Did You Know? – Jack Wilson

Former Red Sox pitcher Jack Wilson may not be a name familiar even to die-hard Fenway fanatics and his career hardly made a blip on the radar as a professional ballplayer. In nine big-league seasons, seven with the Red Sox between 1935 and 1941, the University of Portland, Oregon product was 68-72 with a 4.59 ERA and 590 strikeouts. His best season, arguably, came in 1937 when he went 16-10 with an ERA of 3.70 in 51 appearances, splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen as he also saved seven games at a time when this was not a recognized statistic.

He may be better remembered, however, for what he did with his bat rather than with his arm. In September of 1935, Boston trailed Washington 7-0 in the first game of a Labor Day doubleheader at Fenway Park before the team rallied to tie the score at 8-8 after eight innings. Wilson then capped the comeback with a game-winning solo home run to dead center field, his first-ever major league home run, as the home team won by a final of 9-8 in 11 innings. Nearly five years later, pitching in the second game of a June 1940 doubleheader at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Wilson helped his own cause with two home runs as the visitors collected five home runs and 20 total hits en route to a 14-5 rout of the White Sox. These would be the only three home runs out of 15 extra-base hits that Wilson, a .199 hitter, would manage in 413 career at-bats.

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