Propelled by Roger Clemens' outstanding season, the 1990 Red Sox stayed in the hunt throughout the year and clinched the American League East on the final day of the regular season, thanks to a diving catch by Tom Brunansky. But just as they had been in 1988, the Red Sox were swept by a superior Oakland team in the playoffs. During the summer, Fenway Park also hosted its first Baseball Beanpot, which featured the same four local colleges that battle for the Hockey Beanpot.
Record: 88-74, 1st in American League East
Manager: Joseph M. Morgan
Postseason: Played in American League Championship Series
In the early months of 1990, Red Sox Nation mourned the loss of Tony Conigliaro, who passed away on February 24 at age 45.
Roger Clemens had one of his best seasons, leading the league with a 1.93 ERA and winning 21 games. Clemens curiously finished second in the AL Cy Young voting to Oakland's Bob Welch, who won 27 games but sported an ERA more than a run higher than Clemens'.
Ellis Burks' 89 RBIs led an offense that wasn't particularly robust but the club's quality pitching and 88 victories were enough to win the AL East.
A couple of unusual moments stood out in a season in which the Red Sox scored just 35 more runs than they surrendered. On July 17 at Fenway Park, Boston hitters grounded into not one, but two triple plays, both 5-4-3 triple-killings initiated by the Twins' Gary Gaetti. On the first day of September, Mike Greenwell hit an inside-the-park grand slam in a 15-1 romp over New York.
On October 3, the Red Sox entered the final day of the regular season just one game up on Toronto. In the ninth inning against the White Sox with Boston leading 3-1, Chicago's Ozzie Guillen stepped to the plate with two outs and two runners on base. With the count full and the runners off at the pitch, Guillen hit a drive to right field. Red Sox right fielder Tom Brunansky's driving, sliding catch on the warning track by Pesky's Pole saved the win, ended the season and gave the Red Sox the AL East title.
Once again the Red Sox faced Oakland in the ALCS but another painful finish awaited the club. Boston dropped the first three games of the series and Clemens was ejected in Game Four after a confrontation with umpire Terry Cooney. The Red Sox lost Game Four 3-1, ending their 1990 season and extending the franchise's postseason winless streak to 10 games.
In 1990, the Red Sox clubhouse received a new weight room and multi-purpose room.
The first Baseball Beanpot was held at Fenway Park in 1990. Boston College vanquished Harvard in the championship game to win the first-ever Beanpot at Fenway Park.
|1990 Non-Red Sox Baseball At Fenway Park|
|April 18||Boston College 4, Northeastern 1 (Beanpot Semi-Finals)*|
|April 18||Harvard 6, Boston University 0 (Beanpot Semi-Finals)*|
|April 19||Boston College 6, Harvard 3 (Beanpot Championship)*|
|April 19||Northeastern 12, Boston University 3 (Beanpot Consolation)*|
|May 19||Old-Timers Game|
*Starting in 1990, Fenway Park has hosted the annual Baseball Beanpot, baseball's version of the longstanding Boston hockey tradition. Originally, the competition featured the same schools that battle for Hockey Beanpot: Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University and Harvard University. However, when BU dropped their baseball program after the 1995 season, the University of Massachusetts took their place. The Baseball Beanpot has been held at Fenway Park every year since its inception except for in 2004 and 2010, when the tournament was played at Campanelli Stadium in Brockton, MA.