January 12, 2007

Top 100 Red Sox Of All Time

Brian at Friendly Fenway wants to compile the definitive list of the top 100 Red Sox players of all time. In his mail to me, he wrote:
I already went through baseball-reference and the historical stats from mlb.com to come up with a list of about 120 guys who made a significant impact on the Sox. I'll send the list to everyone who wants in on the project and we can go from there. We'll rank the players and then write a few paragraphs for each player. Hopefully I can get enough people involved where we'd each only write 3 or 4 bios a piece. Then the resulting rankings and bios get posted on as many Sox blogs as we can get. ...

I'd like anyone and everyone involved in it, even if they're not a blogger. As long as someone has an email address, a pulse, and wants to help with either making the list or writing the bios then they're qualified. The more Red Sox fans we can get together for this project, the better.
If you want to help, click the link for Brian's blog.

13 comments:

Jere said...

Andrew tried this once. I don't think it worked.

http://www.12eight.org/2006/04/14/top-100-red-sox-list/

Jack Marshall said...

A hundred is a lot from one team, when you think of it, assuming the list means best while playing for the Sox and not best careers (so players like Rickey Henderson, Juan Marichal etc. don't qualify.) I sat down and made a list off the top of my head, and by the time I was at 85 I was looking at players like Vic Wertz and Eddie Bressoud. You have to include some balance of positions; you can't include a lot of one-year wonders (though there are some, like Hawk Harrelson, Jerry Adair
and Keith Fouke, that I'd argue hard for.)And even with all that, I bet most knowledgable Sox fans would agree on 90% of the choices. The top 10 makes for a better argument. Mine: 1. Ted, 2. Yaz, 3. Rocket, 4, Manny, 5. Speaker, 6. Cy, 7. Boggs, 8. Fisk, 9. Papi, 10. Pedro.

redsock said...

The list should be best Red Sox careers, so Rickey is out. But why not include one-year wonders if that year was amazing?

This is a bit different than best players ever, but Rob Neyer's very excellent "Big Book of Baseball Lineups" includes a best "all-time" lineup for every team. It also has the "#2 team", "homegrown", "traded away", "gold glover", "iron glove", all-bust", "used to be great" and "all-name".

He also sticks closely to actual position, so he doesn't cheat and list TSW, Yaz and Rice and the best outfield because they are all left fielders.

Neyer's All-Time Sox lineup (through 2002):

C: Fisk
1B: Foxx
2B: Doerr
3B: Boggs
SS: Nomar
LF: TSW
CF: Speaker
RF: Evans
DH: Rice
SP: Clemens, Pedro, Cy Young, Joe Wood
RP: Radatz

Second Team:

C: Wally Schang
1B: Mo Vaughn
2B: Pete Runnels
3B: Jimmy Collins
SS: Pesky
LF: Yaz
CF: Fred Lynn
RF: Harry Hooper
DH: Yaz
SP: Lefty Grove, Mel Parnell, Babe Ruth, Luis Tiant
RP: Ellis Kinder

Neyer calls Gedman and Sammy White "the two next-best Sox catchers" in his Fisk note, then names Schang to the No. 2 team.

9casey said...

Top 100 players of all time, top 100, I would rather memorize Jack's poem book.. I know right now is a boring time for baseball but top 100..Jack no disrespect , just never really been a poem guy..Limmericks are cool though, especailly Irish ones....

Jack Marshall said...

Watch out, 9casey...I may just write a poem about the Sox top 100 just to annoy you...then again, I have my sock drawer to color-code...

Redsock: Neyer's list actually proves my point. I can't disagree with it, any of it, really. Yeah, Runnels as a second baseman is cheating a bit, but really, the Sox choices are pretty easy. (But how can Yaz be both LF and DH on the same team? Papi gets the top DH slot now, anyway, bumping Rice to the second team.)

By the way, is it me, or are those
word verifiaction tests getting harder?

L-girl said...

By the way, is it me, or are those word verifiaction tests getting harder?

It's not you. Blogger is having major problems. I have to log in 30 times a day, and I have to do the wordy thing at least twice every time, often 3 or 4 times.

L-girl said...

Two questions for Allan.

Do you agree with where Neyer put Babe?

Do you agree with where Jack put Pedro?

redsock said...

Do you agree with where Neyer put Babe?

I don't know. Ruth pitched in Boston for only 3 full seasons, 4 if you count 1918 and while he was one of the best in the game the entire time, it seems a bit high.

Do you agree with where Jack put Pedro?

No. If Fat Billy is #3, Pedro cannot be #10 (and below Ortiz).

Yaz seems too high, as does Speaker.

I was thinking Cy Young was also too high, but in his 8 years in Boston, he finished 1-3-2-5-2-5-2 in adjusted ERA. Not shabby, but
Pedro's 7 seasons: 2-1-1-x-1-1-8.

A quick Top 5: TSW, Pedro, Clemens, Yaz, Manny (his fielding puts him below Yaz).

Jack Marshall said...

Redsock: I confess to lowering Pedro because 1) I think great everyday players are more valuable than great pitchers 2) he had fewer years with the team than most of the others. Sad to admit, I also docked him for not winning a championship when it was within his grasp, though that wasn't his fault, of course. If he had stopped the Yankees in 2003, it would make a difference to me.
That said, I think you're right, he is too low. Switch him with Cy. Speaker has to get some bonus ponts for being the main star in the Sox team that won all the championships, but he probably belongs a few notches lower as you suggest. But Yaz: all those years,the batting championships, and especially, the Triple Crown and being the Big Cheese in the most exciting Sox season and most improbable Sox pennant ever? I think he earned the #2 slot with '67...I heard, went to or watched every game that year, and it was, and will always remain, the most amazing season ever. He'll always be my #2 for that at least, and I say that without emotional bias: Yaz was never one of my personal favorites.

redsock said...

I confess to lowering Pedro because 1) I think great everyday players are more valuable than great pitchers

But you put Clemens #3.

Speaker has to get some bonus ponts for being the main star in the Sox team that won all the championships

Why? He was either good enough to rate his spot or not. Rings should have nothing to do with it.

most improbable Sox pennant ever?

Coming back from being 3 outs from a 0-4 sweep to win the pennant is more improbable than 1967. (Though being only 3 years old during the Impossible Dream might have something to do with that opinion.)

Jack Marshall said...

No, really, Redsock, there's no contest. The 2004 ALCS was one (WONDERFUL,MAGICAL)series; the whole 1967 season was like that...remember, the team finished 9th the year before, 4 teams were tied for first in mid-September, and the Sox had to sweep the Twins to take it all. Plus they were a bunch of kids and cast-offs.All I can say to try to evoke the time was that, believe it or not, when the team lost the Series in '67 nobody really cared...the season had been that wonderful, nothing could spoil it. The best summer of my life, bar none. "Lost Summer," a decent book about the season, doesn't begin to capture it.

The other amazing thing about Yaz was his fantastic performances in the two Series, the division play-offs, the show-down with the Yankees and down the stretch in '67. Look at the stats. Yaz wasn't the big hit clutch hitter that Ortiz is, but he was a big game performer to stand with anyone.

My logic on Speaker is more based on the fact that I never saw him play (surprised?), and I am presuming, from the succes of the team of which he was reputedly a leader, that there is more to him than his raw stats (which are awfully good anyway.)

Regarding Clemens...if you switch Cy and Pedro and move Speaker down, say, to 6. (ahead of Boggs, which is right, I think), you get Pedro at 5. and Roger at 3.which given Clemens' extra service with the team doesn't seem unreasonable. But you're still right: he was mediocre in the play-offs.

9casey said...

Jack I would have loved to ask my father this question, he was a huge yaz fan...Who would you compare him to in today's game?

I saw him late in his career and idolized him more for the fact that my father said he could no wrong....

He was more comparable to a Ripken and a Brett than say ., Williams, Rice or Ramirez.......would you agree.

L-girl said...

Do you agree with where Neyer put Babe?

I don't know. Ruth pitched in Boston for only 3 full seasons, 4 if you count 1918 and while he was one of the best in the game the entire time, it seems a bit high.

Do you agree with where Jack put Pedro?

No. If Fat Billy is #3, Pedro cannot be #10 (and below Ortiz).

Yaz seems too high, as does Speaker.


Thanks. That's what I thought you'd say. :)

* * * *

The best summer of my life, bar none.

Jack, was 1967 the best summer of your life only because of the Red Sox, or do you now remember the 1967 season as possibly more magical than it was, because it coincided with the best summer of your life?

I'm always interested in how our own lives - our internal reality - affect our memories of external events. Music and sports are like that for so many people.