Tagged: Johnny Pesky

“Same Old Song and Dance…”

To borrow a phrase from a slightly popular local music group…. It is indeed the same old song and dance, just different dance partners.  Or to put in easier terms, “Same sh!t, different day”.

Anyone who is a ‘real‘ fan of the Red Stockings, meaning a member of the Nation since the dark days long before 2004, already know what all of this is.  Red Sox ownership in their version of Spin Control. Sure, their Doctors of Spin are the equivalent of a mentally defective monkey humping a baseball but they apparently get the job done.

Regimes change, the excuses stay the same.

Has there been a need for this nuclear warfare in the aftermath of ‘The Collapse’?  Of course not.  Francona fell on the sword, took the blame and left town.  Ah, but he do it in the way he was told to? Apparently not.  Tito alluded to the problems which arose in the clubhouse (which the owners also alluded to) and the fact he was tuned out… but then dropped that little ticking time bomb of “I wasn’t sure the owners had my back…” And the Mass Destruction of Terry Francona had begun.  Sinfully Disgraceful may be the only way to put it.  Unnamed sources, personal matters… all disgusting.  Of course they’re unnamed sources, they’re rats running about the sinking ship on fire trying to burn whatever they can for their masters in hopes of keeping their job once the flames are put out and the ship is righted.  And the press?  Using this fairly unconfirmed personal information about Tito’s mental health, medication and then his unfortunately distressed marriage?  Well, the Boston press has been heavy-handed and taking liberties ever since Paul Revere proclaimed that little warning about the oncoming British.  Especially the Boston Sports Press, which is a blessing and a curse as they are the best at what they do from both sides of the spectrum.  And whose to say that even if the Sox hadn’t collapsed, if they made a decent run or perhaps won it all that Theo wasn’t leaving?  The Cubs think he’s a hot commodity following the epic September fail?  Imagine what hot sh!t Theo would have been if they’d won?  This has been coming (remember the off-season back in the ’05-’06 days when he quit the job, took a vacation and then came back? It was because he was tired of having his toes stepped on…), it just didn’t have to end like this.

Or if history has shown us, maybe it did.

Let’s look at Boston’s divorce history (Bill Buckner, Manny and Grady Little aside).   Pedro and Derek Lowe and even Johnny Damon pale in comparison to that nutty, paranoid Nomar.  Then there’s Mo Vaughn and his drunken, truck flippin’ hung-over stripper lovin’ self.  Wade Boggs defection to the Bronx Zoo was fairly quiet compared to The Rocket who was a drunk, fat bastard in the twilight of his career (remind you, he hadn’t hit the juice yet… and is still a bastard) or even the ousting of Joe Morgan.  Dewey had a fairly amicable split for an in-house legend, unlike Jim Rice or Yaz. The 1970’s and early ’80’s was basically a huge divorce gone bad… Bill Lee, George Scott, Fergie Jenkins, Louis Tiant, Eck and let’s not forget Pudge Fisk.  Of course the Patron Saint of the Red Sox, Johnny Pesky, could tell you how complimentary everyone was when Teddy Ballgame left town.  Not cause he was here but because he was Ted’s friend and had a front row seat.  (I’ll omit Babe Ruth because most of his behavior was, in fact, dead on juvenile delinquent true.)

Notice a lot of these names… they’re part of the lore. All easily recognized by one name.  Ted.  Fisk. Yaz. Rice. Rocket. Nomar. Pedro. Theo. Tito.  The Red Sox are the embodiment of that old adage, “You build your heroes up just to tear them down.”  But they’re hardly alone.

So, to David Ortiz (yeah, I’ll say it) and all you bandwagon Yankees fans (because the actual fans already know how it works) who want to remind us of the class and swagger a dynasty carries… f*@% you.  Stop trying to take the ‘high road’ by ignoring the Steinbrenner Era or the legacy the Sons of Steinbrenner have already forged. Ask Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly, Joe Torre or most recently Mo Rivera or ‘Mister Yankee’ himself Derek Jeter.  Yeah, the ‘Bombers have never had drama or been a soap opera… jacka$$.

 
Are the Sox still an elite team? Yes.  Do they still have the talent to contend? Yes.  Do they still have an ownership group committed to winning? No wins, no money.. so Yes.  Is it time to change the ‘make-up’ of the team.  Yes.  But these are matters, some of them possibly drastic, best saved for the GM and field Manager… oh, wait.

I think at the end of the day, all the real fan can do is wish Theo all the best in Chicago (we’ll see you next season at Wrigley) and thank both he and Tito for everything they did to bring two WS titles home.   Same to a number of faces from the wonderful October of 2004 which may be joining them… Papi, Wake and Tek.

Same Old Song and Dance.

Hall of Famer’s who wore Red Sox….

This installment of the investigative process will focus on members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame who have been members of the storied Scarlett Hose, obviously with a bit more focus on those who are enshrined with the ‘B’ on their cap.

So here is the over all list….

… Players listed in bold are enshrined with the Red Sox ‘B’ upon their cap.

Player Years played with the Red Sox
Luis Aparicio 1971-73
Wade Boggs 1982-92
Lou Boudreau 1951-52
Jesse Burkett 1905
Orlando Cepeda 1973
Jack Chesbro 1909
Jimmy Collins 1901-07
Joe Cronin

Andre Dawson

1935-45

1993-94

Bobby Doerr 1937-44, 1946-51
Dennis Eckersley 1978-84, 1998
Rick Ferrell 1934-37
Carlton Fisk 1969, 1971-80
Jimmie Foxx 1936-42
Lefty Grove 1934-41
Harry Hooper 1909-20
Waite Hoyt 1919-20
Fergie Jenkins 1976-77
George Kell 1952-54
Heinie Manush 1936
Juan Marichal 1974
Herb Pennock 1915-22
Tony Perez 1980-82
Jim Rice 1974-89
Red Ruffing 1924-30
Babe Ruth 1914-19
Tom Seaver 1986
Al Simmons 1943
Tris Speaker 1907-15
Dick Williams 1963-64
Ted Williams 1939-42, 1946-60
Carl Yastrzemski 1961-83
Cy Young 1901-08

A few notes: Jimmy Collins does not have a cap in his HOF plaque, however the Hall lists his primary team as Boston.  Andre Dawson was omitted from the official Red Sox listing of former Sox in the HOF, however I’m including him because he did in fact play there… I saw it, with my own eyes.  Jimmie Foxx is enshrined wearing a Red Sox cap, however the Hall, and rightfully so, recognizes his primary team as the Philadelphia Athletics… the same can be said of Lefty Grove.

And here is the official recording of the retired numbers (excluding Jackie Robinson’s #42 retired by Major League Baseball for the simple fact he was not a member of the Boston Red Sox, even if historically he probably should have been)…

The retired Red Sox numbers, along with Jackie Robinson’s #42 that was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, are posted on the right field facade in Fenway Park.

The Red Sox policy on retiring uniform numbers is based on the following criteria:

  • Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame
  • At least 10 years played with the Red Sox
Bobby Doerr – #1
  • Played 14 seasons in Majors, all with Red Sox (1937-44, 1946-51), before retiring due to a back injury.
  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.
  • Tied for AL lead with Dom DiMaggio in triples in 1950 (11).
  • Led AL in slugging percentage in 1944 (.528).
  • Named The Sporting News AL Player of the Year in 1944.
  • Hit .409 (9-22) in 1946 World Series to lead Red Sox.
Joe Cronin – #4
  • First modern-day player to become a league president.
  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1956.
  • Compiled .301 average in 20 MLB seasons.
  • Affiliated with Red Sox for 24 seasons as player/manager, manager, and general manager.
  • Leads all Red Sox managers with 1071 wins.
  • Managed Red Sox to AL pennant in 1946.
  • Holds AL record for pinch-hit homers in a season, 5 (1943).
  • Became 1st player to hit pinch-hit homes in both games of a doubleheader, June 17, 1943 (in a stretch when he hit three three-run pinch-hit homers in four at-bats).
  • Participated in 12 All-Star Games for AL, six as a player.
Johnny Pesky – #6
  • Signed by the Red Sox in 1940.
  • Officially associated with the Red Sox for 21 years as a player, coach, and manager.
  • Compiled .307 average in 12 MLB seasons.
  • Known as “Mr. Red Sox”.
Carl Yastrzemski – #8
  • Named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
  • Along with Johnny Bench became the 18th and 19th players elected to Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
  • Received 95 percent of Hall of Fame voting, the seventh highest in the history of voting at that time.
  • First Little League player to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
  • Won AL Triple Crown in 1967.
  • Most games lifetime in the AL with 3,308.
  • AL MVP in 1967.
  • Seven-time Gold Glove winner.
  • Tied MLB record with 1.000 fielding percentage in 1977.
  • Selected Outstanding Player of 1970 All-Star Game.
  • Played 167 consecutive errorless games.
  • Only AL player with 400 home runs and 3,000 hits.
Ted Williams – #9
  • Named to starting outfield of Greatest Living Team, 1969.
  • Named MLB Player of Decade for 1950s.
  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
  • AL MVP in 1946, 49.
  • Won AL Triple Crown in 1942, 47.
  • Led AL in batting six times.
  • Led AL in home runs four times.
  • Led AL in total bases five times.
  • Led AL in walks eight times.
  • Led AL in slugging percentage nine times.
  • Holds MLB record for most successive times reaching base safely, 16, in Sept. 1957 (2 singles, 4 HR, 9 BB, 1 HBP).
  • Oldest MLB player to win batting title, batting .388 in 1957 at age 39.
  • Won batting title again in 1958 at age 40.
  • Voted Greatest Red Sox Player of all time by fans, 1969 and 1982.
  • Holds MLB rookie records for most walks (107) and RBIs (145).
  • Holds Red Sox record with 17 grand slams.
Jim Rice – #14
  • Debuted August 19, 1974.
  • Named AL Silver Slugger in 1984 and 1985.
  • Named AL MVP in 1978.
  • Named to eight All-Star teams.
  • Led AL with hits (213) in 1978.
  • Led AL in home runs in 1977 (39), 1978 (46), and 1983 (39).
  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Carlton Fisk – #27
  • Carlton Fisk will always be remembered as the player who hit the historic, 12th-inning, game-winning homer in Fenway Park off Reds pitcher Pat Darcy in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Besides being the hero on MLB’s biggest stage in a game that has been referred to as “the greatest World Series game ever played,” Fisk had many other memorable highlights during his 11-year career as a member of the Red Sox.
  • Red Sox first draft choice and fourth overall selection in the January 1967 Winter Baseball Amateur Draft.
  • Made his MLB debut on September 18, 1969.
  • Was the first unanimous winner of the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1972 (.293, 22 HR, 61 RBIs). He was also tied for the AL lead with nine triples.
  • Won the 1972 AL Gold Glove Award for defensive excellence.
  • Seven-time All-Star, including four games started. He was voted as a starter five times but was replaced in 1974 due to a knee injury.
  • Was the AL Honorary All-Star Game captain on July 13, 1999 at Fenway Park.
  • Is the all-time Red Sox leader in games caught with 990.
  • Red Sox Hall of Fame Inductee on September 8, 1997.

Now obviously, Johnny Pesky is the only member of Retired Row who is not a member of the Hall but was retired due to his decades of service to the Olde Towne Team… and rightfully so, however that does leave the ‘door open’ so to speak for other players and a whole sh!tload of “Why not him..”, “He should be..” so on and so forth.  And with a few of the omitted Hall of Famer’s not on Retired Row, they may just have a case…. but I’ve covered this very argument in earlier editions of this same blog and this particular entry is not for that reason….

So let’s recap.  The Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.  The All-Time Red Sox leaders in statistics.  The National Baseball Hall of Fame.  Retired Row.

The basics are set.

Ted and Yaz were the only real givens.

Now we get to the difficult part.  Who gets added to the list and where do they get placed?  Should it be a ‘Top 5’ or a ‘Top 10’?  Aside from a minimum number of at bats or appearances, what qualifications should allow for a player to be named ‘Top’ or ‘Best of’ for the Red Sox?  Championships are certainly out the door otherwise we’d have to disqualify one of the Greatest Players to Never Win a Title in Williams, and that renders pennants useless as well.  If we go just on statistics, it may give an advantage to players who climbed the numbers ladder due to longevity and not superb ability.. but if they didn’t have the ability, one would think they never would have had the longevity.

Rice. Clemens. Evans. The Million Dollar Outfield of Speaker, Hooper and Lewis. Ortiz. Ruth. Vaughn. The Teammates of DiMaggio, Pesky and Doerr. Lynn. Pedroia. Collins. Schilling. Young. Foxx. Tiant. Garciaparra. Varitek. Boggs.  Wakefield. Cronin. Grove. Youkilis. Fisk… to name a few.

Decisions, decisions.

The Red Sox Hall of Fame…

With questions of ‘The Best’ or ‘Top 5’, ‘Top 10’ and so on I figured I’d take a moment to look over the hallowed halls of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.

These are the basics…

The Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame was instituted in 1995 to recognize the careers of former Boston Red Sox baseball players. A 15-member selection committee of Red Sox broadcasters and executives, past and present media personnel, and representatives from The Sports Museum of New England and the BoSox Club are responsible for nominating candidates.

The criteria for selection into the Hall is as follows:

  • Player to be eligible for nomination must have played a minimum of three years with the Boston Red Sox and must also have been out of uniform as an active player a minimum of three years.
  • Non-uniformed honorees such as broadcasters and front office execs are inducted by a unanimous vote of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame selection committee. The memorable moment will be chosen by the committee as well.
  • Former Boston Red Sox players and personnel in the National Baseball Hall of Fame (NBHOF) in Cooperstown, New York will be automatically enshrined in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
1995
  • Tony Conigliaro
  • Joe Cronin (1956 NBHOF)
  • Dom DiMaggio
  • Bobby Doerr (1986 NBHOF)
  • Jean R. Yawkey (front office)
  • Frank Malzone
  • Johnny Pesky
  • Jim Rice (2009 NBHOF)
  • Babe Ruth (1936 NBHOF)
  • Ted Williams (1966 NBHOF)
  • Smoky Joe Wood
  • Carl Yastrzemski (1989 NBHOF)
1997
  • Carlton Fisk (2000 NBHOF)
  • Jimmie Foxx (1951 NBHOF)
  • Harry Hooper (1971 NBHOF)
  • Dick O’Connell (front office)
  • Mel Parnell
  • Rico Petrocelli
  • Dick Radatz
  • Luis Tiant
  • Cy Young (1937 NBHOF)
2000
  • Ken Coleman (broadcaster)
  • Dwight Evans
  • Larry Gardner
  • Curt Gowdy
  • Jackie Jensen
  • Ned Martin (broadcaster)
  • Bill Monbouquette
  • Reggie Smith
  • Tris Speaker (1937 NBHOF)
  • Bob Stanley
2002
  • Rick Burleson
  • Boo Ferriss
  • Lou Gorman
  • John Harrington
  • Tex Hughson
  • Duffy Lewis
  • Jim Lonborg
  • Fred Lynn
2004
  • Wade Boggs (2005 NBHOF)
  • Bill Carrigan
  • Jimmy Collins (1945 NBHOF)
  • Dennis Eckersley (2004 NBHOF)
  • Billy Goodman
  • Bruce Hurst
  • Ben Mondor (Pawtucket Red Sox owner)
  • Pete Runnels
  • Haywood Sullivan (front office)
2006
  • Dick Bresciani (front office)
  • Ellis Kinder
  • Joe Morgan (manager)
  • Jerry Remy (player and broadcaster)
  • George Scott
  • Vern Stephens
  • Dick Williams (manager) (2008 NBHOF)
2008
  • George Digby (scout)
  • Wes Ferrell
  • Mike Greenwell
  • Edward Kenney, Sr. (front office)
  • Bill Lee
  • Everett Scott
  • Frank Sullivan
  • Mo Vaughn
2009
  • Jim Rice (2009 NBHOF)
2010
  • John Valentin
  • Don Zimmer
  • Tommy Harper
  • Eddie Kasko
  • Jimmy Piersall

Memorable moments

  • 1995: Roger Clemens’ first 20-strikeout game in 1986
  • 1995: Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series
  • 2000: Dave Henderson’s game-winning home run in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series
  • 2002: Earl Wilson’s no-hitter on June 26, 1962
  • 2004: Bernie Carbo’s pinch-hit home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series
  • 2006: Dave Roberts’ steal of second base in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series
  • 2008: Ted Williams’ home run in his final Major League at-bat on September 28, 1960, versus the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park
  • 2010: Tom Brunansky’s diving catch of Ozzie Guillén’s line drive in the ninth inning of the season ending game that preserved the Red Sox victory sending them to the 1990 playoffs

And all of this information, sadly, still doesn’t lend itself to the easy selection of ‘Top Something Red Sox of all-time’.  So I guess we’ll have to do it the hard way and look at the facts, stat for stat, player by player… oh boy.  Now, to weave through the enormous bulk of the statistics and the lesser players who exist in the higher end of all-time numbers through the merit of less time served, I’m planning on setting a minimum of 800 games played in a Red Sox uniform.

Batting Average:                          Home Runs:

1. Ted Williams      .344                  Ted Williams         521

2. Wade Boggs       .338                  C. Yastrzemski      452

3. Tris Speaker       .337                  Jim Rice                 382

4. N. Garciaparra   .323                 Dwight Evans        379

5. Jimmie Foxx       .320                 David Ortiz*          310

6. Johnny Pesky      .313                 Manny Ramirez    274

7. Manny Ramirez  .312                 Mo Vaughn             230

8. Fred Lynn            .308                Bobby Doerr           223

9. Billy Goodman    .306                Jimmie Foxx         222

10. Mo Vaughn        .304                Rico Petrocelli      210

Runs Batted In:                           Games:

C. Yastrzemski      1844                  C. Yastrzemski     3308

Ted Williams         1839                  Dwight Evans       2505

Jim Rice                 1451                   Ted Williams        2292

Dwight Evans        1346                   Jim Rice                2089

Bobby Doerr          1247                   Bobby Doerr         1865

David Ortiz*           987                    Harry Hooper      1647

Manny Ramirez    868                    Wade Boggs          1625

Jimmie Foxx          788                    Rico Petrocelli      1553

Rico Petrocelli       773                    Jason Varitek*      1520

Mo Vaughn            752                     Dom DiMaggio    1399

Doubles:                                          Triples:

1. C. Yastrzemski      646                 Harry Hooper        130

2. Ted Williams         525                 Tris Speaker          106

3. Dwight Evans        474                Buck Freeman        90

4. Wade Boggs           422                Bobby Doerr           89

5. Bobby Doerr          381                 Larry Gardner        87

6. Jim Rice                 373                 Jim Rice                   79

7. David Ortiz*           331                 ‘Hobe’ Ferris           77

8. Dom DiMaggio      308               Dwight Evans          72

9. Jason Varitek*       305               Ted Williams            71

10. N. Garciaparra     279               Freddy Parent          63

Bases on Balls:                                Runs Scored:

Ted Williams         2019                     C. Yastrzemski      1816

C. Yastrzemski      1845                      Ted Williams        1798

Dwight Evans        1337                      Dwight Evans       1435

Wade Boggs          1004                       Jim Rice                1249

Harry Hooper        826                      Bobby Doerr        1094

Bobby Doerr          809                       Wade Boggs         1067

Dom DiMaggio      750                       Dom DiMaggio    1046

David Ortiz*           734                       Harry Hooper       988

Jim Rice                 670                        David Ortiz*          812

Rico Petrocelli       661                        Johnny Pesky       776

For the same reason of wading through the massive amount of statistics, I limited my selections of pitchers to a minimum 200 appearances in a Red Sox uniform.

Wins:                                             Earned Run Average:

1. Roger Clemens      192               Joe Wood                 1.99

2. Cy Young                192               Cy Young                  2.00

3. Tim Wakefield*     184              Dutch Leonard         2.13

4. Mel Parnell             123              Pedro Martinez        2.52

5. Luis Tiant                122              George Winter         2.91

6. Pedro Martinez      117               Tex Huson               2.94

7. Joe Wood                 117              Roger Clemens        3.06

8. Bob Stanley             115              Ellis Kinder              3.28

9. Joe Dobson             106             Lefty Grove               3.34

10. Lefty Grove            105             Luis Tiant                  3.36

Strikeouts:                                     Complete Games:

Roger Clemens         2590               Cy Young               275

Tim Wakefield*       1993                George Winter      141

Pedro Martinez        1683                Joe Wood              121

Cy Young                   1341                Lefty Grove           119

Luis Tiant                  1075                Mel Parnell           113

Bruce Hurst             1043                 Luis Tiant              113

Joe Wood                  986                  Roger Clemens     100

B. Monbouquette     969                 Tex Huson              99

Frank Sullivan          821                 Dutch Leonard       96

Jim Lonborg             784                 Joe Dobson            90

Innings Pitched:                               Shutouts:

1. Tim Wakefield*         2933.0          Roger Clemens          38

2. Roger Clemens          2776.0          Cy Young                    38

3. Cy Young                    2728.1           Joe Wood                   28

4.  Luis Tiant                  1774.2           Luis Tiant                   26

5. Mel Parnell                 1752.2          Dutch Leonard           25

6. Bob Stanley                1707.0          Mel Parnell                 20

7. B. Monbouquette      1622.0          Tex Huson                   19

8. George Winter           1599.2          Joe Dobson                 17

9. Joe Dobson                1544.0          B. Monbouquette       16

10. Lefty Grove              1539.2           Lefty Grove                 15

Saves have been included simply for historical significance.  I’m listing the full top ten, but lowering the minimum to 100 appearances in a Red Sox uniform.

Saves:

1. Jon Papelbon*               208

2. Bob Stanley                    132

3. Dick Radatz                    104

4. Ellis Kinder                      91

5. Jeff Reardon                    88

6. Derek Lowe*                    85

7. Sparky Lyle                      69

8. Tom Gordon                    68

9. Lee Smith                         58

10. Bill Campbell                 51

Now a lot of names repeat themselves in these lists of all-time stats, while a few names were omitted for lack of appearances, such as Pete Runnels for a few hitting categories and pitchers Jon Lester and Josh Beckett for strikeouts as well as Babe Ruth for a number of pitching categories including ERA (4th with 2.19), complete games (8th with 105) and shutouts (11th with 17).  I left out stats such as Extra Base Hits, Slugging and On-Base percentages as they were simply more of the same names in different order.  You can view them yourself here:  http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/history/all_time_leaders.jsp

Okay, there are the stats for the most part (no, I’m not including fielding stats because a few of the categories are geared towards infielders, particularly first basemen and catchers), so lets take a look at award winners.

Most Valuable Player: This is the BBWAA MVP award created in 1931, and does not include the Chalmers Award (1911–1914) or the League Awards (1922–1929).

Dustin Pedroia* (2008), Mo Vaughn (1995), Roger Clemens (1986), Jim Rice (1978), Fred Lynn (1975), Yaz (1967), Jackie Jensen (1958), Ted Williams (1949 & 1946) and Jimmie Foxx (1938).

Rookie of the Year:

Dustin Pedroia (2007), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), Fred Lynn (1975), Carlton Fisk (1972), Don Schwall (1961) and Walt Dropo (1950).

Now lets take a look at a few more historical league leaders…

… We’ll cover hitting first…

Batting Champions
Year Player Average
2003 Bill Mueller .326
2002 Manny Ramirez .349
2000 Nomar Garciaparra .372
1999 Nomar Garciaparra .357
1988 Wade Boggs .366
1987 Wade Boggs .363
1986 Wade Boggs .357
1985 Wade Boggs .368
1983 Wade Boggs .361
1981 Carney Lansford .336
1979 Fred Lynn .333
1968 Carl Yastrzemski .301
1967 Carl Yastrzemski .326
1963 Carl Yastrzemski .321
1962 Pete Runnels .326
1960 Pete Runnels .320
1958 Ted Williams .328
1957 Ted Williams .388
1950 Billy Goodman .354
1948 Ted Williams .369
1947 Ted Williams .343
1942 Ted Williams .356
1941 Ted Williams .406
1938 Jimmie Foxx .349
1932 Dale Alexander .367
Home Run Champions
Year Player HR
1984 Tony Armas 43
1983 Jim Rice 39
1981 Dwight Evans 22
1978 Jim Rice 46
1977 Jim Rice 39
1967 Carl Yastrzemski 44
1965 Tony Conigliaro 32
1949 Ted Williams 43
1947 Ted Williams 32
1942 Ted Williams 36
1941 Ted Williams 37
1939 Jimmie Foxx 35
1919 Babe Ruth 29
1918 Babe Ruth 11
1912 Tris Speaker 10
1910 Jake Stahl 10
1903 Buck Freeman 13
Triple Crown: Batting
Year Player Avg., HR, RBIs
1967 Carl Yastrzemski .326, 44, 121
1947 Ted Williams .343, 32, 114
1942 Ted Williams .356, 36, 137

… And now the Pitching…

ERA Champions
Year Player ERA
2003 Pedro Martinez 2.22
2002 Pedro Martinez 2.26
2000 Pedro Martinez 1.74
1999 Pedro Martinez 2.07
1992 Roger Clemens 2.41
1991 Roger Clemens 2.62
1990 Roger Clemens 1.93
1986 Roger Clemens 2.48
1972 Luis Tiant 1.91
1949 Mel Parnell 2.78
1939 Lefty Grove 2.54
1938 Lefty Grove 3.08
1936 Lefty Grove 2.81
1935 Lefty Grove 2.70
1916 Babe Ruth 1.75
1915 Joe Wood 1.49
1914 Dutch Leonard 0.96
1901 Cy Young 1.62
Strikeout Champions
Year Player Strikeouts
2002 Pedro Martinez 239
2001 Hideo Nomo 220
2000 Pedro Martinez 284
1999 Pedro Martinez 313
1996 Roger Clemens 257
1991 Roger Clemens 241
1988 Roger Clemens 291
1967 Jim Lonborg 246
1942 Tex Hughson 113
1901 Cy Young 158
Triple Crown: Pitching
Year Player Wins, ERA, Ks
1999 Pedro Martinez 23, 2.07, 313
1901 Cy Young 33, 1.62, 158
Cy Young
Pedro Martinez 2000
Pedro Martinez 1999
Roger Clemens 1991
Roger Clemens 1987
Roger Clemens 1986
Jim Lonborg 1967

Now, for the sake of being fairly thorough and not wanting to completely leave the legendary defensive efforts in limbo, here are the list of Gold Glove Winners…

Gold Gloves
Player Pos Year
Dustin Pedroia 2B 2008
Jason Varitek C 2005
Tony Peña C 1991
Ellis Burks OF 1990
Dwight Evans OF 1985
Dwight Evans OF 1984
Dwight Evans OF 1983
Dwight Evans OF 1982
Dwight Evans OF 1981
Fred Lynn OF 1980
Fred Lynn OF 1979
Dwight Evans OF 1979
Rick Burleson SS 1979
Fred Lynn OF 1978
Dwight Evans OF 1978
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1977
Dwight Evans OF 1976
Fred Lynn OF 1975
Doug Griffin 2B 1972
Carlton Fisk C 1972
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1971
George Scott 1B 1971
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1969
Reggie Smith OF 1968
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1968
George Scott 1B 1968
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1967
George Scott 1B 1967
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1965
Carl Yastrzemski OF 1963
Jackie Jensen OF 1959
Frank Malzone 3B 1959
Jim Piersall CF 1958
Frank Malzone 3B 1958
Frank Malzone 3B 1957

So, has any of this cemented anything?  No… but it has provided a little bit more depth into the varied history of the players who have worn the Red, White and Blue of the Boston Americans across the many decades.  Looking at a few of these league leading categories, it also sheds some light on periods where offense seemed to overshadow pitching and how both seemed to dwarf defense… but then again, the Yawkey regime was always known for the sizzle of the home run show over the actual steak of baseball.

Okay, for the next installment I’ll be looking at those who are inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and probably a few players who should have been but weren’t.  Hey, you can’t make an omelete without breaking some eggs and sure as hell can’t have any sort of ‘Best of…’ or ‘Top (insert number here)..’ list without a little controversy.

Retired Numbers

This was a post from some time ago.. but I still feel it’s rather an important perspective from a member of ‘The Nation’.

 

Let’s take a break from the heavy lifting today and cover something we all care about…. Red Sox retired numbers.

Now as we all know (unless you’re a caveman living under a rock.. no wait, they have car insurance so no excuses) the Sox finally retired Jim Ed’s #14.  The number had not been worn since he took it off in 1989 (except by himself during the coaching days) but couldn’t be raised to ‘Retired Row’ because hRetired row.jpge hadn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Yet Johnny Pesky had his number retired last year and did not meet such criteria.

Stop!

I’m not even going to go down that long and winding slippery slope of saying “Pesky doesn’t deserve it” or “Why is his there?” or anything like it.  Pesky’s #6 belongs there all day long, which brings me to my point…. so do a few others!

Pesky’s number was worn by a few guys to say the least before being retired but not in this century that I can recall.  Buckner (1st term of service), Tony Pena and Damon Berryhill to name a few wore it.  Pesky didn’t play 10 seasons with the Sox, retire a Red Sox or be elected to the Hall and still deserved the honor for his 60+ years of service to the hometown team.  Maybe we should consider a way to ‘honor’ a number without retiring it…?

Try this.  Dom DiMaggio.jpgLet’s use Dom DiMaggio and Dwight Evans for example (everyone will have a candidate, I’m sure… Boggs, Clemens, Tiant, Tony C., and dozens more).  Dom wore the number 7 which has most recently been worn by Christopher “Home Run Trot” Nixon and J.D. Drew.  If we put his number up, do we take it from Drew in some Ray Bourque to Espo notion?  No… high numbers in baseball look weak because of the prospect or minor league call up stigma.  Even if you are J.T. Snow wearing dad’s Patriots’ number.

The numbers on ‘Retired Row’ are fashioned after the Sox home jersey colors, so let’s take the ‘honored’ numbers (as compared to retired) and put them in the road colors.  Same size, just make the rear circle gray and the number a dark navy.  Perhaps even fashion a jersey styled name plate atop the number (made smaller to look proper) to remind everone of just who it is honoring or if honoring two great players who wore the number (Manny and Evans for sh!ts and giggles).  Place the numbers on ‘Retired Row’, past Jackie’s 42 or find another spot to display them, perhaps the top of the right field bleachers wall, and the Bleacher Creature’s can place the strikeout K’s below them during a game.

This way we see the ‘honored’ #7 for Dom, who didn’t meet the retired number criteria as set by the Red Sox organization but you can still give him his due in Sox history Dewey.jpgas a member of the ’46 team, a fantastic multi-time All-Star and all around teammate.  Same for Dwight Evans.  24 is forever going to be linked to Manny Being Manny, but for nearly twenty years and two World Series (including his part in one of the greatest Series’ ever) it was Dewey’s.  Put it up in road colors to ‘honor’ the player and his place in Sox history.  Same for Jimmy Foxx, Wade Boggs and Luis Tiant… two HOF’s who had excellent runs with the Sox and one great personality who epitomized the team and the city if even for just a few short years.  Just think, Wakefield probably won’t make it to the Hall, but we can still see his number resting proudly for generations to come, in his specific memory.

Now I know a lot of people like the Red Sox organizational criteria for having a number retired, it seperates us from the Yankees who seem to have maybe three or four numbers under 20 available (with #2 definately out of service and #6 most likely for Torre) and a long storied history of monument park.  Well, it’s like the Celtics people, when you are the penultimate dynasty in your sport who wins decade after decade, you have great players and recognize them.  I’m not saying I agree with it, but the loyalty factor is undeniable.  This way, we won’t take the numbers out of circulation and still give the ‘honored’ player his due.  If it’s done with class, as is most everything the Sox do, it can be something very special.  Special to the memories of the Fans.  Special to memories of the Player.  Special to the ongoing tradition of Red Sox Baseball.

Retired Numbers

Let’s take a break from the heavy lifting today and cover something we all care about…. Red Sox retired numbers.

Now as we all know (unless you’re a caveman living under a rock.. no wait, they have car insurance so no excuses) the Sox finally retired Jim Ed’s #14.  The number had not been worn since he took it off in 1989 (except by himself during the coaching days) but couldn’t be raised to ‘Retired Row’ because hRetired row.jpge hadn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Yet Johnny Pesky had his number retired last year and did not meet such criteria. 

Stop!

I’m not even going to go down that long and winding slippery slope of saying “Pesky doesn’t deserve it” or “Why is his there?” or anything like it.  Pesky’s #6 belongs there all day long, which brings me to my point…. so do a few others!

Pesky’s number was worn by a few guys to say the least before being retired but not in this century that I can recall.  Buckner (1st term of service), Tony Pena and Damon Berryhill to name a few wore it.  Pesky didn’t play 10 seasons with the Sox, retire a Red Sox or be elected to the Hall and still deserved the honor for his 60+ years of service to the hometown team.  Maybe we should consider a way to ‘honor’ a number without retiring it…?

Try this.  Dom DiMaggio.jpgLet’s use Dom DiMaggio and Dwight Evans for example (everyone will have a candidate, I’m sure… Boggs, Clemens, Tiant, Tony C., and dozens more).  Dom wore the number 7 which has most recently been worn by Christopher “Home Run Trot” Nixon and J.D. Drew.  If we put his number up, do we take it from Drew in some Ray Bourque to Espo notion?  No… high numbers in baseball look weak because of the prospect or minor league call up stigma.  Even if you are J.T. Snow wearing dad’s Patriots’ number.  

The numbers on ‘Retired Row’ are fashioned after the Sox home jersey colors, so let’s take the ‘honored’ numbers (as compared to retired) and put them in the road colors.  Same size, just make the rear circle gray and the number a dark navy.  Perhaps even fashion a jersey styled name plate atop the number (made smaller to look proper) to remind everone of just who it is honoring or if honoring two great players who wore the number (Manny and Evans for sh!ts and giggles).  Place the numbers on ‘Retired Row’, past Jackie’s 42 or find another spot to display them, perhaps the top of the right field bleachers wall, and the Bleacher Creature’s can place the strikeout K’s below them during a game.

This way we see the ‘honored’ #7 for Dom, who didn’t meet the retired number criteria as set by the Red Sox organization but you can still give him his due in Sox history Dewey.jpgas a member of the ’46 team, a fantastic multi-time All-Star and all around teammate.  Same for Dwight Evans.  24 is forever going to be linked to Manny Being Manny, but for nearly twenty years and two World Series (including his part in one of the greatest Series’ ever) it was Dewey’s.  Put it up in road colors to ‘honor’ the player and his place in Sox history.  Same for Jimmy Foxx, Wade Boggs and Luis Tiant… two HOF’s who had excellent runs with the Sox and one great personality who epitomized the team and the city if even for just a few short years.  Just think, Wakefield probably won’t make it to the Hall, but we can still see his number resting proudly for generations to come, in his specific memory. 

Now I know a lot of people like the Red Sox organizational criteria for having a number retired, it seperates us from the Yankees who seem to have maybe three or four numbers under 20 available (with #2 definately out of service and #6 most likely for Torre) and a long storied history of monument park.  Well, it’s like the Celtics people, when you are the penultimate dynasty in your sport who wins decade after decade, you have great players and recognize them.  I’m not saying I agree with it, but the loyalty factor is undeniable.  This way, we won’t take the numbers out of circulation and still give the ‘honored’ player his due.  If it’s done with class, as is most everything the Sox do, it can be something very special.  Special to the memories of the Fans.  Special to memories of the Player.  Special to the ongoing tradition of Red Sox Baseball.