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From the archives | Aug. 4

Pumpsie Green stars in his Fenway debut

Pumpsie Green, second from right, with Frank Malzone, Don Buddin, and Pete Runnels, left to right, debuted as the first black player for the Red Sox in 1959. This photo was taken during that season. Boston Public Library Photo/Handout

Pumpsie Green made his Fenway Park debut before 21,000 last night with a leadoff three-bagger off the Left Field Fence. He scored Boston’s first run, played a flawless game at second and paced the Red Sox – behind the pitching of Tom Brewer – to a 4-1 victory.

This game, the first of a night doubleheader, carried the Red Sox to their sixth triumph in their last nine games.

In the second game – despite an early 3-0 lead and a late drive from behind – the Red Sox weren’t so successful. Kansas City, with a six-run sixth inning, won, 8-6. Al Schroll was the losing Sox pitcher.


Boston fans are accustomed to seeing singles and doubles off the left field wall, but it took Pumpsie to give them a triple. And in a twinkling, scored on Pete Runnels’ grounder.

To the right side of the infield, Pumpsie was over the plate with the first run against pitcher John Tsitouris.

There was no scoring for either side until the sixth when, with two down, Ted Williams singled. Manager Jurges sent in Marty Keough to run for him, and – an instant later – Keough scored from first base when Jackie Jensen lined a ball against the left field fence and left fielder Russ Snyder, with a lunge toward the line, couldn’t reach it. Jensen got a double.

In the seventh, Buddin led with a single to left. Brewer beat out a beautiful push bunt, the ball going through Tsitouris, Boone and Terwilliger unfielded for a single – and Pumpsie sacrificed the pair along. Runnels scored them both with a single to left and the Sox led, 4-0.

But Brewer had two buts of bad luck. Sliding into the plate, he tore some flesh off his pitching elbow. And his single was scored as a Kansas City error. In the eighth, after Terwilliger doubled and scored on Ward’s pinch single, Mike Fornieles replaced him and blew down the final six batters.