The Boston Red Sox have been one of if not the most storied franchise in MLB history. From the oldest still standing baseball stadium in Fenway Park to the years, it all began before World War I. During their 118 and counting years as a franchise, they have undergone many changes and had much success. Over these years, they have won nine World Series and 14 American League Championship pennants.
Also in these 118 years, there have been many absolutely amazing players to grace the field for the Red Sox. Of course, many of them have been enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
In this article, I will be going over the four most influential players in the Red Sox existence. This will be a combination of success with the Red Sox alone (therefore removing Babe Ruth).
Whenever the Boston Red Sox are mentioned, Ted Williams has to be at the forefront of most people’s memory. Ted was essentially the most storied, as well as the best player in franchise history. He will always be remembered for the “Red Seat”.
For those who don’t know, in Fenway Park, there is one seat in right field that is a different color from the rest, which are all green. This red seat is where Ted Williams absolutely demolished a home run in June of 1946, the ball was hit 502 feet from home plate.
This is the longest recorded home run in the stadium’s history, and to this day, the seat remains discolored to show that distance.
Delving off the home run alone, Ted had one of the most impressive careers a man could ask for.
He was a 19x all-star, 2x AL MVP, 2x Triple Crown, 6x AL batting champion, has the highest on-base percentage in history for a career at 48.2%. Along with these, he is also a part of three separate Hall of Fame buildings. Williams is in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, San Diego Padres Hall of Fame, and the MLB Hall of Fame. Williams made the MLB Hall of Fame on a 93.4% vote in his favor, which was absolutely astounding at the time.
Ted is also tied at 20th for most home runs hit in a career, at 521.The best part of all these stats? He missed five years of play due to WWII. If he had those extra years, he would likely be in the conversation of being the GOAT of baseball.
Carl Yastrzemski – “Yaz”
The list for Carl Yastrzemski about awards and career accolades just goes on and on, as he had a very long career. He played his whole 23-year career with Boston, from the age of 21 until retirement at age 43.
Carl is an 18x all-star, 1x triple crown, and 7x golden glove winner. He was also AL home run and RBI leader in 1967 and was inducted into both the Red Sox and MLB Hall of Fames. Carl was another player who was robbed of a full career, however. When he retired in 1983, he told news stations he played his last eight years with a damaged left shoulder. (Roughly 35% of his career with the injury!) This heavily impacted his ability at batting, but it didn’t show on the scoreboards. One impressive statistic is he was the first player ever to be in the 3,000 hit club and also have 400 home runs simultaneously.
Overall, Yaz had one of the longest tenures with only the Red Sox and proved his worth to the franchise as a whole.
First off, Curt Schilling left a unique legacy in Beantown. Curt only played three years for the Red Sox, but in those years, left one of the biggest marks on the team ever.
The reason Curt is seen as a legend in Boston was his performance in the 2004 ALCS. In Game 6 of this series, against their bitter rivals the New York Yankees, the Red Sox had been down in the series 3-2.
In Game 6, Curt Schilling pitched through an extremely gruesome ankle injury, and in the end, won the game for the team.
This ankle injury led to blood visibly draining into his shoe and soaking his sock. It is now referred to as the “bloody sock” or to some the ironic “Red Sock”. In February of 2013, the sock was sold at an auction for $92,613, which shows the true value of the item and its history to the franchise.
In addition, something many did not know until Kevin Millar came out and said it, is that according to him, the training staff did, “surgery in the training room” on Curt’s ankle. This is how dedicated Curt was to winning this 2004 series.
The true meaning of the 2004 ALCS and World Series however played a bigger role than being “just another game”. This would be the first World Series win for Boston in 85 years, which is the third-longest drought in MLB history. This World Series win would also go to start a chain of wins.
The Red Sox would capture three more championships within 15 years (2007, 2013, 2018).
(please note, this video is slightly gruesome as it shows the blood seeping through Curt’s sock.)
Lastly, we come to one of the most influential people in MLB history, Cy Young. Cy Young was honored in 1956 which was one year after his death. The MLB implemented an award to the best pitchers each year, the Cy Young Award.
Cy was one of the best pitchers in the early era of baseball. He won 1903 World Series, was a 5x wins leader, and pitched a perfect game in 1904.
Young also posted three no-hitters and was inducted into three Hall of Fames. The Red Sox Hall of Fame, Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame, and the MLB Hall of Fame.
In conclusion, he was essentially one of the major influencers for Boston during his 7-year stint there, while also combining it with fantastic play.
Who would be on your Mt. Rushmore for the Boston Red Sox? Leave a comment below.
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