Events of Note: Roger Clemens had a tremendous 1986 season, leading the American League with a 2.48 ERA, tossing 254 innings, striking out 238 batters, and whiffing 3.6 times as many hitters as he walked. He also won 24 games and lost just four, and while part of that was thanks to the Red Sox offense, Clemens was plenty ridiculous enough to win with a lesser team behind him as well. Because of all of the above, Clemens became just the second-ever unanimous choice for the Cy Young award, with all 28 first-place votes going his way. Milwaukee's Teddy Higuera had a season that was essentially on equal footing with Clemens', but no one noticed, and Higuera had to settle for second place and just 30 percent of all possible points.
The voters can be forgiven, though. Clemens had a pretty good tiebreaker on his hands in the form of a the all-time single-game strikeout record, thanks to 20 punch outs against the Mariners back in April. First month of the season or no, things like that tend to stick in people's minds.
Transactions: Roll back the clocks a bit, and it's November 12, 1939. The Red Sox sign a DiMaggio on this day, Dom DiMaggio, the youngest of the three brothers. Dom had been playing for San Francisco in the Pacific Coast League, and the Red Sox purchased him for $40,000. Accounting for inflation, that's about $666,000 in today's money. Considering that the Dodgers just plunked down nearly $26 million just to talk contract with South Korea's Ryu Hyun-jin, DiMaggio came from another league pretty cheap.
Tony Armas was granted his free agency on this day in 1986. Armas had some pop, slugging over .500 in two of the four seasons he spent with the Red Sox, but he lacked even a semblance of plate patience. Armas hit .255/.288/.480 over 2,155 plate appearances with Boston; the power wasn't enough to make his line worth much in 1983 or 1986, but in the two seasons sandwiched between them, he did well enough, with OPS+ of 121 and 114.
Just two years ago, the Red Sox began The Andrew Miller Experiment, sending Dustin Richardson to the then-Florida Marlins in exchange for the left-hander. Miller had been acquired by the Marlins years earlier in the Miguel Cabrera trade, but they could never get him to be effective. It would take more than one season for the Red Sox to get much out of Miller, either, but even with that, his recent history beats that of Richardson. He was terrible with Boston in limited duty, and hasn't pitched in the majors since, in part thanks to testing positive for not one, not two, but five banned substances And he didn't have a doctor's note for any of them.
Birthdays: Carl Mays, an important cog of Red Sox teams nearly 100 years past, was born on this day in 1891. Mays pitched with the Red Sox from 1915 to 1919, throwing over 1,100 innings in that short stretch, in part thanks to performances that included a league-leading 30 complete-games in 1918. Mays would go on, like so many of his teammates, to play (and play well) for the New York Yankees in the 1920s.
One other former Sox player was born on this day. Emerson Dickman, who pitched for Boston from 1936 through 1941, was born a year before Mays joined the Red Sox, in 1914. Dickman had a short career, one in which he walked more batters than he struck out and posted a below-average ERA. He spent his entire career in the Boston system before things ended after a 1942 stint in Triple-A Louisville. Getting to the majors for any length of time is an accomplishment, though, and Dickman got to play alongside a few all-time greats like Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx. Not too shabby, in that regard.