BOSTON, MA: Former and present memebers of the Boston Red Sox stand on the field during 100 Years of Fenway Park activities before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Games of Note: It's 1916, and Babe Ruth is not only still a pitcher, but is still with Boston. His opponent on the mound is Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators. The pair duel for 13 innings, with Ruth eventually coming out on top 1-0. Things might have been even more impressive for the Babe that day, had Ruth's potential home run in the 12th not been pulled back by Clyde Milan. This is Ruth's third win against Johnson, who he hadn't yet lost to in his career.
Fast-forward to August 15, 1922, and the Red Sox are facing the White Sox. Boston is in a dark place, as they've sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, and begun their dark descent into what would result in the worst stretch of baseball in their history. Chicago was just three seasons removed from the Black Sox scandal, and, like Boston, over 80 years from their next World Series victory. None of that mattered for a game back in 1922, though, as the two Sox combined for 35 singles, an American League record, in a game that the Pale Hose took 19-11.
In today's game, you'd never even consider this an option. But, back in 1941, this is apparently something that could happen. The Red Sox were losing to the Washington Senators after eight innings, before the game was called due to rain. However, Washington failed to cover and protect the field, in case play began once more, and Red Sox manager Joe Cronin protested the outcome. The AL agreed, and this loss turned into a win, with the Sox taking home the rare MLB forfeit.
Transactions: Back on August 15, 1989, the Red Sox signed Venezuelan amateurl free agent Jose Malave. He would play in the Red Sox minor-league system from 1990 through 1997, and appeared in just two major-league campaigns in that stretch. His major-league debut came in 1996, when the 25-year-old hit just .235/.257/.382 in 105 plate appearances. This was a disappointment, as Baseball America had rated him the #94 prospect in baseball heading into the year, thanks to a 1994 season that saw him crush Double-A New Britain -- Malave posted a 933 OPS in a year in which the Eastern League managed just 717. Malave would pick up just four plate appearances the following season, and then his MLB career was over.
Malave didn't quit playing ball, though. He went off to the Japanese Central League for the 1998 season, then came back to New England to play indy ball in Nashua. He bounced between the independent and Mexican leagues from then until 2003, when the 32-year-old finally hung up his spikes after posting a .273/.359/.301 line between Sioux City and St. Paul.
Malave's major-league career didn't go so well during its brief existence, but between the minors and majors over 14 years, he hit .290/.355/.483, and mashed 173 homers and 431 extra bases overall. (This doesn't count his year in Japan, as those stats oddly are not available.)
Birthdays: Billy Conigliaro, younger brother of Tony, turns 65 today. Conigliaro was a first-round draft pick of the Red Sox, taken fifth overall in 1965. He was in the majors at 21 in 1969, and though he produced for Boston, his stay wasn't a long one. Billy was openly opposed to the trade of his brother to the Angels, and he found himself dealt in 1971 to the Brewers. He retired at 24 years old due to unhappiness in Milwaukee, but returned to the game in 1973 with the Athletics. That was also a brief stay, though, with that season being Conigliaro's last. He attempted a comeback a few years later, but when he was going to be assigned to Triple-A rather than the majors, he ended his career for real.
Over three seasons with the Red Sox, Conigliaro the younger hit .269/.329/.461, good for a 112 OPS+. It seems as if he could be a bit more of a headache than his stats could carry, though, something three separate clubs figured out in five years time.