Baseballs

Sept. 22, 1972

Elite Major League managers earn eternal respect for their teams’ great success. For instance, the most celebrated manager of all time, Casey Stengel, skippered the Yankees into 10 World Series and won seven of them.

He also served as manager of the Boston Bees (aka Braves) for five miserable seasons.

Then there are the run-of-the mill-managers, of which the Red Sox have had their share. Count Eddie Kasko among them.

Kasko replaced Dick Williams, which may be why his low-key, soft-spoken style is easy to forget. He lasted from 1970-1973, typically finishing a gentlemanly third in the AL East.

In 1972 Kasko had a chance to win a division title. The Red Sox, Tigers and Orioles were scrambling through September.

Which leads us to the decision Kasko would never live down. Taking on the Tigers at Fenway Park, the opener of a four-game series, Kasko handed the ball to Mike Garman, who had spent his summer at Triple A-Louisville. Making his first big-league start of 1972, Garman got one batter out before allowing three runs on three hits, sending the Tigers on their way to a 10-3 win.

There were lots of other reasons why the 1972 Red Sox wasted their opportunity to win the AL East. But this put the tumble in motion.

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