After 10 years with the Detroit Tigers, firstbaseman Rudy York was traded to the Red Sox in January 1946. He helped the Sox get off to a 41-9 start, an all-time record for the best start to the season after 50 games.

Shortly after being named to his sixth All-Star game, Rudy enjoyed the best single day of his career on July 27th when he hit two grand slams and drove in 10 runs against the Browns in St. Louis. Rudy acquitted himself well at the plate in the 1946 World Series; his tenth-inning home run won Game #1 for the Sox while his 3-run home run in the first inning of Game #3 gave the Red Sox an early lead that they would never surrender.

In 1947, he got off to a terribly slow start and played his last game for the Red Sox in June against Chicago. Batting just .212 at the time, he was traded to the White Sox.

Rudy was a good veteran clubhouse guy. He was older, more experienced, and a stabilizer. He would talk to Ted Williams, and try to help him focus and get the most out of his talents, not just at the plate. He wasn’t part of the clique and not with the team when Doerr, Pesky, DiMaggio, and Williams were coming up together. He was an outsider and that made it easier for him to scold Ted. He deserved a lot of credit for helping the Red Sox win the pennant.

But his fondness for alcohol may have begun to get the better of him. He was pulled out of his burning room at the Miles Standish Hotel late on the evening in April of 1946. He had “fallen asleep” with a lit cigarette in his hand and witnesses indicated the room was strewn with liquor bottles. Some of his teammates took him away before too many people had a chance to witness his condition.