March 12 – Happy Birthday Alex Gaston

GastonAThis New York City born catcher was a horrible hitter, who had good enough defensive skills behind the plate that John McGraw kept him on the big league roster of his New York Giants ball cub as the team’s third string receiver from 1921 through the 1923 season. He then went back to the minors for a couple of years before joining the Red Sox in 1926. He was actually Boston’s first string catcher that season but his .223 batting average and powerless bat earned him a ticket to St Paul, where he put together solid back-to-back offensive campaigns for the double A Saints.

That earned him another call-up to Boston in 1929, where he became a team- and battery mate of his younger brother Milt, a right-handed starting pitcher who would put together a 97-164 record during his own 11-season big league career. They were the first pair of brothers to play on the same Red Sox team. In later years the Farrell’s (pitcher Wes and catcher Rick,) the Conigliaro’s (outfielders Tony and Billy) and the pitching Martinez brothers (Pedro and Ramon) would be added to the list of Red Sox siblings who shared the same Fenway dugout during their careers.

That 1929 season turned out to be Alex Gaston’s last one in the Majors. Though he was 36 years-old at the time, he would keep on playing at the minor league level for another nine years before becoming a successful insurance salesman. He passed away in 1979, at the age of 85.

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