BOSTON, MA: Yaz celebrates his 73rd birthday today. (Photo by Gail Oskin/Getty Images)
Games of Note: It's 1934, and Wes Ferrell is on the mound. The hurler hits two homers in a 3-2 Red Sox win, picking up the victory in the 10th inning in a game in which he threw all 10 frames, struck out five, and allowed just one earned run on seven hits and a walk. Ferrell has both RBI for the Red Sox with his pair of long balls, giving him four homers and 16 RBI on the season. He would finish the season hitting .282/.341/.487, amazingly enough only his fourth-best season by OPS+. It was a different game back then, one in which Ferrell had five multi-homer games in his career.
Fast-forward to August 22, 1951, and you get a look at one of the most face-palming Red Sox contests of all-time. Boston walks against St. Louis Browns' pitcher Tommy Byrne 16 times in 12-2/3 innings. No, you didn't read that wrong: Byrne walked 16 batters, and stayed in a 13 inning game to record all but a single out. That's because, despite tying the American League record for walks in a game, set back in 1915, Byrne allowed just three runs to score. He gave the Red Sox 25 baserunners between free passes and base knocks, and Boston scored just three of them.
Those 22 runners stranded, by the way? Amazingly enough, not a record. The Cleveland Indians stranded 24 runners in an 18-inning game in 1932. If you're keeping count of runners stranded per inning, though, Boston certainly looks worse, since their contest was five whole frames shorter.
Transactions: Jim Landis is signed by the Red Sox in 1967, weeks before the "Impossible Dream" season reaches its dramatic -- and pro-Boston -- conclusion. Landis plays in just five games with Boston before he's released on August 28, but he hit a homer in a 7-5 Red Sox win in his second day on the job. The problem was that he didn't register another hit the entire time. Landis, who was an 11-year veteran who spent eight of those with the White Sox, bounced around from team-to-team before calling it quits after the Sox cut him.
Birthdays: Hipolito Pichardo turns 43 years old today. The Dominican-born reliever was signed as an amateur free agent by the Royals back in 1987, but the Red Sox acquired him via free agency before the 2000 season. Pichardo was surprisingly effective with Boston, considering he couldn't miss bats (4.9 strikeouts per nine) during the heaviest offensive era in the history of baseball. He posted a 3.97 ERA in his 99-2/3 innings, good for an ERA+ of 123.
That figure hides his faults, though, as Pichardo allowed nearly one-third of his inherited runners to score in 2000, then 53 percent in 2001. Even an adjusted number like ERA+ can fool you when it comes to relievers.
This might be slightly more important to most Red Sox fans, but Carl Yastrzemski turns 73 today. The Hall of Famer spent the entirety of his career with the Red Sox, winning a Triple Crown and MVP in 1967, earning all-star honors 18 times in 23 seasons, amassing 3,419 hits and 452 homers, and finishing his career with a 130 OPS+.
Yaz is Boston's all-time leader in games played, at-bats, plate appearances, runs scored, hits, doubles, RBI, extra-base hits, and total bases. Not bad for a guy who has to share the leaderboards with Ted Williams.