As a die-hard Red Sox fan since 2003, I have witnessed many memorable players come and go from the team over the last two decades. Some of my all-time favorite Red Sox players weren’t necessarily those who had long tenures with the team. But rather ones that came to Boston for just a short amount of time and left an unforgettable impression.
These are five of my favorite Red Sox players who only spent a short amount of time in Boston.
5. Cody Ross
In 2012, Cody Ross was one of the few memorable players with the Red Sox. The team struggled with injuries, underperformance, and poor management by Bobby Valentine. Ross remained one of the few constants throughout that season. He hit 22 home runs in only 438 plate appearances, drove in 81 RBIs, and had a few incredible moments. For some reason that walk-off home run against the White Sox always seems to stick out in my mind.
4. Jonny Gomes
Something about his gritty style of play and intense mindset made him an immediate source of inspiration for both the team and the city. He was a reliable veteran presence and became a leader on and off the field. This veteran leadership helped guide the Red Sox to victory over St. Louis in one of Boston’s most iconic moments: clinching their 8th World Series title at Fenway Park in 2013.
3. Kyle Schwarber
Kyle Schwarber’s time with the Boston Red Sox in 2021 was nothing short of remarkable. When they acquired him at the trade deadline, they got an instant spark that propelled them to only two wins away from the World Series. His ability to deliver big hits in key situations was impressive and was popular with both teammates and fans. He had a confident presence about him and seemed to be a relatable guy. It’s a shame that the Red Sox let him go during free agency, as they could have used his presence in their lineup and clubhouse last season.
2. Victor Martinez
After being acquired from Cleveland at the 2009 trade deadline for a package that included Justin Masterson, he made an immediate impact with his bat, providing stability to the lineup and consistently working great at-bats. He continued to hit well throughout his time in Boston and proved a more than capable leader in the clubhouse. At the time, he seemed to fit the Red Sox well, and I was disappointed to see him leave for Detroit after the 2010 season. They also allocated that money to Carl Crawford that off-season. (oof)
1. Adrian Beltre
It didn’t take long for Red Sox fans to fall in love with Adrian Beltre after he signed a one-year, 10 million dollar deal during the 2010 off-season. His passionate energy, dynamic performance at third base, and dependable offensive contributions made Beltre an exciting part of the team. It’s nearly impossible to forget games where he robbed batters of what looked like sure hits, or how he’d go to one knee after hitting a ball over the monster.
His impressive stats that season – batting .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs – proved that he was worthy of a long-term contract during the 2011 off-season. He would eventually sign with the Texas Rangers, and the Red Sox diverted their attention to slugger Adrian Gonzalez.
What makes a player memorable isn’t always their tenure with the team or even their statistics. Sometimes it’s about how they made you feel as a fan. For me, these five players only played for the Red Sox for a short time but left a lasting impact. They may not have gone down in history as some of the greatest to don their uniform, but they certainly made the most of their time in Boston.