Boston Red Sox: The 5 Greatest Second Basemen in Team History
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The Boston Red Sox have had a veritable list of legends play in their infield over the years.
Great second basemen typically do a little bit of everything—play good defense, handle the bat and often serve as a spark plug for the rest of the team. Using that criteria, it’s possible to identify the best Boston has had at the position, but difficult to narrow down such an outstanding group.
Nevertheless, click through for a list of the five greatest second basemen in the history of the Red Sox.
5. Mike Andrews
Andrews was a key member of the "Impossible Dream" team.
Played for Boston: 1966-1970
Boston Stats: 566 G, .268 BA, 47 HR, 209 RBI, 563 H, 295 BB
The right-handed Mike Andrews toiled in Boston’s farm system for five seasons before finally getting his shot as a regular player on the 1967 Red Sox. That turned out to be the famous “Impossible Dream” team that won the pennant in exciting fashion.
Typically hitting either first or second in the batting order, he became a reliable table-setter in front of more-famous hitters like Carl Yastrzemski, Rico Petrocelli and Tony Conigliaro.
Andrews’ best season came in 1969 when he hit .293 with 15 home runs, 59 RBI and 79 runs scored in 121 games.
Although he had good range at second, he finished in the top three in the American League in errors at second base each year.
Even in retirement, he maintained a close relationship with Boston and the team. He began volunteering for the regional Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund charity in 1973 shortly after leaving the game. He was ultimately named the foundation's chairman, serving in the role for more than 30 years and helping preserve its close ties with the Red Sox.
4. Marty Barrett
Barrett rose to the occasion in the 1986 playoffs.
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Played for Boston: 1982-1990
Boston Stats: 941 G, .278 BA, 17 HR, 311 RBI, 935 H, 417 R
The little right-handed Marty Barrett was a master of inside-baseball for the Red Sox.
He was excellent defensively and hit just enough to make him a valuable all-around player. He even successfully pulled off the hidden ball trick, a lost art in today’s game.
Between 1986-1988, Barrett produced a total of 60 sacrifice hits, leading the American League in that category each season.
His best year came in 1986 when he batted .286 with four home runs, 60 RBI, 15 stolen bases and 94 runs in 158 games. He went on to post a record 24 hits in 14 postseason games, earning the ALCS MVP Award. Unfortunately, the Red Sox lost the World Series to the New York Mets in heartbreaking fashion.
To commemorate his place in team history, he was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2012. He is truly an all-time Boston great.
3. Billy Goodman
Goodman was a stalwart of the Red Sox in the years following World War II.
Played for Boston: 1947-1957
Boston Stats: 1,177 G, .306 BA, 14 HR, 464 RBI, 1,344 H, 688 R, 561 BB
Other than the legendary Bobby Doerr, nobody played second base for the Red Sox for a longer period of time than Billy Goodman.
The left-handed hitter was actually Doerr’s eventual replacement and continued the tradition of excellence at second following the Hall of Famer’s departure.
Although second was his primary position, Goodman also played all over the field as needed for the Red Sox.
His best skills were at the plate as he never hit lower than .293 in any of his nine full seasons in Boston.
He led the American League in batting in 1950 with a .354 mark, beating out teammate Ted Williams (.317). The effort earned Goodman a second-place finish in that year’s AL MVP voting.
Long after he retired, Goodman was honored by the Red Sox when he was enshrined in their hall of fame in 2004.
2. Dustin Pedroia
Still in the prime of his career, Pedroia is already high up on the list of all-time Boston greats.
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Played for Boston: 2006-Present
Boston Stats: 875 G, .302 BA, 90 HR, 416 RBI, 1,047 H, 247 2B, 106 SB, 571 R
The 5’8” Dustin Pedroia has already produced a wide array of accomplishments at second base with Boston.
A 2004 second-round draft choice, he won the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year Award, the 2008 American League MVP and was a vital member of that year’s World Series-winning team. He has also been named to three All-Star teams and won two Gold Gloves.
Affectionately known as “Pedey,” he has gained recognition not only for his play, but also for his larger-than-life personality.
Not yet 30, if he continues building upon his already-impressive legacy, there’s no reason why he can’t be at the top of this list by the time he retires.
1. Bobby Doerr
Cooperstown recognized Doerr for his stellar playing career.
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Played for Boston: 1937-1944, 1946-1951
Boston Stats: 1,865 G, .288 BA, 223 HR, 1,247 RBI, 2,042 H, 1,094 R, 381 2B, 809 BB
Although he is often mentioned as the teammate of mega-star Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr was a Hall of Famer in his own right, earning enshrinement into Cooperstown in 1986.
He was one of the best defensive second basemen in the game during his career, leading the American League five times in double plays and four times in putouts and Range Factor.
The nine-time All Star was also exceptional with the bat. His best season came in 1944 when he hit .325 with 15 home runs, 81 RBI and 95 runs in 125 games.
He missed the entire 1945 season because of military service, but bounced back to bat .283 with 21 home runs and 110 RBI over the next five years after his return.
Doerr is not only the best second baseman to ever take the field for the Red Sox, but he is also one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise.
Statistics via Baseball-Reference