The Ghost of Al Benton


Went up to the Yards this afternoon to see the Birds take on the Red Sox. Every year I see the Sox play, another anniversary goes by. This time it’s sixty-five. It was sixty-five years ago (give or take a couple of months) that I first saw the Boston Red Sox play at a ballpark. July 2, 1952 at Yankee Stadium. Dom DiMaggio. George Kell (see photo) . Hoot Evers. Sammy White. Sid Hudson. So many names from the distant past. And Al Benton. Al was the reliever who pitched the last 2 1/3 innings to preserve the one run lead and give the Sox the victory. I had never heard of him before and I never saw him again. But for one day, he was my hero. He is also the answer to the trivia question,

“Who was the only pitcher ever to face both Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle?”

Anyway today’s game could be called,

“Ten minutes followed by Eduardo Rodriguez.”

Ten minutes was all it took for the first four Red Sox hitters to produce four runs (Two singles, homer by Betts, homer by Ramirez) and take the O’s fans out of the game. Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez was masterful and he completely shut down the Birds. Baltimore did manage a bit of offense late, once they got into the Sox bullpen, but it was”‘too little, too late.” Sox were the winners 6-2.

I wonder if there were any eight year old boys in the crowd today making their own memories.

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