Happy Birthday, Eddie Bressoud!

This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com

Following the 1961 season, the Red Sox acquired Eddie Bressoud from the new expansion Colt .45’s for Don Buddin. On the surface, the trade looked like a swap of light hitting infielders who both showed some decline in recent seasons. In hindsight, this trade was hugely favorable for the Red Sox, as Don Buddin was out of baseball following the 1962 season. While both players showed a little pop in their bats, it wasn’t until Bressoud’s career led him to Boston that his power numbers soared.

Eddie Bressoud proved to be one of the beacons of hope of Red Sox teams that fell even further into the cellar of the American League standings. In 1963 he became the first Red Sox shortstop to hit 20 homers in a season in 13 years, dating back to Vern Stephens’ slugging days alongside Al Zarilla and the 1950 Red Sox. In 1964 Bressoud was selected to the all star game, also the first Red Sox shortstop since Vern Stephens’ selection in 1950.

1965 is the most recent season during which the Red Sox have reached the 100 loss mark, and it coincided with the sudden decline in Eddie Bressoud’s abilities. Along with his decline, there was a promising rising start pushing his way into the lineup as well. Rico Petrocelli nudged his way into the lineup, where he’d stay for more than a decade. With Petrocelli showing flashes of greatness, Bressoud was shipped out of Boston following the 1965 season.

Traded to the New York Mets, Bressoud was again in a position of being the declining star pushed out by the prospect. This time, Bud Harrelson was the player who fought his way into the lineup. He too ended up staying in the Mets lineup for the next decade. The Mets sent Bressoud to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1967 season, where he served in a backup role at the age of 35 to the Cards starter at shortstop, Dal Maxvill. The ’67 season was Eddie Bressoud’s last at the major league level.

For his great years as the Red Sox shortstop in the early 1960’s, Happy 77th Birthday to Eddie Bressoud!

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