The Greatest Red Sox By Jersey Number: 11-20
This is the second part of our series, where we will analyze the best Red Sox players by jersey number, now with jersey numbers 11-20. We will be accounting for all statistics, but also things such as influence, history, and what they have done for the team that cannot be seen on a stat sheet.
#11 – Rafael Devers
At just 26 years of age, Rafael Devers is already the best player to dawn the number 11 for the Boston Red Sox. The young Dominican has a batting average of .283 and an impressive 139 home runs in his career. Rafael’s ability to hit for contact and power makes him one of baseball’s most feared hitters. Also, after signing an 11-year extension during the 2022-2023 offseason, he could become one of the greatest players to ever suit up for the franchise.
#12 – Pumpsie Green
In 1959, history was made when infielder Pumpsie Green became the first African American to ever appear in a game for the Boston Red Sox. After facing numerous years of racism and discrimination, he paved the way for future generations of diverse players. This event marked a long-awaited and necessary step toward eliminating racism and discrimination within baseball.
#13 – John Valentin
During his decade with the Red Sox, John Valentin established himself as one of the most versatile members of the team. As a utility infielder, he played every infield position except first base. In 1995, Valentin had his best all-around season with the Red Sox, earning an All-Star appearance while leading the American League in doubles with 47.
#14 – Jim Rice
During his tenure with Boston, Rice was a consistent contributor, appearing in 1435 games between 1974 and 1989. He hit .298 over that span, launching 382 home runs and accumulating 1451 runs-batted-in (RBI).
In 1978 he won the American League Most Valuable Player Award after hitting 46 homers and driving in 139 RBIs to set a single-season RBI record with Boston. There’s a good reason why 14 is among the very few numbers to be retired in Red Sox history.
#15 – Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia is one of the biggest fan favorites to ever put on a Red Sox uniform, given his small stature and gritty play. He has played in over 1,500 games and is a four-time All-Star, an AL MVP in 2008, an AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, a three-time Golden Glove winner, and two time World Series champion.
I’ve argued that the team should have his number #15 retired; hopefully, they can make that happen someday.
#16 – Jim Lonborg
Jim Lonborg was a member of the team from 1965-1971. During that span, he won the 1967 Cy Young Award, earned three All-Star selections, and threw two no-hitters. He was also part of one of the most memorable pennant races of all time in 1967; known as the “Impossible Dream,” his performance down the stretch propelled Boston to their first World Series appearance since 1946.
#17 – Mel Parnell
Throughout his nine seasons, Parnell achieved an impressive win-loss record of 123-75 from 1947-1956. The left-handed pitcher from Louisiana compiled 113 complete games, 20 complete game shutouts, and even ten saves in his career. His most memorable season with the Boston Red Sox was in 1949 when he went 25-7 with an ERA of 2.77 – both career highs – and earned himself an All-Star nod in the process.
#18 – Johnny Damon
During his four-year term as the center fielder, Johnny Damon was an iconic figure for the Red Sox with his long beard and gritty play. In the 2004 ALCS, Damon hit a crucial grand slam against the Yankees, which helped them break the “Curse of the Bambino” that had plagued Boston baseball teams since 1918.
#19 – Fred Lynn
During his seven years with the Sox, Freddy Lynn hit for an average of .308, with 124 home runs, while dring in 521 runs. Not only did he deliver at the plate, but he also shined in center field, earning Gold Gloves in ’75, ’78, ’79, and 1980. He is also the first player to win both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in their first season with Boston – a feat that stands today for the franchise.
#20 – Kevin Youkilis
Kevin Youkilis spent eight incredible seasons with the Boston Red Sox, awakening a fan base with his gritty style of play. His presence helped usher in unprecedented success for the franchise, achieving five postseason appearances, including two World Series titles during his tenure.
Nicknamed “The Greek God of Walks” for his ability to take balls and wait for the perfect pitch to hit, Youk was a 3-time American League All-Star who always seemed to have an uncanny ability to come up with big hits when needed most.
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