Bill Dam: August 23, 1909
Eldridge Rust Dam was born April 4, 1885 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and just 24 years later, found himself playing in the major leagues. Giving the Boston Doves major league designation on August 23 1909, 110 years ago today, is generous. Boston had slipped to a 28-82 record by this point in the season and were facing the perennial powerhouse Chicago Cubs, who entered the game 73-34.
Dam had to have been better than the majority of Doves players on that day and it will forever be a mystery why he never got a second chance. In the game, an 11-6 Cubs win, Dam went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Statistically, it was one of the more productive games by a one-game player. Certainly, on a team that was nearly 60 games under .500, it was a standout performance. Again, it may be lost to history just why Dam wasn't given another chance after his solid debut.
The lefty never wandered onto a big-league field again while the Doves floundered to a final record of 45-108 in the 1909 season. It was the franchise's penultimate season as the Doves, a nickname they had from 1907-1910. After previously being called the Boston Beaneaters, the team evolved to the Boston Rustlers for the 1911 season, then the Boston Braves from 1912-1935 and again from 1941-1952, while being named the Boston Braves in the middle.
The team then jetted for Milwaukee in 1953, when they became the Milwaukee Braves. That Milwaukee experiment lasted until 1966 when the team, equipped with Henry Aaron, one of the greatest hitters anyone had ever seen, moved to Atlanta for good, where they still call home. They are one of baseball's oldest franchises and for one fleeting day, Bill Dam put on the Boston Dove uniform and made the most of his shot in The Show.