It's one of these two players birthday today! (Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE)
Games of Note: It's 1951, and Red Sox second baseman (and future Hall of Famer) Bobby Doerr suffers an injury that will end his career early. Doerr suffers a severe sacroiliac pain that moves him from the keystone to the dugout as a Red Sox coach. (Not sure what that is? You'll understand why he called it quits after reading up on it.) Doerr began his career in the majors at age 19 in 1937, and, except for when he was in the military in 1945, was Boston's regular second baseman every year after that until the forced retirement.
Doerr hit .288/.362/.461 in his career, good for a 115 OPS+. He was considered a very good defensive second baseman, a reputation that Baseball Reference's defensive stats back up. If you're looking for some kind of context for just how good he was, know that Dustin Pedroia's career OPS+ in seven years time is 114, although he has averaged more value per 162 games played than Doerr. Then again, Pedroia hasn't gone through the decline phase of an early-to-mid-30s middle infielder, either, so give Doerr some credit.
This is also one of the days where Ted Williams is fined $5,000 after spitting at fans. In 1956, the Red Sox beat the Yankees courtesy of a bases-loaded walk by Williams (who would finish the season, his age-37 one, with a league-leading .479 on-base), but before that, Williams failed to bring in a fly ball for an out thanks to the wind, and was jeered by the crowd. While he followed that up with a with a leaping grab that brought the crowd back to his side, that didn't stop him from angrily spitting into the crowd on the way back to the dugout.
Transactions: The Red Sox sign Carlos Delgado in 2010, in the hopes that he'll be able to play some first base for them. The slugger has missed the 2010 campaign thanks to hip issues, and after the Red Sox acquire him and assign him to Pawtucket, Delgado begins to experience pain in his other hip. He never does get to Boston, and the Red Sox end up relying on another hip-less wonder, Mike Lowell, to man first base down the stretch when necessary.
Birthdays: He's not a Red Sox, but hey, Mike Trout can legally drink today.
As far as Red Sox player birthdays, Ryan Lavarnway turns 25 today, so, if the pattern hold, he'll be catching in Tuesday's game. Or, at least he'll be starting. Former Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria turns 36 today. Renteria last played in the majors in 2011, with the Cincinnati Reds, but played with the Red Sox back in 2005 before he was dealt to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for prospect Andy Marte (as well as a bevy of others, including current Red Sox backup backstop Kelly Shoppach). Renteria would revive his career, helping to justify the hefty contract Boston gave him but shipped off one year afterward, and Andy Marte would work well as trade bait for the Indians' Coco Crisp, and little else.