Fenway Park, Boston, MA, August 24, 1940 – Ted Williams comes in to pitch two innings in relief in 12-1 loss to Detroit

Fenway Park, Boston, MA, August 24, 1940 – Ted Williams comes in to pitch two innings in relief in 12-1 loss to Detroit

Already losing 11-1 heading into the eighth inning and still another game to play that day, Red Sox skipper Joe Cronin decides that instead of wasting another arm, he would put on the mound a young 21-year-old left fielder by the name of Ted Williams to finish the game.

Thanks to the Detroit Tigers slugger Rudy York’s home run and driving in five runs, the Tigers, as the Associated Press would write in the next day’s papers, raked three “classified” moundsmen for thirteen hits. Those Red Sox “moundsmen” that the AP derided were Joe Heving, Yank Terry and Herb Hash. With the latter, and the starter that day, taking the brunt of the Tigers bats giving up eight hits and seven earned runs in just 2.1 innings of work.

Williams would work the final two innings with relative success giving up just one run on three hits and would strike out one Tiger batter in the 12-1 loss. It would be the only pitching appearance for the legendary Hall of Famer’s career.

And Cronin’s decision to start his budding star outfielder seem to pay off in the nightcap, for the Tigers bats were once again on fire and Boston would need reliever Emerson Dickman to work the final inning to squeeze out a 8-7 win. An arm Cronin might have had to use in the opener but was able to preserve if it wasn’t for the Splendid Splinters arm.

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