The first hint that 1986 was going to be a special year (hey, they did win the pennant) for the Red Sox came on Opening Day at old Tiger Stadium when leadoff man Dwight Evans hammered the first pitch from Jack Morris for a home run. Since the game was the first of the season on the MLB schedule, this gave Dewey a unique record that can never be broken—the "earliest" homer ever to start a season.
Now, as the Sox and Tigers prepare to square off in Detroit to start the 2012 season, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on Evans, one of the greatest Red Sox players of all time and one of the most underrated in baseball history. I could go on and on about how Dewey belongs in the Hall of Fame, but my friend Patrick Languzzi can do that far better than me. Check out Patrick's brand new blog at http://call2thehall.blogspot.com/ and see the fantastic case he makes for enshrining this world-class right fielder and hitter in Cooperstown.
What do you say, Jacoby -- can you match it?
Let the games begin!
Saul Wisnia lives less than seven miles from Fenway Park and works 300 yards from Yawkey Way. His latest book, Fenway Park: The Centennial, is available at http://www.amazon.com/Fenway-Park-Centennial-Years-Baseball/dp/0312642741/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1and his Red Sox reflections can be found at http://saulwisnia.blogspot.com/. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or #saulwizz.