Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs finally gets the recognition he deserves from the Boston Red Sox.
Last night, the Boston Red Sox honored Wade Boggs by retiring his jersey number 26.
Boggs became the ninth player in Red Sox history to have his number retired, joining Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, and Pedro Martinez on Fenway’s right field facade.
As he stood before the crowd at Fenway Park, Boggs, who spent eleven out of his eighteen year career with the Red Sox, got emotional as he reflected on his time in Boston.
“This is the greatest day of my life,’’ he said. “I’m glad that I’ve come back home. Boston will forever live in my heart. Boston Strong!’’
The retirement of Boggs’ number has been a subject of debate among Red Sox fans. Some have wondered why it took so long, and others have not forgiven Boggs for leaving Boston, and going to the Yankees, in 1993.
With the exception of Johnny Pesky and, of course, Jackie Robinson, the Red Sox only retire the numbers of players who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in a Red Sox uniform, and usually retire the players’ number that same year, like they have in recent years for Martinez, Rice, Fisk, and Yastrzemski.
It has been eleven years since Boggs’ induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Nonetheless, he is now where he deserves.
During his eleven year career with the Red Sox, Boggs recorded 2,098 of his 3,000 career hits, 85 home runs, 687 RBIs, and .338 batting average. He received eight All-Star selections and six Silver Slugger awards. He became a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004.
Two nights ago, on May 25, the organization also honored the 1986 Red Sox team, of which Boggs was a crucial member. The 1986 team is one that will forever be remembered in Red Sox history, after losing Game 6 of the World Series when a routine ground ball passed through first baseman Bill Buckner’s legs.
More from Red Sox News
- Latest Red Sox-Rafael Devers contract update might be final straw for fans
- Is Jean Segura the solution to Red Sox’ Trevor Story concerns?
- Xander Bogaerts issues emotional farewell to Red Sox on Instagram
- Kiké Hernández’s reaction to Justin Turner signing should hype up Red Sox fans
- Red Sox ‘in the mix’ for longtime Dodgers slugger Justin Turner
For those of us who were not alive or old enough to remember, the Buckner play may be the only thing we know about that season. And while it may still be hard to talk about that team, those who were old enough witnessed one of the greatest teams in Red Sox history who, for the first time since 1904, beat the Yankees in the American League East with a record of 95-66.
And, apart from perhaps Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs was the best player on that team, winning the American League Batting Championship, and leading the league in on base percentage (.453).
Red Sox fans will forever debate what happened in Game 6 of the World Series against the New York Mets. Should John McNamara have left Bill Buckner at first? Did he do so simply to have Buckner on the field when they won? Did he leave in Calvin Schiraldi because he was “his guy”? Do people put too much blame on Buckner, and not enough on Rich Gedman?
These questions will be debated until the end of time; however, Wednesday night’s ceremony reminded us that the 1986 Red Sox were one of the greatest teams in MLB history, and now that the Red Sox are the greatest team (so far) of this century, perhaps we should focus more on remembering the good and not the bad.