BOSTON - For the longest time during the 2000s, no team in all of sports had a better one-two punch than the Boston Red Sox. At designated hitter and typically batting third during this era was the slugger, David Ortiz, who had a reputation for being the most clutch hitter in all of baseball. However, opposing pitchers could never intentionally walk Ortiz in a threatening situation because due up after him was the left fielder, Manny Ramirez, who hit even more home runs than Ortiz did in his career!
It was so amazing to watch Ortiz and Ramirez power the Red Sox offense for years. And now, the two are being honored by the franchise in a way that is only fitting.
Yesterday, the Red Sox announced the Class of 2020 for the team's Hall of Fame and Ortiz and Ramirez were included in the five names! Also featured were catcher and coach Rich Gedman, pitcher Bill Dinneen, and general manager Dan Duquette, as confirmed by the Boston Globe.
Ortiz's tenure with the Sox lasted from 2003 to 2016 and he became one of the most beloved figures in all of Boston sports. He had ten walk-off home runs in his career while winning three World Series. He also clobbered 483 home runs with a .290 batting average during his time. As for Manny, he played just eight seasons in Boston, but still made a massive impact. He recorded 274 home runs with Boston, as well as posting a .312 batting average. He was a part of two World Series teams, being named World Series MVP in 2004.
Dineen played for the team from 1902 to 1906, winning the first World Series for the Sox in 1903. His tenure as a pitcher was estemeed, but short lived, though he did record a no-hitter in 1905. Gedman was a longtime catcher for the Sox, serving for the entire 1980s. He now coaches hitting for Pawtucket. And Duquette was the general manager from 1994 to 2001. He helped to turn Boston into a juggernaut, thanks to the acquisition and drafting of players like Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and, of course, Ramirez.
Each player seems deserving, but I really am glad that the fan base and organization has come back around on Manny. He had a tumultuous end with the club, which was really too bad. He was one of the most dominant right-handed hitters ever and he had fun like no one else on the field. To me, he's one of the best hitters I've ever seen. Ortiz is a no-brainer for the hall with his countless iconic moments, but I was a bit more worried about Manny. He deserves this honor in Sox lore. I miss seeing the two of them play. As Taylor Swift says, "hold onto the memories, they will hold onto you."
Now, we just have to get Manny and Papi into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Image Via Wikimedia Commons