A trio of Boston Red Sox legends were announced Monday as the newest electees to the Red Sox Hall of Fame: Dustin Pedroia, Trot Nixon, and Jonathan Papelbon.
Pause for a moment, and let your mind take a trip down memory lane remembering Laser Show, Pap, and the Dirt Dog. Remember 2007 ... 2013 ... Remember the tenacity and grit of No. 15 and that pre-pitch hop. Remember Papelbon's infamous staredown on the mound under the brim of that navy hat. Remember the walk-off home runs, the extra-inning drama, and the roar of Fenway Park. If you're anything like me, the three players mentioned above bring up so many memories and have a special place in the hearts of Red Sox fans forever. All three are undeniably deserving of the honor and have left a legacy in Boston that will never fade.
Taking a trip down memory lane with the newest Red Sox Hall of Fame Class
1. Jonathan Papelbon
I've been a fan of the Boston Red Sox with my heart and soul since I was eight years old. Often times when asked, "Who is your favorite Red Sox player of all time?" the answer that I've given has surprised people. While the expectation would be names like David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Manny Ramirez, or Pedro Martinez, my answer is Jonathan Papelbon.
As a young baseball player and passionate Red Sox fan, I could not take my eyes off the TV when Pap was on the mound. When that inning column on the scoreboard out in left field at Fenway manually shifted to nine, I was about as locked in to watching No. 58 as you could possibly be. As a nine or ten-year-old kid, that staredown was the coolest damn thing I had ever seen. The confidence. The patience. The delivery. The passion. Papelbon was must-see baseball while he was fortunate enough to be in a Red Sox uniform.
Papelbon is the Red Sox franchise leader in saves with 219, and currently sits at 11th on the all-time saves list. He spent seven years in Boston between 2005-2011. He was an All-Star in four consecutive seasons from '06-'09 and finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2006 behind Justin Verlander.
Papelbon went 23-19 as a member of the Red Sox with a 2.33 ERA (over 7 seasons), pitched in 396 games while striking out 509 batters over 429.1 innings and, as mentioned, recorded 219 saves.
2. Dustin Pedroia
There may not be another player in the history of the Boston Red Sox that wore that jersey with more pride, and played with more toughness and grit, than Dustin Pedroia. Never the biggest man on the field, Pedey always made up for it with his flashiness at second and his violent swing at the plate.
If you're a young baseball player, or a father to a baseball-loving son, take note of everything Pedroia encompasses: toughness, hard work, loyalty, commitment. Honestly? A true badass. If you want to be like someone on the baseball field, it should be Dustin Pedroia.
Highly commendable, Pedroia spent his entire career as a member of the Boston Red Sox from 2006-2019. He was a four time All-Star, four time Gold Glove Award winner, 2007 American League Rookie of the Year, and 2008 American League Most Valuable Player. He played 1,512 games as a member of the Red Sox with a career slash line of .299/.365/.439 with 1,805 hits, 394 doubles, 140 home runs and 725 RBI. He also had a career fielding percentage of .991.
3. Trot Nixon
Trot Nixon spent 10 years in Boston and played just shy of 1,000 games in a Red Sox uniform. He had a .278/.366/.478 slash line as a member of the Red Sox and recorded 912 hits with 133 home runs and batted in 523 runs. Nixon was a beloved fan favorite, and many will always remember his 11th inning, pinch-hit walk-off in Game 3 of the 2003 ALDS off Rich Harden. Additionally, Nixon's two-run double off the wall in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series gave the Sox a three run lead and would turn out to be the last runs scored in that title-clinching game.
Trot is remembered for his reliability and consistency, and for producing when it mattered. Not always the flashiest or most feared player on the diamond, Trot never let the moment get too big for him and always represented the name on the front and back of his jersey with pride.