Jamie Gatlin | June 9th, 2020
The Boston Red Sox are one of the most storied franchises in baseball history. Over the past two decades they have been one of the most successful by winning three titles with the latest one coming in 2018.
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In over 100 years many baseball legends have called Boston home. Narrowing down this list was no easy task showing just how good the players are that made this list.
Ted Williams ( 1939- 1960)
While Williams’s career ended over half a century ago, he is still considered the greatest hitter who ever lived. During Williams’s legendary run in Boston, he won two MVP awards and was a nineteen-time All-Star. The Red Sox Left Fielder finished his career with a .482 OBP, which is still the highest in MLB history.
Additionally, In 1941 Williams finished the season with a .533 on-base percentage, which was never topped in the 20th century. He also finished in the top ten of the AL MVP voting ten 12 times, winning it twice. During William’s career in Boston, he was a 19-time All-Star and won six batting titles.
Although Williams statistics speak for themselves, they are even more impressive considering that he missed five years due to military service. Despite missing those years, Williams is the all-time franchise leader in home runs and batting average. He also has the highest OPS in MLB history and ranks second in slugging percentage
Over the years, Williams’s place in MLB history has remained unchanged. The best representation of his impact, however, came at the 1999 All-Star game when baseballs best got a brush of greatness.
David Ortiz ( 2003- 2016)
Over the last two decades, no player has been more beloved in Boston than David Ortiz. The franchise icon arrived in Boston in January of 2003 after being released by the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox signed Ortiz to a one year deal and the rest was history.
Ortiz spent the next 14 years in Boston, where he hit 483 home runs and 1768 runs batted in. During his tenure, the Red Sox won three championships, all of which would have been impossible without Ortiz’s clutch hitting. In 18 playoff series with Boston Ortiz hit 17 home runs and had 61 runs batted in.
While his statistics speak for themselves, Ortiz was more than just a baseball player for the Red Sox. After the Boston Marathon Bombings, he was a key contributor to the city’s recovery and delivered a speech to the Fenway faithful that will never be forgotten. Ortiz takes first place on this list for his performance on the field and what he did for Boston off of it.
Pedro Martinez ( 1998- 2004)
The third name on this list is one of the main reasons Ortiz ended up in Boston. The Red Sox acquired Martinez in 1997 from the Montreal Expos. Martinez was on the verge of free agency and signed a six-year $75 million deal with Boston following the trade. Over the next six years, Martinez would turn in one of the dominant stretches in Red Sox history.
In six years in Boston, Martinez went 117-37 with an ERA of 2.52. The Dominican native won two Cy Young awards and finished in the top five-six times. The former ace led the league in strikeouts three times and ERA twice. He also helped bring a championship to Boston in 2004, ending their 86 year drought.
Although Martinez left after the 2004 season, his dominance in Boston will be hard to match. He has continued to make his impact felt as he worked with Red Sox pitchers over the years, including Eduardo Rodriguez. While his playing days are over he continues to be a big part of the Red Sox success.
Carl Yastrzemski ( 1961- 1983)
For baseball fans across the world, Carl Yastrzemski is a household name. Yastrzemski made his MLB debut just one year after Ted Williams retired and was asked to fill the shoes of a baseball legend. While to many that would have been an impossible task, the Red Sox struck gold with Yastrzemski.
In Yastrzemski’s 23 year career in Boston he made the All-Star team 18 times. During that span he was also ableto win one MVP and fin ished in the top ten voting wise five times. The New York native finished his career with 3, 419 hits and 452 home runs.
Additionally, the Red Sox outfielder won a triple crown and was apart of the “Impossible Dream” team. While Yaz never won a title in the two postseasons he did appear in, he had an OPS of 1.047. While Yastrzemski had a remarkable career, he was a perfect fit in a city that he became a legend. For a franchise that went nearly 100 years without a title having Williams and Yastrzemski helped ease the pain.
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