Today we wish a very happy 36th birthday to Casey Fossum!
Fossum was one of the top Red Sox pitching prospects at the turn of the century. He was with the big club from 2001-2003, and was starting to hold his own on the pitching staff. While he never made his mark in Boston, he did play a huge part in finally bringing a World Championship to Fenway.
I was lucky enough to see Fossum pitch several times. How did he do in those games? I’m glad you asked.
On July 28, 2001 Fossum pitched the ninth inning of a 3-1 loss to the White Sox. Casey pitched a 1-2-3 inning, despite giving up a hit since that runner was out when he tried to stretch a single into a double.
On August 18, 2001 Fossum got the start against the Orioles. He went 4.2 innings, without giving up a run. He was pulled after a HBP, single, and walk loaded the bases. He didn’t make it quite far enough to qualify for the win.
On April 1, 2002 Fossum pitched the eighth inning on Opening Day. Pedro started the game, and was rocked. Fossum pitched a scoreless inning to keep the Sox close before Urbina blew it in the ninth.
On April 14, 2002 Fossum pitched the ninth inning of a 6-2 loss to the Yankees. Again, he didn’t give up a run as he retired Derek Jeter, Nick Johnson, and Bernie Williams in order.
On May 25, 2002 Casey pitched the final three innings in another loss to New York. Once again, Fossum didn’t allow a run while giving up two hits. He even struck out three in a row at one point.
Finally, on September 7, 2002 Fossum got the start against the Blue Jays. He went six innings, but gave up the only run I saw him surrender, on the way to the win.
Those games would seem to sum up Fossum’s career pretty well. He pitched fantastically. But, was both a reliever and a starter because he didn’t quite have everything he needed. Couldn’t put it together all the time. But, the one run over 16.2 innings certainly showed the potential he had.
It was that potential that allowed Fossum to make his biggest contribution to the team. He was included in the package that brought Curt Schilling to Boston. The rest, as they say, was history. I think helping bring a championship to Boston warrants birthday wishes!
Happy 36th Birthday Casey Fossum!