This is my ode about the time I spent with my grandfather on Cape Cod. I hope to honor the summers we shared and the teams we rooted for by reuniting a game used bat for every Red Sox position player from 1975 to 1986. This is for you Gus!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Tommy Helms

The Red Sox packed them in during the 1977 season as over two million fans passed through Fenway's rusty turnstiles for the first time ever. Fans lined up in record numbers to see a power packed lineup that smashed 213 home runs, including 8 in a memorable Fourth of July shellacking of Toronto. With no shortage of power that season General Manager Dick O'Connell prepared for a late season pennant push by signing veteran gloveman Tommy Helms to split playing time at second base with aging fan favorite Denny Doyle.

Signed as a free agent by Cincinnati in 1959, Helms finally earned a starting position in 1966. Six seasons later Helms had picked up a Rookie of the Year award, two Gold Glove awards and two All Star nominations. With a pedigree like that Helms must have been surprised when he was shipped off to Houston for Joe Morgan and four other players who would form the backbone a Cincinnati team that would go on to win two World Series in the next five years. Helms spent four seasons in Houston and part of two in Pittsburgh before coming to Boston. Despite the addition of Helms and 97 wins, the Red Sox did not see postseason play in 1977 and Helms was released that off season.

1 bat down 82 to go.

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