BOSTON, MA: A view of the Fenway Park press box before the game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Today marks the 100 year anniversary of the ball park's opening. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Games of Note: August 23, 1942 was a day for pitchers. Sixteen contests were played, and seven of them resulted in shutouts. To make things that much crazier, two teams playing doubleheaders -- the Cubs and Red Sox -- both tossed a pair of shutouts, giving two clubs four of the seven blanks on the day.
Boston gets one shutout from Tex Hughson, with the second coming from the arm of Joe Dobson. The Athletics lose 2-0 and 7-0, respectively. Hughson strikes out just one A's batter in his effort, but also scatters four hits and a walk en route to a complete-game shutout. The second contest is a bit more lively, with Boston scoring seven runs thanks to big days from Lou Finney, Johnny Pesky, and Bobby Doerr, who is on base four times. Dobson strikes out a pair, but also goes the distance, allowing just four baserunners, all via hits, along the way.
Hughson pitched his entire career with the Red Sox, sticking with Boston for eight seasons. While things were ugly at the end in 1948-49, Hughson compiled a 131 ERA+ and 89 wins in his first six seasons. He led the AL in both victories and complete games, with 22 a piece, in his sophomore campaign in 1942, while also heading up the league in batters faced, innings, strikeouts. This netted him a sixth-place finish in the MVP voting, one of three years he would receive votes, but the only one in which he finished in the top 10.
Dobson wasn't a Sox lifer like Hughson, but he pitched for the Sox for nine years, in two different stints. The 1942 campaign was his second year in town, and the 25-year-old had a solid campaign, posting a 113 ERA+ with 10 complete games in 23 starts. This was the first in a 10-season stretch -- despite interruption from 1944 and 1945 -- where Dobson posted an above-average ERA+. The highest was 131 in 1947, the lowest 109 in 1953, and the average 119 for the whole 1,855 innings and 245 starts.
Jump ahead 50 years to 1992, and take a look at the Winter Haven Red Sox. This is Boston's old Florida State League club, affiliated with the Sox from 1969 through '92. Red Sox farmhand Scott Bakkum loses to Andy Carter of the Clearwater Phillies, but there's a catch: neither team gets a hit in the contest. It's the first double no-hitter in the minors in 40 years, according to Baseball-Reference.
Scott Bakkum never did make the majors, although he did remain with the Red Sox throughout most of his professional career. The 30th-round selection from the 1992 draft threw 503 frames in the minors, but was never able to put things together in the high minors. He finished playing in 1996, at age 26, while with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate.
Transactions: August 23, 2007, Boston signs infielder Royce Clayton, who has recently been released by the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton finishes out the season with the Sox organization, but doesn't get much playing time, appearing in just eight games down the stretch while racking up all of six plate appearances, all ending in an out. He doesn't make the club's postseason roster, and is granted free agency following the campaign. This would be Clayton's last taste of professional baseball, at least until he was signed to play Miguel Tejada in Moneyball, anyway.
On this date in 2001, Bill Pulsipher was selected off of waivers by the White Sox. Pulsipher had pitched just the 22 innings with Boston after signing with the Red Sox after the Rays released him during spring training. They weren't good innings, either, with Pulsipher the owner of a 1.1 K/BB and 5.32 ERA that translated to an 86 ERA+.
Birthdays: Mark Bellhorn, second baseman for the 2004 World Series winning Boston Red Sox, turns 38 today. The Boston native is one of The 25, and though his follow-up campaign in 2005 was awful enough to get him released before the year was out, his 2004 -- .264/.373/.444 with 17 homers in the regular season, then .300/.563/.700 in the World Series -- is enough to keep us from going into too much detail regarding his demise.