Red Sox: Who gets their number retired next?

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Now that Wade Boggs is set to have his number retired at Fenway Park, which Boston Red Sox legend will be next to receive the honor?

Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox rectified a long overdue tragedy by announcing this week that Wade Boggs will have his number retired at Fenway Park next May.

Boggs was inducted into Cooperstown a decade ago, but the Red Sox didn’t feel compelled to immediately honor him the way they did for recent inductees Jim Rice and Pedro Martinez. Why was that?

Perhaps it’s due to rules established by the previous ownership regime, which dictated that a player must have spent at least 10 years with the franchise, be a member of the baseball Hall of Fame and have finished their career as a member of the Red Sox. Under that criteria it would very difficult to find deserving candidates.

Luckily John Henry‘s ownership group has exploited some loopholes in those rules. Carlton Fisk didn’t finish his career in a Red Sox uniform, but the team hired him as a consultant after his playing days were over. Pedro also didn’t end his career here and his stint in Boston lasted only 8 years, but he’s currently working in the organization as a consultant.

Boggs is a different story. Not only did he not finish his career in Boston, but he left to join the rival New York Yankees, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of many Red Sox fans. Since his playing days concluded after the 1999 season, Boggs has not worked with the Red Sox organization in any capacity, so there is no loophole to explain why the franchise is deviating from the asinine rules that have governed this process for years.

Retiring No. 26 paves the way for other Red Sox legends that don’t meet the typical criteria to have their numbers honored. With that in mind, let’s explore some options of who may be the next former Red Sox player to have their number retired after Boggs.

Next: Luis Tiant