Boston Red Sox top 25-man roster in franchise history

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Babe Ruth

Career Stats: 94 W, 4 SV, 2.28 ERA, 3.60 K/9, 3.25 BB/9, 12.4 WAR
With Red Sox: 89 W, 4 SV, 2.19 ERA, 3.65 K/9, 3.21 BB/9, 12.3 WAR

Omitting Ruth from a spot on any all-time Boston Red Sox roster would be similar to expunging Da Vinci from a conversation on the great minds of the Renaissance or George Washington from a list of great presidents of the United States.  Ruth had as much influence as any player in the history of the game, as he was the absolute best player in MLB history.

The story of Ruth is well known, by even the most casual of fan and leaves no need to repeat the obvious regarding his youth, voracious appetite for life, cultural influence, worldwide recognition, and quite possibly saving baseball itself from the Black Sox Scandal.  But this is about Ruth in Boston.

Ruth arrived in Boston as a 19-year-old in 1914 and managed a 2-1 record in three starts.  The next four seasons became the core seasons for arguably one of the best left-handers in the American League. Ruth went 78-40 in that time frame, but in 1918 appeared in 95 games in a season that ended on September 1st with flu and war issues. That year Ruth was 13-7 and led the league in home runs and OPS.  His total of 11 home runs exceeded the total of four other teams in the league. In that four-year span Ruth led all American League pitchers at least once in ERA, complete games, shutouts and games started.

In 1919 Ruth’s pitching record was 9-5 in 15 starts and he captured another home run title, setting a new standard with 29. Ruth also led the league in runs, RBI and had an OPS of 1.114. Ruth held the World Series record for consecutive shutout innings and compiled a WS record of 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA.

Ruth’s next stop was with the New York Yankees and best to leave that alone.

Next: Closer