To date, only one person has received this honor who has not met these criteria; Johnny Pesky, whose number 6 was retired in 2008, was recognized for more than 60 years of nearly uninterrupted time with the franchise as a player, a manager, coach, and instructor.
There is also one player who meets these criteria but whose number is absent from the façade in right field: former third baseman Wade Boggs.
There is no doubt in my mind that spring is my favorite season. The sun stays up later, the grass begins to grow, my grill gets more use… above all, though, is the fact that it means baseball and, more importantly, the Boston Red Sox have returned.
Sure, they’ve been playing baseball since late February this year, but that’s spring training, which is like the appetizer before the main course; it’s only meant to whet your palate. We want the main course, regular season baseball, and more importantly, we want regular season baseball in New England. That first week on the road? Simply the aroma of what’s to come.
With a scheduled off-day today, the Red Sox are just past the halfway point of spring training with a 9-9 record; 17 games remain before Opening Day at Yankees Stadium on 01 April. While Grapefruit League statistics don’t necessarily translate into regular season success, there is always interest in how well players have performed under the Florida sunshine. So, given that batting averages and earned run averages are often skewed at this point, how do you take what is a relatively small sample size and highlight the top performers this spring to date?
For New England baseball fans, there is one day that we look forward to every year. After toughing out a long winter in New England, one of the first signs of spring for us is neither the return of the robins nor the sound of lawn mowers starting up in yards in your neighborhood. It isn’t melting snow piles in the mall parking lots or the discarding of winter jackets. It’s Opening Day for the Red Sox at Fenway Park.