Red Sox Legend: Dwight Evans
The Number: 24
Last month, I wrote about how Dwight Evans is not just deserving of induction into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, but the MLB Hall of Fame as well. Over his 20-year career, Evans was a lethal two-way threat, blasting 385 home runs and winning eight gold gloves.
He supplemented his awesome power with a terrific eye, drawing 1,391 walks (29th all-time) and posting a career .370 on-base percentage. His hallmark was his incredible consistency. The right fielder topped 20 home runs 11 times and posted an on-base percentage above .350 13 times.
From a purely Red Sox perspective, few players had a bigger impact on the team’s history than Evans. Only Carl Yastrzemski had more at-bats for the franchise, while only Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Yastrzemski, and Ted Williams had more hits. And while he never led the team to that elusive World Series title, he played a key role in three division winners and was the only player to appear in both the 1975 and 1986 fall classics.
The only thing that might hurt Evans’ case is that number 24 was also donned by Manny Ramirez, who was arguably better on a rate basis. Yet in terms of total significance on the Red Sox franchise, even Manny pales in comparison to Evans.
With Hall of Fame no longer being a hard requirement for induction into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, there is no good reason for Evans not to have his number hanging from the grandstands.