Here we will take a look at one of the Red Sox’s greatest players and, even though he played for the hated Bronx Bombers, Wade Boggs will be remembered as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Boggs was born in 1958 in Nebraska. However, he spent most of his life in Tampa, where he would eventually play. He graduated from Plant High School in 1976. Here’s a scouting report on Boggs from his days in high school:
Before breaking into the Major Leagues, Boggs would play in the longest game in baseball history with the Pawtucket Red Sox. If you have ever been to McCoy Stadium and have seen their proud display of this game, you know what game this is. Boggs played in a game lasting eight hours and 25 minutes and running for 33 innings! If you cannot imagine sitting through a game this long, I can only imagine how the players felt.
Judging from his .335 batting average, 167 hits, and 41 doubles in his last year in the minors; I think Boggs may have been fine with playing for that long.
If you need a comparison for how good Boggs was for the Red Sox, think of Ichiro Suzuki in his prime. Boggs won five consecutive batting titles starting in 1983. In fact from 1982 to 1988, Boggs hit below .349 only once. In 1984, he only hit .325, which is still impressive. In addition, Boggs collected 200 hits in seven straight seasons, which was a Major League record that lasted until Ichiro himself broke it.
Boggs still owns one Red Sox record: his career batting average at Fenway Park was an insane .369. I do not think even David Ortiz will break that mark.
In his only World Series appearance for the Red Sox, Boggs and the Sox lost to the Mets in seven games in 1986. Here’s a video of him from his playing days with the Sox:
In 1992, Boggs suffered from a career-worst season where he batted .259. After, he was pursued by the Yankees and Dodgers. He chose the rival Yankees because they offered him a third year to the deal that the Dodgers would not.
Boggs went on to continue his success for the Yankees making three straight All-Star appearances and adding two Gold Glove Awards. In 1996, Boggs helped the Yankees win their first World Series title in 18 years. In one memorable moment, Boggs jumped on the back of an NYPD horse after their clinching victory in Game 6 although Boggs had a self-professed fear of horses.
Boggs’ final seasons with Tampa Bay were definitely memorable as he not only hit the first home run in Devil Rays’ history, but he also captured his 3,000th hit with a home run as well. Only Derek Jeter recorded a homer for his 3000th hit. You can see the video here:
Boggs retired in 1999 after sustaining a knee injury. His final career batting average of .328 and 3,010 hits are simply incredible. You can see his full line of stats here:
In 1999, Boggs ranked #95 on Sporting News list of 100 greatest players. In 2005 Boggs was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as he joins the rest of baseball immortality. Currently, the former Red Sox star resides in Tampa with his wife and two kids.
December of 2015 the Sox decided to burry the hatchet once and for all and retire Boggs’ 26 in a ceremony on May 26, 2016.