BOSTON, MA: Former Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski throws out the first pitch before the game against the New York Yankees on Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gail Oskin/Getty Images)
Game of Note: On July 24, 1979, Carl Yastrzemski became the 18th major-league hitter in the long history of baseball to reach the 400 home run mark, courtesy of a long ball served up by the Athletics' Mike Morgan. Yaz was 39 years old, and was in the middle of his 19th season in the majors. He had hit 44 homers back in 1967, leading the league -- as he did in all the Triple Crown categories, as the game's last to do so -- and had gone deep 40 times on two other occasions. The rest of the time, though, homers weren't Yaz's main thing, as he averaged 21 per season from his debut until the time he hit #400 19 years later, and would finish his career at 452 after sticking around until 1983.
Morgan, for what it's worth, played for 20 seasons more after giving up Yaz's 400th in his sophomore campaign. He was actually younger (18) than Yastrzemski had been when he came to the bigs (21), and retired one year younger than Yaz, at 42. Morgan threw 2,700-plus innings in the majors, switching between starting and relief, and is one of the few players ever to play for 12 different clubs in his career. Just a slightly different career than the man whose event inspired conversation about Morgan today.
Transactions: July 24, despite being just around a week before the trade deadline, is not a historically productive day for Boston in the realm of transactions. In 2004, they received Terry Adams from the Blue Jays in exchange for John Hattig. Adams pitched 19 games in relief for the Red Sox, compiling a 6.00 ERA in 27 innings. Unsurprisingly, Adams did not make the postseason roster for his efforts, and was subsequently granted his free agency after the World Series.
Hattig only played in 13 games in the majors, all in 2006, and despite posting a 117 OPS+ in that short time frame, the Jays never bothered with him again. A look at his mediocre minor-league career should tell you why that is.
If this isn't exciting enough for you, I could tell you all about the time the Red Sox traded Mark Whiten for Dave Hollins back in 1995. I mean, Hollins had 17 plate appearances for Boston after that move. 17!
Birthdays: This just isn't a great day for birthdays if you're a Red Sox fan. Al Flair, who played one season with Boston -- and just one in the majors, ever -- was born in 1916 on July 24. Then there's Joe Oliver, who split time with the Yankees and Red Sox in his final campaign in 2001, hitting a collective .250/.275/.354 as he did. Remember, this is in the midst of baseball's highest offensive environment, meaning that line is even worse than it looks. Last, it's Shawn Wooten's birthday. Wooten was born in '72, and also finished his major-league career with the Red Sox. He logged a single plate appearance in 2005, after posting a 762 OPS at Triple-A Pawtucket as a 32-year-old. He stuck in the minors for a few more seasons, though.
We can safely assume that there's just nothing going on here for birthdays because it's also Barry Bonds' day of birth. It would be unfair to have much more talent than that in a single day. Let's go with that.