Top 50 Boston Red Sox

An inaugural team when the American League formed in 1901, the Boston Red Sox were first called the Boston Americans, the name they would keep until 1907 when they changed it for good to the Red Sox.

When the first World Series occurred in 1903 with Boston defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates.  They were denied a chance to defend it in 1904 when after winning the pennant, the New York Giants refused to play them, but they won their second World Series in 1912, and the Red Sox would dominate the decade with titles in 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918.  Despite that success, the Red Sox would unravel quickly, triggered by one of the dumbest transactions in sports history.

Boston sold the contract of Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $100,000, and while that was a lot of money back then, it set off a chain of events where the Red Sox were the inferior team to the Yankees for decades.  With the exception of Ted Williams, Boston did not have much to cheer for.  They would win the pennant in 1946, 1967 & 1975 but lost in each of those World Series attempts.  They went back in 1986, but they had a heartbreaking loss to the New York Mets when Mookie Wilson’s ground ball went through the legs of Red Sox’ First Baseman, Bill Buckner.  That would have won them the World Series, and the Red Sox then proceeded to lose Game 7. 

The next century would prove to see the end of the "Curse of the Bambino," and in 2004, they would win the World Series.  Boston continued to have success with championships in 2007, 2013 & 2018.


This list is up to the end of the 2020 season.

Note: Baseball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

Luis Tiant was an All-Star in 1968, winning the ERA Title as a member of the Cleveland Indians, but two years later, he was struggling and was offered a minor league contract with the Red Sox in 1971.  He was called up, but only went 1-7 with a 4.85 ERA, so in the following season, there were lowered expectations for the native of Cuba.  What followed was the most the emergence of the most popular hurler of the 70s in New England.
The story of Howard Ellsworth “Smoky Joe” Wood is common in that, and we have a power pitcher who was dominant for a short time, only for arm fatigue to cause an early end of his pitching career (though he would continue to play, but we’ll get to that later.)
One of the most popular Boston Red Sox players of all-time, Johnny Pesky, had one of the best rookie seasons ever in 1942.  That season, he was Boston’s starting Shortstop, and he would lead the American League in Hits (205), batted .331, and was third in MVP voting.  Pesky would miss the next three seasons due to military service in World War II, and he returned exactly where he left off.
Rico Petrocelli played his entire career with the Boston Red Sox, which began as a late season call-up in 1963.  The Sox kept in Triple A for 1964, and he was anointed the starting Shortstop in Boston for 1965.  Named to the All-Star team in both 1967 & 1969, Petrocelli finished in the top six in Defensive bWAR each year from 1966 to 1969, and in 1969, he was first among all Position Players with a 10.0 bWAR.  As you can deduce, this was his best offensive season, where he was seventh in Batting Average (.297), fifth in On Base…
From Texas (hence the nickname), we have Cecil “Tex” Hughson, who played all eight of his seasons in the Major Leagues with the Boston Red Sox. 
One of only two players to help the Boston Red Sox win their first four World Series Championships, Harry Hooper, was one of the most dependable defensive Outfielders in baseball for more than a decade.
Reggie Smith was plucked from the Minnesota Twins organization, and it proved to be a shrewd move by the Red Sox.
Arguably the best Pitcher who was never chosen to an All-Star Team (in the era where they had them, of course) Ellis Kinder was named the TSN Pitcher of the Year in 1949; an accomplishment that is forgotten by even some of the most knowledgeable fans at Fenway.
Kevin Youkilis debuted in 2004 with the Red Sox, where he played in 72 Games and won a World Series Ring.  After fighting injury and bouncing back and forth from Pawtucket in 2005, “The Greek God of Walks” became an everyday player the following season.
After two forgettable seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tim Wakefield will always be remembered for his knuckleball and 17 seasons as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
A member of the Boston Red Sox for his entire 10-year career (1947-56), Mel Parnell would go to two All-Star Games (1949 & 1951), and he is one of the most successful southpaws in franchise history.
A Second Round pick in 2002, Jon Lester debuted for the Red Sox in 2006, and in the next season, he was a small part of Boston's 2007 World Series win over Colorado.  He won a game in the Fall Classic, which would be the springboard for what would transpire next.

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Dutch Leonard was a huge cog in the machine that made the Red Sox a powerhouse team in the 1910s, and while he has not received the due that he deserved, there is a good chance that they don't win the 1915 and 1916 World Series.  
Prior to being traded to the Red Sox, Joe Cronin was the on-field leader of the Washington Senators, and he was the runner-up for the MVP in 1933.  Cronin was dealt to Boston, and the Sox coveted him not just for his bat, but for his mind, as he became their Player/Manager.
A member of the Boston Red Sox for all but his final season (2002), John Valentin was one of the better defensive players in Red Sox history.
Mo Vaughn was one of the ultimate one-dimensional power guys, but if that is going to be your skill, you might as well be good at that.  Vaughn was exceptional in that skill.
Josh Beckett would take the Florida Marlins to the 2003 World Series Championship and would win the World Series MVP along the way. 
How good an athlete was Jackie Jensen?  He was the first person to play in the Rose Bowl, a World Series, and an MLB All-Star Game.
Pete Runnels was a good infielder during his time with the Washington Senators, but when he joined the Red Sox, he took a lot more than his versatile glove with him, as he found far more plate discipline.