Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez
The Red Sox made a splash when they signed Manny Ramirez to a $160 million deal, the largest contract the franchise had ever given to a free-agent at the time and making him only the second player in MLB history to earn $20+ million per year. It was an expensive gamble to take on the mercurial superstar but one that certainly paid off.
Ramirez was an All-Star in all eight seasons that he spent in Boston. He earned six consecutive Silver Slugger awards with the Red Sox and earned MVP votes in each of those seasons, finishing as high as third on the ballot.
Manny won a batting title during his second season in Boston when he hit .349 while also leading the league with a .450 OBP, a category he led the league in three times.
Ramirez is sixth in franchise history in home runs, blasting 274 of his 555 career home runs as a member of the Red Sox. His career total is higher than anyone who ever played for the Red Sox (aside from Ruth, who was primarily a pitcher in Boston) and those ahead of him on the franchise leaderboard spent significantly more time in Boston.
He’s third in franchise history with a .588 SLG. His .411 OBP is fifth among Red Sox hitters with 1500+ plate appearances.
Ramirez is MLB’s all-time postseason home run leader with 29. He smashed 11 of those in playoff games for the Red Sox, including one in the 2004 World Series when he was named MVP.
Manny being Manny was the reason he was beloved in Boston as well as a source of frustration. His erratic behavior aside, Ramirez was one of the best right-handed hitters we’ve ever seen.