|Salem Witchsox at 1975 Boston Redsox|
This Personal Cosmic Game was requested by Alison Pudelsky of Swampscott, Massachusetts. Alison is a doctoral student in computer information theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. An avid Red Sox fan she has also long been interested in the Salem Witchcraft hysteria of the late 17th century. Alison created the Salem Witchsox to honor nine of the 20 individuals who were executed as witches as a result of the witchcraft hysteria that struck the good but frightened people of Salem. Alison chose to pit her alleged witches against a very strong 1975 Boston Red Sox squad. The results surprised us.
Historians have long tried to figure out exactly why the hysteria in Salem, Massachusetts broke out when it did. In the April 1976 issue of Science magazine, Linda Caporael outlined an ergot-poisoning theory that suggested the inhabitants of Salem might have been victimized by a fungus parasite known as claviceps purpura. Rye grain infected with the fungus was baked for bread and in the process the fungus produced ergotamine an alkaloid that when heated in an oven turns into lysergic acid diethylamine commonly known as LSD. The consumption of the tainted bread might very well have led to the strange behavior which the citizens of Salem ascribed to witchcraft. Twenty people were executed as witches in the resulting hysteria.
Click here for additional information about Salem and the Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692.
The 1975 Boston Red Sox featured two exceptional rookie outfielders, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Lynn became the first ever player to win both the MVP and Rookie-of-the-Year awards in the same season. Despite the New York Yankees' purchase of Catfish Hunter from the Oakland Athletics for more than $3 million the Red Sox won the American League pennant and went on to meet the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds, in the World Series. The 1975 World Series is today considered a classic Fall Classic. The Red Legs ultimately beat the Red Sox in seven games but not before some intense and exciting baseball got produced. The sixth game, won in the bottom of the 12th inning on a homerun by Red Sox catcher Carleton Fisk remains one of the most exciting of all baseball games.
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Salem Pos Info 1 Sarah Good 2B Executed July 19, 1692 2 Martha Cory SS Executed July 19, 1692 3 Bridget Bishop 3B Executed June 10, 1692 4 George Burroughs LF Executed August 19, 1692 5 John Proctor RF Executed August 19, 1692 6 Rebecca Nurse 1B Executed July 19, 1692 7 George Jacobs C Executed August 19, 1692 8 Mary Easty CF Executed August 19, 1692 9 John Willard P Executed August 19, 1692
Boston Pos Info 1 Denny Doyle 2B 1975 Red Sox 2 Rick Burelson SS 1975 Red Sox 3 Jim Rice LF 1975 Red Sox 4 Carl Yastremzski 1B 1975 Red Sox 5 Dwight Evans RF 1975 Red Sox 6 Carleton Fisk C 1975 Red Sox 7 Fred Lynn CF 1975 Red Sox; 1975 Rookie-of-the-Year
1975 AL MVP
8 Rico Petrocelli 3B 1975 Red Sox 9 Luis Tiant P 1975 Red Sox
DP-Double Play; E-Error; FO-Fly Out; GO-Ground Out; HR-Homerun
K-Strikeout; LO-Lineout; T-Triple; W-Walk; - Single; = Double
Salem-8 at Boston-5
AB-At Bats; H-Hits; HR-Homeruns
RBI-Runs Batted In; B AVE-Batting Average
W-Won; L-Lost; IP-Innings Pitched; H-Hits
R-Runs ER-Earned Runs; W-Walks; K-Strikeouts
|Homeruns||Bridget Bishop, Jim Rice|
|Umpires||Deodat Lawson, Cotton Mather, Increase Mather|
|Game Time||3 hours, 22 minutes|
|Most Cosmic Player (MCP)|
Bridget Bishop had a tremedous game going three-for-four, including a single, double and a homerun and racking up three RBIs. She also was named the Most Cosmic Player of the game. It's nice to see Ms. Bishop succeed at cosmic baseball. Her unfortunate reality included being the first of the 20 individuals to be executed for witchcraft in Salem on June 10, 1692. Ms. Bishop learned the sport no doubt from the young men who frequented her tavern on Ipswich Road near Salem Village.
The surprising thing about this game is how little offense the offensively-minded Red Sox produced. It almost seemed as if their bats had been hexed.