Game of Note: Back in 1946, Boston's Rudy York hit two grand slams in the same game, one in the second and another in the fifth inning. To that point, just two players in the history of baseball, Tony Lazzeri and Jim Tabor, had accomplished the feat. York didn't stop there, either, as he had a two-run double, giving him 10 RBI for the day. Obviously he had some help setting him up for the situation, but he came through, and the Red Sox won 13-6. This was a great two-day stretch for York, as he had driven in five runs the day before against the St. Louis Browns, too.
Transactions: The Red Sox, under Dan Duquette, made a major trade on July 27 of the 2000 season, with seven players moving between Boston and Colorado. The Red Sox sent minor leaguer Jeff Taglienti along with infielder Jeff Frye and pitchers Brian Rose and John Wasdin to the Rockies, in exchange for second baseman Mike Lansing, pitcher Rolando Arrojo, and reliever Rich Croushore.
Rose had nearly been dealt to the Expos in the Pedro Martinez swap before the 1998 season, and after posting a cumulative 87 ERA+ over parts of four seasons with the Sox, Boston finally sent him packing while he still had value to someone. Rose was out of the majors in 2001, at the age of 25. Jeff Frye was a solid -- but often injured -- infielder, and the acquisition of Lansing helped erase the need for him in the first place. John Wasdin... would you believe me if I told you Way Back Wasdin owns a 103 ERA+ with Boston? Unsurprisingly, his loftiest home run per nine over a sizable sample came while at Coors.
Lansing was terrible with Boston, posting an OPS+ of -- wait for it -- 15 after coming to the Sox. His 2001 went far, far better, but it's still tough to be excited about a .250/.294/.384 line during the most explosive offensive era in MLB history. Croushore threw just four innings, so we can pass him by, but Arrojo pitched for the Sox for the rest of 2000 plus two more years, and compiled 30 starts, 53 relief appearances, a 107 ERA+, and 256 innings. He was easily the most useful piece coming back, and given the pittance sent out, was worth the move all by his lonesome.
Birthdays: Back in 2001, a 25-year-old corner infielder came up to the Red Sox. Shea Hillenbrand wasn't much of a hitter, but, post Nomar Garciaparra, exciting rookies just didn't show up in Boston very often. Ergo, Hillenbrand received more attention than you'd expect someone who hit .263/.291/.391 in his rookie campaign would. In 2003, he was dealt for Byung-Hyun Kim, who was better overall with the Red Sox than we might remember.
Today is Hillenbrand's 37th birthday, and if that seems young given he debuted just 11 years ago, remember that Hillenbrand has already been out of baseball for five seasons. He finished things off a better hitter than he started, with a career OPS+ of 95, but between the poor defense, the well-known attitude issues (especially noticeable during his stint in Toronto), and a quick decline once he hit 30, he just didn't last long.
Date of Death: Smoky Joe Wood, one of the great Boston pitchers, passed away on this day in in 1985, at the age of 95. Wood pitched with the Sox from 1908 through 1915, and finished that run with some eye-popping numbers: 1.99 ERA, a 150 ERA+, 1,416 innings, and, as the time allowed to happen, 121 complete games. He led the league with 35 complete games in 1912, also throwing 10 shutouts, while posting a 34-5 record. He finished fifth in the MVP race that year, the only time he ever saw any award votes.
That was the the same season the Red Sox won their second World Series, and Wood was also part of the 1915 championship squad. He missed time with injuries over the years, as you would expect someone with those kind of usage numbers to do, and also sat out the entire 1916 season due to a contract dispute. He headed to Cleveland after that, but was never the same as he had been while a star with the Sox. Wood, who debuted in 1908, was the last surviving baseball player from the first decade of the 20th century at the time of his death.