Boston Red Sox wishes: Players who should have called Fenway home

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Number Nine

Gary Sheffield
Fenway Park Stats: 51 G, 225 PA, .307/.382/.497, 7 HR, 29 RBI

Played all over the diamond and for eight different teams. As hard a swing as you will ever see and a line drive hitter supreme. With 509 home runs and 1676 career RBI you have an idea of what Sheff did his entire career.

Sheffield would also put on a display in batting practice that would leave fans mesmerized with the way balls jumped off his bat. Players shagging balls would have to pay attention since a rocket could be coming your way.

Number Eight

Ralph Kiner
Fenway Park Stats: 9 G, 32 PA, .370/.438/.741, 3 HR, 6 RBI

Kiner finished up his HOF career with the White Sox and I saw him hit one out at Fenway in 1955. By then the 32-year-old Kiner was playing on memory since his back woes would drive him into an early retirement.

“Home run hitters drive Cadillac’s and singles hitters drive Fords.” Was supposed to be credited to Kiner who led the NL in home runs for seven consecutive years while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Even though the Pirates had shortened left field at Forbes Field for Hank Greenberg – yet it still remained a considerable distance. In his prime, Kiner may have broken Ruth’s single season home run record if he played at Fenway Park.

Number Seven

Gorman Thomas
Fenway Park Stats: 71 G, 271 PA, .230/.325/.494, 16 HR, 39 RBI

A fan favorite at Fenway Park when he would be stationed in center field and jabber with the bleacher mob. You could not get under this guy’s skin and the fans loved him. I saw a fan toss him a ball Thomas had hit out and Gorman signed it and tossed it back.

Thomas twice led the AL in home runs and finished his career with a dismal .225 career batting average. Gorman could also rack up strike outs with relative ease and twice led the AL. But “Stormin’ Gorman” was an exceptional fielder with a strong and accurate arm. As a hitter, he had that great loft to the ball that was perfect for Fenway Park.

Number Six

Dave Kingman
Fenway Park Stats: 20 G, 84 PA, .276/.345/.816, 13 HR, 21 RBI

Yes – that Kingman, but look at that Fenway stat line. Twice Kingman – a career .236 hitter – led the league in home runs and three times in strike outs. In his last season as a 37-year-old Kingman hit 35 home runs for Oakland and was not brought back to MLB. A .210 average and a pile of K’s did not help.

Kingman hit towering home runs. He hit a moon shot type ball that would sail into the evening and dent cars in the parking garage beyond left field. Kingman put on a show at Fenway and if you extrapolate those numbers he may have hit 40 at Fenway.