Today's date is June 26, 2010 and now the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees find themselves in another heated race with each other for the AL East.
Once again, the most heated rivalry in baseball and maybe all of sports is getting better. In their history, these clubs have met over 2,000 times (2,072 to be exact), and each time they play each other everybody pays attention.
The rivalry got me thinking, who is the better team all time?
To answer that question lets play a game — the date is September 30, 2010, and they are playing at the new Yankee Stadium. Who ever wins this game is going to the postseason. Every great Red Sox and Yankees player are playing for their respective teams in this game.
Well, first lets see the all time starting lineup for the Boston Red Sox.
Fisk was one of the most interesting players in his era. He marched to the beat of his own drum, clashing with owners and GMs, and was known as the clubhouse owner.
He had a Manny Ramirez like personality. He once walked so slow to the pitchers mound that Rangers manager wondered if he was getting paid by the hour.
He was a leader though, and on numerous occasions he challenged his teammates when they failed to hustle or not go 110 percent. He never stopped competing and never gave up and at times, he seemed like he had no weakness.
Fisk was a great catcher and he had a lot of power which you didn't see very much from catchers back then. He holds several records including 2nd all time in home runs as a catcher with 376, and most homers over the age of 40.
He is best known for waiving fair his game winning home run in the 12th inning of the 1975 World Series. In 2000, Fisk was inducted into the Hall Of Fame, getting 79 percent of the vote. On that day he gave one of the longest speeches in Hall Of Fame history.
Career Stats — .269 AVG, 376 Hrs, 1,330 RBIs
11 time All Star — 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1991.
Gold Glove Winner — 1972
3 Silver Slugger Awards — 1981, 1985, 1988
Similar Player — Mike Piazza
Foxx was a beast, as he was one of the most feared hitters in his era. He hit homers into the upper deck and his routine pop flies were often home runs. He was an imposing player with bulging muscles and was so good that he was purchased by the Red Sox for $150,000, which was a boat load of money back then.
He was one of the most humble people in the game and he never argued with umpires. He would always just walk away and he never bragged and never blamed someone else. Without a doubt, Foxx is one of the best first baseman to ever play the game.
He was the second player ever to reach the 500 HR club, and the second youngest ever to reach it. He also was 88 RBI's away from 2,000, and he holds the Red Sox record for single season RBI's with 175. In Sporting News best 100 Players Of All Time, he is ranked 15th. In 1951, he was inducted into the Hall Of Fame receiving 79 percent of the votes.
Career Stats — .325 AVG, 534 HRs, 2,646 H, 1,922 RBIs
9 times All Star — 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941
2 World Series Championships — 1929,1930
3 AL MVPs — 1932, 1933, 1938
Similar Players — Albert Pujols
Bobby Doerr is one of the best second baseman to play for the Red Sox — he was leader on the field and in the clubhouse. He was a complete player who had it all and he was known as one of the best offensive second baseman in his era.
He set the record for most hits, games, doubles, at bats, and RBIs (all of which were passed by long time team mate Ted Williams). He had the league record for most double plays at 1,507 until he was surpassed by Nellie Fox.
On August 2nd, 2007, the Boston Red Sox honored Doerr by holding Bobby Doerr day at Fenway Park. In 1986, he was inducted into the Hall Of Fame by the Veterans Committee.
Doerr played all his 13 seasons as a Red Sox, and hit 65 percent of his home runs their. He batted .406 in the 1946 World Series before losing in heart breaking fashion.
Career Stats — .288 AVG, 223 HRs, 1,247 RBIs
9 time All Star — 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1950
Similar Player: Tony Lazzeri
Wade Boggs is a Boston legend — he was one of the most superstitious players baseball has ever seen. He woke up at the same time every morning, he ate chicken before every game (that's a lot of poultry), fielded exactly 150 ground balls during infield practice. For night games, he would step into the batting cage at exactly 5:17, he would run wind sprints at exactly 7:17 (one game, a Toronto scoreboard keeper tried to hex him by changing the time from 7:16 to 7:18).
Before each AB, Boggs would draw the Hebrew word Chai (which means life), and his route from the infield to the dug out was so precise that his foot prints actually looked visible.
He was one of the purest hitters in baseball, and one of the toughest outs to get. He never pulled the ball and he just swung it cleanly. He would take a tough pitch and put it in a place that it would be very tough to get.
He is part of the 3,00 hit club, and with 12 straight All Star appearances, Boggs is 3rd among all third baseman in number of consecutive appearances. In 2005, he was voted into the Hall Of Fame receiving 91 percent of the votes.
Career Stats — .328 AVG, 3,010 hits, 118 HRs, 1,014 RBIs
12 time All Star — 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996.
World Series Champion — 1996
2 Gold Gloves — 1994, 1995
8 Silver Slugger Awards — 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994.
Similar Player: Ichiro Suzuki
Nomar Garciaparra played seven years and Boston, and was respected every year he spent there. It seemed like every year he hit above .300, even hitting .372 in 2000. He never failed to get a hit in Boston, and always played his heart out.
Unfortunately, he left the year that Boston went on to win the World Series, so he has never won a championship. In 2009, when he returned to Fenway Park for the first time since he had left, he was awarded with a standing ovation from Boston fans.
In 1997, he won Rookie Of the Year, a lot of thanks to his 30 game hit streak. He also holds the record for most RBIs by a Red Sox rookie and most lead off home runs by a rookie. He won the AL Batting Title two years in a row in 1999 and 2000. In 2004, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and before retiring, he played for the Dodgers, and Athletics as well.
Career Stats — .313 AVG, 228 HRs, 932 RBIs. 1,732 Hits
6 time All Star — 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006
2x AL Batting Champion — 1999 (.357), 2000 (.372)
Silver Slugger Award Winner — 1997
Rookie Of The Year — 1997
Comeback Player Of The Year — 2006
Similar Player: Derek Jeter
Ted Williams is the greatest Red Sox player ever. No one cared more about hitting then Ted Williams. He could do anything with a bat and a ball.
A great player once said this about Ted Williams.
"They can talk about Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby and Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio and Stan Musial and all the rest, but I'm sure not one of them could hold cards and spades to Williams in his sheer knowledge of hitting. He studied hitting the way a broker studies the stock market, and could spot at a glance mistakes that others couldn't see in a week."
It couldn't be more true, Williams always perfected his mistakes. It seemed like he never got in a slump because of his knowledge of hitting. He had a incredible eye at the plate and had power, range, and average. He always got stronger as the season wore on, which is probably why he was the last man to hit over .400 for an entire season.
He was so good that former Red Sox owner Tom Hawkey payed him $10,000 NOT to play any exhibition games over the off season one year. He holds the record for career on base percentage with .484. Williams most amazing feat though is that he is a two time triple crown award winner. In 1966, Williams was inducted into the Hall Of Fame, receiving 93 percent of the vote.
Career Stats — .344 AVG, 521 HRs, 1,849 RBIs, 2,654 H
17 time All Star — 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
2 AL MVPs — 1946, 1949
2 Triple Crown Awards — 1942, 1947
Yaz arrived in Boston in 1961 to replace Ted Williams. Having to fill gigantic shoes, Yaz eventually won the hearts of Red Sox Nation. Using his power and ability hit the ball very well,he was one of the few players ever to get 3,000 hits and 400 HRs. Yaz was a Red Sox hero, as he played there all of his 23 seasons.
What was also great about Yaz was his fielding. He has one of the best arms of all time and could chase down a ball easily, which is why the Red Sox were able to play him in numerous outfield positions.
Yastrzemski is also the most recent player to win the Triple crown award. He hit .326 with 44 HRs and 121 RBIs in 1967, a season in which he lead his team to the World Series. That season, he hit 23-44 in his last 12 games before the postseason.
In 1989, Yaz was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in only his first try, getting a whopping 94 percent of the votes.
Career Stats — .285 AVG, 452 HRs, 1,844 RBIs, 3,419 H
18 time All Star — 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983
7 Gold Glove Awards — 1963, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1977
1967 AL MVP
1970 All- Star Game MVP
1967 Triple Crown
1967 Sports Ilustrated Sportsman of The Year
Jim Rice having played for the Red Sox all of his career, became one of the best outfielders of his time.
He was a great hitter having hit 20 home runs in 11 of his 16 seasons with the Red Sox and a finishing with a career .298 AVG. He also was a great fielder having a career .980 fielding percentage and 137 career outfield assists.
Jim Rice also had a swagger to him that made him really confident in himself, making a reputation by running his mouth.
He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 receiving 76 percent of the vote.
Career Stats — .298 AVG, 2,452 H, 382 HR, 1,451 RBIs
8 time All Star — (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986)
2 Silver Sluggers — (1983, 1984)
1978 AL MVP
Look for part 2 and 3 coming out.
Part 2: The New York Yankees Starting Lineup
Part 3: The Starting Pitchers and Bullpen