Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox former player Pedro Martinez (left) and Kevin Millar lead the toast during the 100th anniversary celebration at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Games of Note: The Red Sox are facing the Cleveland Indians on this date in 1916. While this contest lacks little in historical relevancy in many ways, it's also the center of a piece of trivia. The first pinch-hit grand slam in the history of American League baseball occurs, with Cleveland's Marty Kavanagh hitting a ball far enough that it traveled not just to the outfield fence, but through a hole in the wall. Not that it would happen now, given how walls are structured, but you'd have to think that would be scored a ground rule double in this day and age. Not so in 1916, though, and the grand slam gave Cleveland a 5-3 win.
In 1940, it's Boston who shows off some power, with four Red Sox going deep a total of six times. Jimmie Foxx and Jim Tabor go deep once -- with Foxx's blast the 500th of his career -- while Joe Cronin and Ted Williams hit a pair each. Amazingly enough, all six come against the same pitcher, George Caster, who didn't even start the contest. Ed Heusser allowed five runs in three innings, and was relieved by Caster, who then gave up nine in 2-1/3, most of the damage coming in the sixth, when he allowed each of the four Sox to go long.
Transactions: The Red Sox sign free agent Bob Burda on this day in 1972. Burda is a 33-year-old first baseman and outfielder, who had previously played six seasons with the Giants, Brewers, and Cardinals. He had never been much of a hitter during his limited engagements in the majors -- Burda compiled just 722 plate appearances and 388 games in his seven-year career -- but he was particularly bad with Boston.
What's odd about the Burda acquisition is that he was already on the Sox, but had been released back in late August, after Boston had dealt for him in March. He never ended up playing again for the Sox after they re-signed him, and his career ended following this campaign, making the re-acquisition all the weirder.
Birthdays: Kevin Millar, one of The 25, turns 41 today. Millar hit a combined .286/.365/.473 during the 2003-2004 seasons, and his strong performance (.300/.364/.600) in the 2004 American League Division Series helped Boston advance. The 2005 campaign was more disappointing, though, with Millar well below-average for a first baseman, and it would be his last in Boston.