Baseball base

April 4, 1953

The Boston Red Sox of the American League needed a grand slam from Billy Goodman to overcome the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association.

Having been blanked for seven innings by three Barons, whose combined big-league experience wouldn’t have filled a thimble, the Red Sox scored six times in the eighth for a 6-3 win.

It wasn’t unusual for big-league clubs, making their way from training camp to their home city on trains, to make a side trip or two for exhibition games. Birmingham was a Class AA team in the Yankees organization.

That surely would surely have been enough to greatly annoy the fans of New England.

Now the Red Sox traditionally open spring training with exhibitions against Northeastern or Boston College. The difference is that the big-league club will be populated by minor leaguers, with big leaguers getting in an optional bit of work.

Think of how talk radio would have lambasted the Red Sox regulars for being shutout for seven innings by their Double A club.

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