This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
It is fitting that on Labor Day 2009, we’re also celebrating the 40th birthday of Darren Bragg.
The original ‘Dirt Dog’, a nickname earned for his hard nosed headfirst style, Bragg was acquired by the Red Sox from the Seattle Mariners for ageless Jamie Moyer. A simple Google Image Search quickly brings up a photo of Bragg crumpled against an outfield wall in an attempt to track down a flyball. It’s true Jamie Moyer continues to plug along still today and Darren Bragg has been out of MLB since 2004,but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Bragg managed to have his best years while with the Boston Red Sox.
In 1997, Bragg served as a solid supporting cast member to Nomar Garciaparra’s rookie season. A season where the team failed to reach a record of .500, let alone the playoffs. In 1998, Bragg teamed with Darren Lewis and Troy O’Leary to provide a reliable outfield to back up Pedro Martinez’s debut season with Boston, and Nomar’s near MVP quality sophmore season.
While Darren Bragg’s regular season success with Boston didn’t translate into postseason success(.083 batting average in the ALDS), there were plenty of crowd diving, wall crashing catches that made the Darren Bragg Red Sox era a memorable one. For this, Happy 40th Birthday, Darren Bragg!