March 10, 1958

On its growling face the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry should have been as low key as it has been, before or since, in 1958. The Yankees won the 1957 American League pennant, falling to the Milwaukee Braves in the World Series.

The Red Sox, feeling better than ever about holding the door open for the Braves to leave Boston in 1953, finished a respectable third in the 1957 AL standings. But the Yankees were cemented in as the AL favorites, having won eight pennants in the previous nine seasons. The Red Sox lost to the Yankees on the final day of the 1949 season, then mostly floundered in mediocrity.

So Yankees general manager George Weiss may have just been tweaking Boston’s collective nose in warning that it better following the newly enacted rule requiring batters to wear protective head gear.

Specifically, he was aiming directly at the noggin’ of Ted Williams, who made it known he finds all modes of head gear uncomfortable.

Seven of the eight AL clubs voted in favor of the rule. Williams – uh, the Red Sox – voted against it.

The Yankees won another pennant, with the Red Sox again finishing third, 79-75, 13 games back.

Williams couldn’t have been too uncomfortable – he hit .328 with 26 homers and 85 RBIs.

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