<
>

You can't keep a good knuckleballer down

3/25/2010

You know, I never get tired of reading updates to My Favorite Baseball Story. This one's from WEEI's Kirk Minihane:

You remember the 12-1 Red Sox win over the California Angels on May 27, 1995, don't you?

Come on, who could forget? Luis Alicea had three hits, three RBI and three runs. Troy O'Leary (batting leadoff) also had three hits, and Mo Vaughn homered.

(Big Mo hit third in the lineup that night in Anaheim. Fifty guesses as to who hit cleanup. All done? Mike Macfarlane. And what must be a totally unrelated note: Kevin Kennedy has only managed one season since.)

Nothing registering? OK, maybe at first glance it was just another game in what turned out to be just another season in the pre-2004 world of the Sox.

But a closer look at the box score reveals this little factoid: Six pitchers (three for each team) pitched in the game. Five of those pitchers have not been active in the major leagues for a combined 65 years.

Oh, the sixth guy? Tim Wakefield.

As Minihane notes, Wakefield's having a great spring and Daisuke Matsuzaka isn't, which means Wakefield will almost certainly open the season as the Red Sox's fifth starter.

I suppose this post might have been slightly more interesting on the 15th anniversary, roughly nine weeks from today. But as Leo Durocher used to say, "It might rain tomorrow." If you know what I mean.

One of my favorite coincidences is that Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were born on the same day in 1968.

Another of my favorite coincidences is that Cy Young and Roger Clemens both won exactly 192 games while pitching for the Red Sox; nobody's won more.

But as much as I love that one, I hope the Cy/Rocket record doesn't last much longer, because No. 3 on the list is Tim Wakefield, with 175 wins. This might be the season that decides things. If Wakefield wins 10 or 12 games, he's be within easy striking distance and he'll probably be invited back in 2011.

Oh, and that coincidental day in 1968 that witnessed the arrivals of The Big Hurt and the biggest Killer B?

May 27.