Boston Red Sox: Most important players in franchise history

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 02: David Ortiz
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 02: David Ortiz /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Red Sox have had numerous great players in their long and storied history, but several also have an importance to the team that goes beyond their numbers.

Lost amid all of the tumult during this winter of discontent is the fact that the Boston Red Sox have been the best Major League Baseball franchise of the twenty-first century. Their four World Series victories since 2000 are the most of any team and they’ve made the postseason in eleven of the nineteen seasons in that time span.

Along the way, they have a long and rich history filled with heartbreak and triumph. Through it all, some of the greatest players in baseball history have called Fenway Park home. However, many of these players have not only been among the best to suit up for the Red Sox, but they are also among the most important to do so.

While there is a distinction between “greatest” and “most important,” it’s inevitable that most (but not all) of the following players will fall into both categories. Still, the focus on these players will be on their importance to the Red Sox, not their individual accomplishments or their greatness. Many will probably be no surprise, but hopefully you may not have previously looked at them in this particular way.

(And before anyone says anything, Babe Ruth is not on this list. Even though he was a damn good pitcher during his time with the Red Sox, he didn’t become Babe Ruth until he was a Yankee).

Let’s begin.