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This Date In Red Sox History: August 20 - Ted Williams Walks, Reggie Smith Homers


Games of Note: It's August 20, 1960, and Ted Williams is in the final season of his career. With the Red Sox facing the Baltimore Orioles in a double-header, Williams draws the 2,000th walk of his career. He joins Babe Ruth as the only other hitter in major-league history to cross the 2,000-walk threshold. Thanks to the careers of Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson, there are now four hitters in MLB history with at least that many walks, but, as you know, Williams would have had even more if not for all of the military service that cost him hundreds upon hundreds of plate appearances.

Williams also happens to hit homers 514 and 515 on this day, giving him just six more to bash before one of the greatest careers ever ends.

Moving to 1967, Reggie Smith becomes one of the many to hit homers from both the left and right sides of the plate in the same game. Smith would pull off the feat four times in the American League, and another two times in the NL.

Transactions: The Red Sox release two players in the twilight years of their careers on two different August 20ths. In 1977, Ramon Hernandez was traded to Boston from the Cubs in exchange for Bobby Darwin. On August 20, he was released after throwing 12-2/3 innings with a 1.1 K/BB and 82 ERA+. The 36-year-old Hernandez had a better career than that end details, as he threw 430 innings -- all in relief -- over nine seasons, with an ERA+ of 116. Things went downhill for Hernandez in a hurry once he hit his mid-30s, though.

In 1999, it's Lenny Webster who gets cut. Webster had been released by the Orioles on July 21, with the Sox picking him up a week later. The backup catcher hit .000/.176/.000 in 17 plate appearances, a line that's somehow worse than the .167/.333/.194 he put up that had him released from the O's to begin with.

Birthdays: Tom Brunansky turns 52 years old today. Brunansky played with the Red Sox from 1990 through 1993, then signed with the Milwaukee Brewers before he was dealt back to Boston again for the end of the 1994 season. Brunansky hit .252/.331/.430 (105 OPS+) while playing right, first, center, and DH for the Sox.