Boston Red Sox top 25-man roster in franchise history
By Sean Penney
Career Stats: 197 W, 390 SV, 3.50 ERA, 6.58 K/9, 2.02 BB/9, 61.8 WAR
With Red Sox: 88 W, 1 SV, 3.93 ERA, 5.06 K/9, 2.05 BB/9, 18.8 WAR
Known for being one of the game’s most dominant closers during the late 80’s – early 90’s, Dennis Eckersely was also one of the game’s best starters in his earlier years with the Red Sox.
Eck came to Boston in 1978 on the heels of his first All-Star appearance in his final year with the Cleveland Indians. He delivered back-to-back seasons with a 2.99 ERA in his first two seasons with the Red Sox, finishing 4th and 7th respectively in the Cy Young race.
Eckersley was an All-Star in ’82, but broke down the falling season when he posted the first losing record (9-13) of his career to go along with a brutal 5.61 ERA. A shoulder injury derailed the start of his season in ’84, leading the Red Sox to trade him to the Chicago Cubs mid-season for former batting champ Bill Buckner. You may have heard of him.
The Hall of Fame credentials were primarily built based off of his career after he left Boston, but Eckersley was still a successful starter for six-plus seasons with the Red Sox. He ranks inside the top-20 in team history in wins and WAR among starting pitchers and even recorded the final save of his career in his otherwise forgettable return to Boston to wrap up his career in 1998.
Eck now works for NESN and occasionally fills in as the color commentator on Red Sox broadcasts, where he has taught fans vital baseball terminology, such as “Moss”, “Salad” and “Cheese” of several different varieties.
Next: Bullpen Pitcher 3