Red Sox: A look back at Boston’s designated hitters legacy

Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) salutes the fans after the loss against the Cleveland Indians in game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) salutes the fans after the loss against the Cleveland Indians in game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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Reggie Jefferson had the nickname “The Miricle” among Red Sox fans and the left-handed Jefferson some (myself) would sarcastically say it would be a miracle if he could hit left-handed pitching. Jefferson finished as a career .300 hitter, but only .219 against lefties. That inability would end his career.

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In 1999 the Red Sox made the playoffs and Jefferson was left off the playoff roster. Jefferson had hit .277 during the regular season, but only .182 against lefties so the very petulant Jefferson simply departed never to play again. At 30-years-old and still productive Jefferson called it a career.

Jefferson would also play first base and the outfield for Boston since they had Jose Canseco for the 1995-96 seasons as an option against left-handed hurlers. The 1995 season was spectacular for Jefferson as he hit .347 and posted an fWAR of 1.7. For his Boston career, Jefferson slashed an impressive .316/.363/.565.

The Red Sox would often use Jefferson and Canseco – Canseco far less – in left field. Neither had any Gold Gloves in their future, but if iron gloves were handed out both had a shot.

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