Red Sox Memories: A defensive studs and duds All-Star team

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 06: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stadium workers hold a display of players gold glove awards on the field before the game Texas Rangers of Anaheim on April 6, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 06: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stadium workers hold a display of players gold glove awards on the field before the game Texas Rangers of Anaheim on April 6, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
5 of 8
Next
BOSTON, MA – CIRCA 1976: Rick Burleson #7 of the Boston Red Sox completes the double-play over Chris Chambliss #10 of the New York Yankees during an Major League Baseball game circa 1976 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Burleson played for the Red Sox from 1974-80. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – CIRCA 1976: Rick Burleson #7 of the Boston Red Sox completes the double-play over Chris Chambliss #10 of the New York Yankees during an Major League Baseball game circa 1976 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Burleson played for the Red Sox from 1974-80. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Rooster is the only Red Sox at short to win a Gold Glove

There is quite a list of great Red Sox shortstops including present-day Xander Bogaerts, Hall of Famer Joe Cronin, legendary Johnny Pesky, and hitting machine Nomar Garciaparra. None could be considered exceptionally gifted defensively. In fact, for trivia, there is only one Red Sox shortstop ever to win a Gold Glove and that is Rick Burleson.

Burleson was the Pedroia of his day with intensity, a fiery personality, and a short fuse. Nicknamed “Rooster,” Burleson was not one I would consider a great defensive player based on his three-error Red Sox debut, but I had seen him at Pawtucket (AAA) and knew he was outstanding defensively.  Strong arm, quick, smart, and would catch everything.  Burleson was no stiff with the bat and hit .274 in seven Boston seasons with some respectable extra-base power. Burleson made three All-Star teams with the Red Sox before being traded to the Angels.

I may be old but not old enough to see Rabbit Warstler, a diminutive infielder from the 1930s. Warstler played for both the Red Sox and Braves and was an error machine in both places.  With the Red Sox in 1932, the total was 41 and with the Braves in 1937 and 1938 the cumulative total was 97. If you can’t field then make it up with the bat – Warstler hit .229 over 11 seasons. Too bad that Don Buddin is not on the list.