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) /
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1993: Tony Pena #6 of the Boston Red Sox plays during a regular season game in 1993. (Photo By Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)
1993: Tony Pena #6 of the Boston Red Sox plays during a regular season game in 1993. (Photo By Bernstein Associates/Getty Images) /

Number Six is number one with the Red Sox

Carlton Fisk and Jason Varitek were excellent defensive catchers for Boston and also had some real sting hitting. Both won a single Gold Glove Award with the Red Sox. Sammy White could come close to matching both with hitting and defense, but I will take Tony Pena as my choice.

A five-time All-Star with Pittsburgh and the Cardinals, the likable Pena came to Boston in 1990 and stayed for four seasons. Pena won his fourth Gold Glove while with the Red Sox and finished his career above league average in CS%.

Pena’s bat was not quite what it had been in his earlier years when the right-hand hitter could put up double figures in home runs and get quality RBI – always a big plus with a position that is defense first and offense second. With the Red Sox Pena hit only .234, but a .181 season somewhat degraded that.

There were worse defensive catchers in Boston than Jarrod Saltalamacchia but when you get pulled from your starting slot in the World Series over poor defense that gives you bonus points.  Salty also had an ignominious 2011 season leading the AL in passed balls. Thanks to Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball, and his poor catching style – especially the all-important footwork. Then there is a career 22 CS%.