In his last season, Ted Williams went out in style and hit a home run in his last-bat on September 28 at Fenway Park. In early August, the ballpark hosted a group of Jehovah's Witnesses who convened for a four-day assembly.
Record: 65-89, 7th in American League
Manager: William F. Jurges (15-27), Michael F. Higgins (48-57), Del Baker (2-5)
After their fifth place finish the year before, the Red Sox entered the 1960 season without much hope. The team ended up at 65-89, 32 games behind New York.
With the end of Ted Williams' career, Jackie Jensen's offseason retirement and Pinky Higgins' deterioration, rumors swirled that the club could be sold. A group headed by Leo Durocher made a multi-million offer but Tom Yawkey squelched the rumors. Yawkey saved a little money when Williams, following his poor season in 1959, asked for a nearly 30% pay cut heading into 1960.
A year after integrating themselves, the Red Sox played the Indians in two spring training games in New Orleans, desegregating baseball in the city.
Manager Billy Jurges was frustrated and took a leave of absence on June 10, replaced by GM Pinky Higgins. One week later, Ted Williams hit the 500th home run of his career. Williams also drew his 2,000th career walk during the 1960 season, setting the career mark for patience at the plate by walking in 20.64% of his plate appearances.
Second baseman Pete Runnels hit .320, capturing the American League batting title that had eluded him when Williams beat him out on the final day of the 1958 campaign. Boston's pitching staff was led Medford, MA native Bill Monbouquette, who was an All-Star Game starter in 1960 at the age of 23.
But it was Ted Williams who stole the show in 1960. On September 24 on Jimmy Fund Day at Fenway Park, Archbishop of Boston Richard Cushing stood on the field with Williams as Ted was honored for his efforts to help fight childhood cancer. Four days later, on September 28, the Red Sox faced Baltimore in their last home game of the season. In the eighth inning, Williams stepped to the plate against Baltimore starter Jack Fisher and hammered the third pitch he saw into the Red Sox bullpen for his 521st career home run. It was Williams' final career at-bat.
Though Red Sox fans expected Ted Williams to end his outstanding career on the final weekend of the 1960 regular season in New York, Williams privately told the team that he preferred to conclude his career in Boston. On a cold and damp Wednesday afternoon on September 28, Williams labored mightily to end with a flourish before just 10,454 fans. A deep drive off the slugger's bat in the fifth inning went a long way, but the heavy air knocked the ball down and kept it in the park. With the Red Sox trailing 4-2 in the eighth inning, Williams stepped into the batter's box against Baltimore starter Jack Fisher. On Fisher's third pitch, the Splendid Splinter hammered the ball into the Red Sox bullpen for a home run in his final major league at-bat.
The Fenway Park crowd stood and cheered hoping that Williams would tip his hat, but the Red Sox left fielder couldn't do something he had refused to do for the last 20 years. He crossed home with his head down and disappeared into the dugout. Manager Pinky Higgins sent Williams out to left field to start the ninth but quickly replaced him with Carroll Hardy before the inning started. This switch provided Williams with one last opportunity to tip his cap but again he refused and jogged into the dugout for the last time.
Williams only collected 310 at-bats in 1960 but he finished his prolific career in style thanks to a lofty 1.096 OPS. He also hit 29 home runs - one per 10.7 at bats - in his farewell season.
As part of the 1960 Mayor's Charity Field Day at Fenway Park, Eddie Pellagrini's Major League All-Stars were scheduled to play a team of Greater Boston College All-Stars. In spite of a heavy rain, the field day was still held but the baseball game was cancelled. In August, two William Randolph Hearst Sandlot tournament games were held, with Bob Guindon and Mike Ryan taking home MVP honors in the first contest. The next day, Tony Conigliaro and Walt Hriniak played for the Record All-Stars team.
|1960 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|June 14||Mayor's Charity Field Day: Major League All-Stars vs. Greater Boston College All-Stars Game Cancelled*|
|August 5||William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Record All-Stars 7, American All-Stars 0|
|August 6||William Randolph Hearst Sandlot Tournament: Record All-Stars 6, American All-Stars 3|
*For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.
In August 1960, a group of Jehovah's Witnesses assembled at Fenway Park for a four-day Bible research and training assembly. August 14, the fourth and final day of activities, drew the largest crowd, with 28,468 people in attendance according to the Boston Globe. In October, a pair of local football clubs played a relatively low-scoring game.
|1960 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park|
|January 28||Junior Goodwill Dinner*|
|June 14||Mayor's Charity Field Day**|
|August 11-14||Bible Research and Training Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses|
|October 9||Jefferson Club of Roxbury 16, Crowley Club 9 (Football)|
*For several years, Fenway Park hosted a Junior Goodwill Dinner that brought hundreds of local high school students to the ballpark. The tradition was started by Red Sox legend Joe Cronin and the event typically took place in late January.
**For many years, the City of Boston regularly held a summertime Mayor's Charity Field Day. Many of these field days took place at Fenway Park, with a variety of sports, games, activities and other amusements for the crowds. In certain years, the Mayor's Charity Field Day even included an abbreviated baseball game at Fenway Park that was usually played between local teams.