December 29 – Happy Birthday Bill Sweeney

After winning the 1918 World Series, club owner Harry Frazee began dismantling the Boston Red Sox with one horrible deal after another. It would take fifteen seasons for the team to recover from his idiocy and once again reach the .500 mark. Bill Sweeney joined the team toward the end of that embarrassing run, in 1930. He played first base and after backing up a guy named Phil Todt at that position during his initial season in Beantown, Red Sox skipper Shano Collins made Sweeney the starter in ’32. The native of Cleveland responded well by hitting .295 in 131 games with 58 RBIs. Ironically, even though Sweeney had just put together his best big league season, he never again played another game in the Majors. He instead played on Boston’s double A team in Toledo for the next couple of seasons and then became a player manager for the Syracuse Chiefs in 1934. He continued to manage in the Minors for most of the next two decades. In 1957, he underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer and never left the hospital. He was just 52-years-old when he died. Sweeney had one of the biggest noses of any player to ever wear the Red Sox uniform.

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