The Greatest Red Sox By Jersey Number: 41- 50
Welcome back to the fifth installment of our series where we honor the best Red Sox players by jersey number, this time featuring players who wore numbers 41-50. Again, my selections are based not only on statistics but also on the intangible impact they’ve had on the team’s history and legacy that can’t be measured in a box score.
#41 – Chris Sale
Wearing jersey number 41, Chris Sale takes my top spot for this jersey number. The left-handed pitcher has been an essential part of Boston’s rotation since 2017. A seven-time All-Star, Sale was instrumental in the Red Sox 2018 World Series-winning campaign, where he started and closed out the final game sealing their victory. Injuries have obviously spoiled his past few seasons, but thankfully he looks healthy and ready to go for the 2023 campaign.
#42 – Mo Vaughn
The fierce and powerful Mo Vaughn, known as “The Hit Dog,” was a fan favorite in the 1990s. His dominant batting skills earned him a Most Valuable Player Award in 1995 with a remarkable season of 39 homers and 126 RBIs. Wearing the number 42, his larger-than-life presence is still remembered and respected by Red Sox Nation.
#43 – Dennis Eckersley
An iconic figure for both the Red Sox and the league, Dennis Eckersley was a versatile pitcher who excelled as both a starter and a closer. After his time with the Red Sox, he would have an exceptional career and earn a spot in the Hall of Fame. His legacy as a NESN broadcaster also made him a well-known and loved figure throughout New England.
#44 – Jason Bay
The Canadian-born outfielder, Jason Bay, became an instant fan favorite after joining the Red Sox at the trade deadline in 2008. He played two seasons in Boston and performed about as well as anyone could have expected, especially trying to fill the shoes of a Red Sox legend such as Manny Ramirez. He departed after the 2009 season for New York and, unfortunately, dealt with injuries and underperformance for the rest of his career.
#45 – Pedro Martinez
Perhaps one of the most dominant and electrifying pitchers of all time, Pedro Martinez’s tenure in Boston was nothing less than legendary. Wearing the number 45, he helped lead the Red Sox to a World Series championship in 2004, breaking the 86-year curse. With numerous accolades under his belt, including three Cy Young Awards, Pedro’s incredible performances and fiery competitiveness remain etched in the memories of Red Sox fans.
#46 – Bob Stanley
With the number 46 on his back, Bob Stanley was a one-team man, spending his entire 13-year MLB career as a member of the Red Sox. Primarily used as a starter and a reliever, “The Steamer” was a versatile workhorse on the mound. Stanley contributed to Boston’s 1986 playoff run, and his 132 career saves still sit second in franchise history, only behind Jonathan Papelbon
#47 – Bruce Hurst
Left-hander Bruce Hurst was essential to Boston’s pitching staff during the 1980s. Wearing jersey number 47, Hurst was particularly impressive in the postseason, where his sterling performances led the Red Sox to the brink of capturing their first championship since 1918. Although they fell short, Hurst’s efforts remain immortalized in team history. Many believe he would have been the World Series MVP in 1986 had they ultimately won.
#48 – Lee Smith
During his career, Smith was a dominating force as a closer for a number of teams. Although his tenure with the Red Sox was brief, Smith still managed to leave an indelible mark. Wearing the number 48, he saved 58 games across three seasons (1988-1990), and the future Hall of Famer represented the Red Sox well during his tenure.
#49 – Tim Wakefield
The king of the knuckleball, Tim Wakefield, spent 17 of his 19 MLB seasons in Boston wearing the number 49. Wakefield was a versatile pitcher, able to start or relieve when called upon, and was an integral part of two World Series championships (2004, 2007). His longevity and commitment to the team make him an iconic Red Sox figure.
#50 – Mookie Betts
Arguably one of the most talented outfielders of this generation, Mookie Betts became an instant star donning the number 50 jersey. Winning a World Series in 2018, earning an MVP award, and showcasing an overwhelming range of skills, Betts dazzled fans during his time in Boston before being traded to the Dodgers. It’s just a shame we couldn’t see Mookie spend the rest of his career with the Red Sox.
You can check out the lists here for 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, and 31-40.
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