in 144 runs. Dropo was one of just three players in the AL to receive votes for the award, along with Chico Carrasquel and Whitey Ford. Dropo didn't make it close, though, as he received 15 of 23 first-place votes.
Dropo also finished sixth in the MVP race, and made the All-Star team as well. Dropo would only be in town until 1952, though, as he was dealt to the Tigers along with Johnny Pesky, Fred Hatfield, Don Lenhardt, and Bill Wight in exchange for Hoot Evers, George Kell, Johnny Lipon, and Dizzy Trout. While you might be wondering why the Red Sox would want to deal someone who put up Dropo's rookie season numbers, look no further than the rest of his time in Boston: in 1951 and 1952, Dropo hit .232/.312/.369 then .265/.331/.470. Boston sold high when he bounced back a bit, and Dropo would end up as a .264/.319/.401 hitter from 1953 through the end of his career in 1961.
Jumping ahead over 50 years to the 2005 general manager meetings, commissioner Bud Selig states his opinion on instant replay in baseball: he doesn't want it. He's not alone in this, but the general managers discuss it as a group anyway. Former general manager Gerry Hunsicker's feelings ended up close to what passes for instant replay in the game today:
"Part of me is a purist and doesn't like to think about instant replay coming into baseball," says Hunsicker, now the Tampa Bay Devil Rays senior vice president for baseball operations. "But in the spirit of what umpires have been trying to do in the last few years - trying to get the play right as their primary goal - I do think there's a place for it.
"The problem is how do you limit it so that our three-hour games don't become five-hour games? Maybe you should start out using it for certain kinds of plays, like the home run - fair or foul.
Transactions: The Red Sox make a trade with the Washington Senators in 1955, sending Al Curtis, Dick Brodowski, Neil Chrisley, Tex Clevenger, and Karl Olson to Washington in exchange for Bob Porterfield, Johnny Schmitz, Tom Umphlett, and Mickey Vernon. Vernon, despite being in his age-38 and age-39 seasons with Boston the next two years, hits .282/.382/.464, good for a 117 OPS+, as the team's primary first baseman.
Birthdays: Three former Red Sox second basemen share a birthday on November 8. Nick Punto of the Nick Punto Trade turns 35, Jose Offerman turns 44, and Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy turns 60. Offerman hit .269/.359/.384 with the Red Sox over parts of four years, making the All-Star team in 1999 thanks to a .294/.391/.435 campaign. That sounds like an awesome season nowadays, but in 1999, it was just a little above-average. It was, however, still great for a second baseman, about 20 percent better than average. As you can probably surmise from his overall Boston line, the rest of his time in town didn't go quite so well.
Remy, played for the Red Sox for seven seasons, from 1978 through 1984. He didn't hit very much, even relative for the position, but he was a fine defensive player at the keystone. His best season at the plate was 1981, when Remy hit .307/.368/.338, but he played in just 88 contests.