Pete Runnels played just five seasons with the Red Sox but later became a coach and a short-term manager to fill out the season. He won two batting titles with the Red Sox with the first in 1960 when Runnels – a line drive hitting lefty – batted .320. That season Runnels played second base for 129 games but also filled in at first base. The previous season, Runnels had hit a solid .314 to finish second in the batting race.
Runnels’s next title was 1962 when he hit .326 and his reward was being traded to his native Texas and Houston for Roman Mejias. Runnels did little with Houston hitting a mere .253 and after slumping further in 1964 was gone.
Runnels was one of my favorite hitters and just made for Fenway Park hitting .332. For his Red Sox career, the lack of power shows with just 29 home runs and 249 RBI and that previously mentioned .320 average. Runnels makes the second sack thanks to his bat and not his glove.
I had mentioned Goodman who was the Brock Holt of the 1950s for the Red Sox. Goodman won his title in 1950 with a .354 average and just 45 innings at second base. Goodman – a left-handed hitter – had even less power than Runnels hitting just 19 home runs in a 16-year career.