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Though Tris Speaker spent his best years with the Cleveland Indians, he is still a talent the Red Sox have never been able to match at center.
Speaker was with the Red Sox from 1907-1915 and was a fantastic player in all facets of the game. During his time in Boston, Speaker compiled a .337 batting average, to go along with a .414 on-base percentage and a .482 slugging percentage.
Speaker played in the Deadball Era, so the fact that he hit only 39 home runs in Boston means very little. In fact, Speaker would hit 17 home runs in 1923, after the Deadball Era was over, which shows he had some pop in his bat, after all.
But Speaker was far from a singles hitter. He ranks sixth on the all-time triple list with 222, 106 of which came in Boston. He also hit 241 of his major league record 792 doubles in a Red Sox uniform.
Before the Red Sox began their 86-year World Series drought, the franchise was a dynasty, and Speaker was a big part of its early stages. He was a vital part of the offense in two of the team's championship years, 1912 and 1915.
He was not his normal self during those two World Series, batting "only" .298, with a total of five extra base hits. Still, he won the Chalmers Award (the regular-season MVP award in those days) in 1912, so without him, it's a good bet that the Red Sox would have relinquished at least one of those titles.
Speaker was known as an aggressive defender in the outfield. He could cover a lot of ground with his speed, and he liked to play shallow. He is credited with six unassisted double plays from center field, an unheard of number in any era of the game.
With him and Dwight Evans in center and right, this all-time team would have a nice defensive outfield (minus the mediocre Ted Williams).
With the Red Sox, Speaker's 162-game average of steals was 42. Couple that with his tremendous gap-power and you have a brilliant leadoff hitter.
To have a speedster either already on second, or at least constantly threatening to get there by his own speed, batting ahead of the rest of the greats in this lineup, gives this all-time team a great jolt at the top of the order.