Baseball base

March 28, 1954

As spring training meandered along (back when the season began at least a week into April), the Boston Globe decided to get a sampling of opinion as to the Red Sox’ chances of winning the American League pennant.

The consensus was that their chances were fair, but only if Ted Williams was healthy and in their lineup. It was a matter of concern because on the first day of spring training, Williams suffered a broken collarbone.

Red Sox manager Lou Boudreau put it bluntly: “This team can’t win without Williams.”

Well, Williams recovered quickly and was back on the field on May 7, with the Red Sox standing at 5-9.

As it turned out, even with Williams the Red Sox couldn’t overcome suspect pitching and general lack of punch, outside him and newly acquired Jackie Jensen. They finished 69-85, 42 games behind the Cleveland Indians.