Games of Note: It's 1907, Walter Johnson's rookie year, and he's facing the Red Sox on September 7. The teenage Johnson would come away victorious on this day, 1-0, the first of what would eventually be 38 1-0 wins in his Hall of Fame career. Maybe Felix Hernandez doesn't know it, but Johnson is his idol.
You might think it's tough to watch the Red Sox now, but journey back to 1978 for a moment, and recall what happened against the Yankees in a four-game series that began September 7. New York starts the series and the day four games back of Boston in the AL East, but starts a rout known as the baseball version of the "Boston Massacre" with a 15-3 victory that saw 21 Yankee hits, and Willie Randolph with one-third of the Bombers' RBI.
In a related story: Boston Massacre? I mean, I get it, but if "massacre" was a bit of a dramatization of the actual events named as such from pre-revolutionary times, intended to drum up even more negative feelings about the crown and her royal army than the event might have without the added push from men such as Paul Revere, then what term do we use to describe how much of a stretch utilizing the phrase for a September baseball series is?
Maybe the Yankees internally referred to it as "The Incident on Yawkey Way," but with just a tad more of a smile than their British analogs.
Transactions: Rewind a little, back to September 7, 1974. That's the day the Red Sox acquired Deron Johnson from the Milwaukee Brewers. Johnson would play in 11 games down the stretch, and would be subsequently released by Boston in October. He signed with the White Sox in April of 1975, and was then traded to Boston that same year in September. He played in just three games and collected 12 plate appearances the second time around, but hit .600 with a homer.
He barely played in 1976, and didn't play well when he did, so Boston cut Johnson in June. It would be his final season in the majors, the 16th year of his career.
Birthdays: Boston Red Sox first baseman/designated hitter Mauro Gomez turns 28 years old today. Gomez is in his first year with the Red Sox, and has mostly filled in during times when players are injured, but he did win International League MVP thanks to his strong campaign in Pawtucket.
It's also Mark Prior's 32nd birthday, and while he never did make it to the Red Sox, he spent much of the year with Gomez in Pawtucket. Last, it's Darren Bragg's 43rd. Bragg was acquired by the Red Sox back in 1996, in exchange for Jamie Moyer, and played for three seasons in Boston. He would hit a below-average .264/.346/.395 there, but played high-quality defense all over the outfield to make up for some of that.
Death Days: Joe Cronin, Red Sox Hall of Famer thanks to his time as player, manager, and general manager, died on this day in 1984 at the age of 77.