Boston Red Sox: Mo Vaughn and the 6 Most Underrated Players in Team History

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIApril 4, 2011

Boston Red Sox: Mo Vaughn and the 6 Most Underrated Players in Team History

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    Despite an 86-year stretch without a World Series, the Red Sox have one of the best franchises in MLB history, fourth all time with seven World Series championships.

    With all that success, a number of players have gotten lost in history.  These forgotten great players may have won MVPs and are not talked about as often today, or they may have played under the radar for their entire careers.

    Click through the slideshow to read about Red Sox greats who you may not hear about very often.

Dominic DiMaggio

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    Dominic DiMaggio forever played in the shadow of his brother, Joe.  Dom was a great player in his own right.

    A seven-time All Star in center field for the Red Sox, DiMaggio played for some of the best lineups the Red Sox have ever had with Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams.

    DiMaggio twice led the league in runs, once in triples and steals.  An old Boston nursery rhyme says it all, “He’s better than his brother Joe, Dominic DiMaggio.”

    While probably not true, the fact that so few modern day fans know about the Sox version of DiMaggio make him one of Boston’s most underrated players.

Jim Rice

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    Many of his contemporaries called Rice the greatest hitter of his era, yet it took Rice 15 years to make the Hall of Fame.  This 1978 AL MVP led the AL in home runs three times in his career.

    Rice played in one of the best outfields in Red Sox history, playing alongside 1975 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP Fred Lynn and perennial Gold Glover Dwight Evans.  He also was playing a position where two Red Sox all-time greats (Carl Yastrzemski and Ted Williams) preceded him.

    While Rice was a great player, he didn’t stand out on that team as much as he might have in another era of Red Sox history.

Mo Vaughn

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    Before Mo Vaughn left Boston for mo’ money and injuries derailed his career, he was one of the dominant players of the MLB. 

    The 1995 AL MVP hit 25+ home runs in nine seasons, but had the misfortune of playing for Red Sox teams that finished in the middle of the pack in the AL.  In eight seasons in Boston, the Sox won the AL East only once—during his MVP run in ‘95.

Tim Wakefield

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    Tim Wakefield is the longest tenured current Red Sox.  He's also had more role changes than anyone else on the team.

    Wakefield is pitching out of the bullpen this season, as he has many times in his Red Sox career.  He has closed and shifted to middle relief.  

    While fans love him, managers have constantly shifted his role.  Wakefield has been a class act throughout and has been a leader on recent Red Sox teams.

Brian Daubach

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    Between 1999 and 2002, Brian Daubach was one of the primary run producers on the Boston Red Sox.  He hit at least 20 home runs and more than 70 RBI in each of those seasons solidifying a position the Red Sox had long struggled to fill.

    Daubach never made an All Star team, nor did he ever get MVP votes, but he served as protection for Nomar Garciaparra and lineups that often lacked power beyond those two sources.

Mel Parnell

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    Ask someone to list the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history.  There's a bunch, and you're sure to hear the names Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Smokey Joe Wood, Cy Young and Babe Ruth.  The name you should hear (but might not), is Mel Parnell.

    In 1949, Parnell pitched nearly 300 innings and completed 27 games, winning 25.  Parnell had a short run of dominance, never winning more than seven after he turned 31.  

    Even so, his run was one of the best by a Red Sox pitcher—ever.