On Thursday, April 25, 1946, the Red Sox defeated the Yankees, 12-5.
More than 31,000 filled Fenway Park that afternoon, bearing witness to a lively day for Boston’s bats. Hitting second, shortstop Johnny Pesky went 4 for 5 and drove in two runs. Second baseman Bobby Doerr added two hits and three RBIs. Meanwhile, Ted Williams showcased his vaunted batting eye, working three walks and scoring each time.
Boston hurler Joe Dobson notched a complete game despite walking six and allowing five earned runs. His pitch totals weren’t tracked. In total, 17 men crossed home plate. The game lasted 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Yet the contest retains significance today, marking the beginning of Boston’s longest winning streak of all time. The Red Sox reeled off 15 straight from April 25 to May 10, and the mark has never been touched in franchise history. No game exceeded 2 hours and 37 minutes during the streak; four of Boston’s wins were recorded in less than two hours.
The game is a relic of a foregone time.
Fast forward to 2018 and the Red Sox have tallied 10 straight wins, beginning with a 4-3 victory in Washington July 2 and extending to Thursday night’s thrilling, 6-4 victory over Toronto (in 3 hours and 19 minutes).
Even if the Red Sox continue to roll during the weekend against the Blue Jays, the All-Star break will halt some of their momentum.
A four-day respite precedes the team’s three-game set in Detroit beginning July 20, when a record-tying victory could come July 21.
For some perspective, Williams’s statistics during the 1946 streak is eerily similar to the numbers Mookie Betts has accumulated over his past 10 games. Teddy Ballgame stroked four home runs and 18 RBIs,sporting a .442 average during the stretch. Betts has hit .429 with three home runs and 8 RBIs during the Red Sox streak.
This isn’t the first time Boston has patched together a torrid stretch of play this season. The Red Sox won nine in a row and 17 of 18 after dropping their Opening Day contest in Tampa Bay March 29.