BOSTON - Can we get back to some good news with the Boston Red Sox? Nothing would make me happier in the middle of this massive scandal than looking back on players who only make me happy!
15. Manny Ramirez
Part of me thinks Manny should be higher on the list, as I think he has looped back around to being an underrated player. But the controversies mire him enough. Top 15 is still good, though! Manny was one of the best right-handed hitters I've ever seen in my life. As a member of the Red Sox from 2001 to 2008, he was an All-Star every year. He helped the team win the World Series twice, serving as World Series MVP in 2004. He led the AL in batting average in 2002 and home runs in 2004, en route to six Silver Sluggers with the team. With the Sox, he hit .312 to go with 274 home runs and 868 RBIs. The only hitter who was more fearsome than Manny in Boston was the guy who came right before him in the lineup.
14. Tim Wakefield
I fully accept the potential for controversy with this pick. But to me, Wakefield, the famed knuckleballer who played for the Red Sox from 1995 to 2011, is an example of what it means to be a beloved stalwart. He was never flashy and he didn't put up remarkable statistics (his record was a career 200-180 with 2,156 strikeouts and a 4.41 ERA), but he always seemed to get it done for the Sox when they needed him most. He is in the Red Sox Hall of Fame and though he only had one All-Star appearance, he did win two World Series titles and he won the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award. That speaks volumes about what he meant to be baseball. When he was on, he was unhittable.
13. Bobby Doerr
In addition to being a Red Sox great, Bobby Doerr is an all-time baseball great. A member of both the Red Sox and baseball Hall of Fame, no infielder was ever so consistent for the Sox as Doerr was. He played for the team from 1937 to 1951 and in that time, he hit .288 with 223 home runs, 1,247 RBIs, and over 2,000 hits. That includes a year taken out of his prime to serve in World War II. Doerr's number one deserves to be retired above the right-field stands at Fenway Park.
12. Tris Speaker
Speaker may not have his number retired like Doerr, but he was an astonishingly elite hitter with the Red Sox and with the teams, he played ball for afterward. Granted, Speaker played in a different era (his Red Sox tenure lasted from 1907 to 1915), but there's no denying the numbers he put up. The Red Sox Hall of Famer led the league in home runs in 1912, the season in which he was named MVP. He also helped propel the Sox to two World Series titles, in '12 and 1915. Currently, Speaker still holds the record for career doubles in the MLB at 792. He's one of the best to ever do it.
11. Jimmie Foxx
Jimmie Foxx's longest tenure in baseball was not with the Red Sox. And yet, it was his 1936 to 1942 stint that he is most remembered for. In that time, he was an All-Star six times, the MVP once, the AL batting champion once, and the AL home run leader twice. A member of both the Red Sox and baseball (and Philadelphia Baseball) Hall of Fame, Foxx's single-season Boston home run record stood until Ortiz toppled it decades later. In his career, Foxx hit .325 with 534 home runs, making him one of the greatest pure sluggers in the history of the franchise.
The top ten begins next week!
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