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This Date In Red Sox History: August 14 - Lizzie Murphy's MLB Debut, Jim Lonborg Signs

Let's just pretend this is a birthday hug for Clay. (Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE)
Let's just pretend this is a birthday hug for Clay. (Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE)

Games of Note: On August 14, 1922, Lizzie Murphy becomes the first woman to play in a major-league game, in an exhibition contest against the Boston Red Sox. The Providence all-star plays first base for an American League all-star team that faces off against the Red Sox in a game scheduled to raise money for the family of former Red Sox player and manager Tommy McCarthy, who passed away nine days before.

Murphy didn't come to bat, but she did take the field, and played in another of these exhibition all-star games later on in her career, with the second coming against the Boston Braves in 1928. The SI Vault has a bit of a biography of Murphy, written in 1965, a year after her death at the age of 70. She's a fascinating character from baseball history that you just don't hear very much about.

Fast-forward to 1988, and the Red Sox are attempting to extend their American League record 24-straight home wins. They were just two games behind the 1916 Giants, who won 26 consecutive home games, but when ace Roger Clemens allowed eight runs in 1-1/3 innings, it helped to end what had been one of the more impressive home-win streaks in baseball history.

Transactions: On August 14, 1963, the Red Sox signed amateur free agent Jim Lonborg. The right-hander would make his big-league debut in 1965, and pitch seven seasons with the Sox. Longborg is mostly known for his 1967, in which he led the American League in both wins (22) and games started (39) during the Red Sox' "Impossible Dream" season. Other than that, though, Lonborg's career with the Sox was rather dull, as he finished his seven seasons and 1,000-plus innings with a below-average 93 ERA+.

The Red Sox would deal Longborg to the Brewers in October of 1971, along with Ken Brett, Billy Conigliaro, Joe Lahoud, Don Pavletich, and George Scott. They received Pat Skrable (who never left the minors), Lew Krausse, Marty Pattin, and a player you might fondly remember, Tommy Harper.

Birthdays: One current Sox player has his birthday today, as Clay Buchholz turns 28. Turning back the clock a little, we find a former Red Sox player with a birthday: Mark Loretta, who played for the Red Sox in 2006, turns 41 today. Loretta had some productive seasons before coming to Boston, as he hit .312/.377/.434 (119 OPS+) from 2002 through 2005. The Red Sox sent Doug Mirabelli to San Diego to acquire Loretta, but this resulted in his worst season since his rookie campaign. Loretta inexplicably made the All-Star team after a .404/.442/.495 May helped inflate his line in the first half, but finished the year at just .285/.345/.361. Back in 2006, that was 20 percent worse than average.