Former Red Sox players who received zero Hall of Fame votes

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the New York Yankees during their game on May 13, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox in action against the New York Yankees during their game on May 13, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Four former members of the Boston Red Sox failed to garner a single vote on the baseball Hall of Fame ballots submitted by BBWAA writers.

The baseball Hall of Fame will induct four new members this year, none of whom ever played for the Boston Red Sox.

While the franchise has ties to a few players who showed progress on this year’s ballot, notably Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, there were several who received no love from the voters. Four players who spent time in Boston during their careers failed to earn a single vote. It was the first year on the ballot for each of them and they will all be one-and-done, as those who don’t receive at least five percent of the vote are removed from the ballot moving forward.

You may have forgotten about Darren Oliver‘s stint with the Red Sox in 2002. He made only 14 appearances, including nine starts, posting a 4.66 ERA. Oliver was never much more than a back of the rotation starter whose career ERA shrank to a fairly respectable 4.51 thanks to a late-career resurgence out of the bullpen. While he was useful at times during his career, Oliver is by no means worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.

Jason Bay came to the Red Sox midway through the 2008 season in a three-way trade that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers. Bay hit .274/.380/.534 with 45 home runs and 156 RBI in 200 games spread over a year and a half with the Red Sox. He made his third career All-Star appearance in 2009, won a Silver Slugger and finished seventh in MVP voting.

Bay left to sign a free agent deal with the Mets after that season and immediately fell off a cliff due to injuries. After producing 5.2 WAR in his only full season in Boston, Bay accumulated a total of only 2.2 WAR over his final four seasons. The former Rookie of the Year was once a bright young star who played well during his brief time in Boston but his peak ended far too early for the voters to consider him.

Derek Lowe is the type of player who probably means more to Red Sox fans than unbiased baseball observers. His overall career numbers aren’t close to putting him in Cooperstown but he had his best years in Boston.

D-Lowe made two All-Star appearances, both of which came during his 8-year run with the Red Sox. Once as a closer when he saved 42 games in 2000, then as a starter two years later when he won 21 games and finished third on the Cy Young ballot. 2004 was Lowe’s last season in Boston. It was one of the worst regular season performances of his career but Lowe came up big in the postseason to help the Red Sox end their 86-year title drought.

More from Red Sox News

If there’s one player in this group who I thought might have a vote or two thrown his way, it’s Kevin Youkilis. The Greek God of Walks earned his nickname with a career .382 OBP, reaching base at a .400+ clip three times. Youkilis had an excellent four-year peak with the Red Sox from 2008-2011 in which he hit .296/.397/.536. He made three All-Star appearances, won a Gold Glove, and finished top-six in the MVP race twice.

The case against Youk is that his prime was short lived. He was a late bloomer who didn’t debut in the majors until he was 25 and the tail end of his career was plagued by injuries that forced him out of the game by age 34. Youkilis was a grinder who played every game with maximum effort. While this mentality endeared him to the fans, it’s not a style built for longevity. Youk played 10 seasons in the big leagues and topped 100 games in only seven of them.

Youkilis won a pair of World Series titles with the Red Sox and played a significant role in earning the 2007 championship. The best years of his career would at least make you consider giving him a Hall of Fame vote, he simply didn’t perform at that level for long enough.

Any player who spent at least 10 years in the majors is eligible for Hall of Fame consideration five years after they retire. It’s common to see the names of former players who have no chance of making it to Cooperstown appear on the ballot, only to drop off after one year when they don’t meet the required threshold.

Next. Red Sox players as Avengers characters. dark

While none of these former Red Sox players were ever going to be inducted, lasting 10+ years in the majors is an incredible accomplishment for any player. They won’t be getting a plaque in Cooperstown but they each deserve a tip of the cap for meeting the eligibility requirements to be on the ballot.