From 2006 to 2007, Eric Hinske was my favorite player on the Boston Red Sox.
I don't know why.
I liked the way the guy played. He didn't hit for a very high average, and didn't hit a lot of home runs, but he played his heart out. I was in little league at the time of the trade, and I wasn't a good hitter, either. I guess I felt solidarity with Hinske.
And now, with the Pittsburgh Pirates trading Hinske to the New York Yankees, a deal that is all but official, Hinske will just become another Johnny Damon or Wade Boggs.
Just another good Red Sox player, only to go on to be acquired by the Yankees.
Only he won't be that in my eyes. Hinske will always be a member of the Boston Red Sox.
He only hit one home run for the Red Sox in 2006 and six in 2007. He had a grand total of five RBI in 2006 and 21 RBI in 2007. He had a .288 average with the Red Sox in 2006 and a .204 average in 2007.
And he was still my favorite player.
Over Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Coco Crisp, Trot Nixon, JD Drew, Alex Gonzalez, Mark Loretta, and Curt Schilling. Over all of them.
Eric Hinske was a gamer, a stud and, in my opinion, the best player on that team.
So far this season for the Pirates, Hinske is hitting .255 with one home run and 11 RBI, and the Pirates are expected to receive two prospects, Casey Erickson and Erik Fryer.
Before the Red Sox, Hinske played for the Toronto Blue Jays, where he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2002. He played for the Jays from 2002-2006, before he was placed on waivers in August of '06 and picked up by the Red Sox.
After the 2007 season, Hinske was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was the final out of the 2008 World Series. He was signed as a free agent by the Pirates before the 2009 season.