Bob Stanley will forever be known to Red Sox fans as one of the pitchers who had a hand in blowing Game Six of the 1986 World Series. We’ve been debating for over thirty years if the fateful pitch in question was a wild pitch by Stanley or a passed ball by Gedman. What this debate has done is overshadow the long and excellent career Stanley had, its entirety spent with the Red Sox.
From 1977 to 1989, Stanley was a mainstay of the Boston bullpen and when he retired he was the team’s all-time saves leader, a mark he held until Jonathan Papelbon surpassed it in 2009. Stanley is still the Red Sox franchise leader in appearances and relief wins and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
During the 1980s, Stanley went 76-76 with a 3.70 ERA, 118 saves, and 555 strikeouts. He appeared in 501 games, all but 39 of them in relief, and was solid and dependable. In an era when relievers pitched far more than they do now, Stanley was one of the best and an important part of the 1980s Red Sox teams.