Qualifiers: players will be classified under one position even if they played at more than one. They must also have at least two seasons as the team’s primary starter at the position.
Six-time All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra developed into a phenomenal pure hitter and one of the top players of his generation with the Boston Red Sox. In his six full seasons with the Red Sox, Garciaparra posted at least 5.9 wins above replacement per year and totaled 39.6, the eighth highest WAR in team history. He won two batting titles and became the fourth Red Sox player to bat over .370 in a season. In 966 games, he batted .323 with a .370 on-base percentage, .553 slugging percentage, 178 home runs, and 279 doubles. His .923 OPS is the sixth best in Red Sox history.
Hall of Famer Joe Cronin played his last 11 seasons in Boston from 1935 to 1945. Cronin was an outstanding shortstop and a successful manager and general manager for the Red Sox. In 1,134 games with the team, he batted .300, reached base at a .394 clip, and slugged .484 with 119 home runs and 270 doubles. He went to four All-Star Games with the Red Sox and managed them to a .539 winning percentage. He ranks tenth in team history with a .878 OPS.
One of the most iconic and lasting figures in Red Sox history, Johnny Pesky began his Major League career in 1942, the first of eight great seasons with the Red Sox. Pesky led the American League in hits in each of his first three seasons and he scored over 100 runs six straight times to start his career. He’s one of seven Red Sox to maintain an OBP north of .400 in his career with the team. His overall slash line in Boston was .313/.401/.393 with a 110 OPS+, an incredible 3.07 walk-to-strikeout ratio, and 4.3 WAR per season. His ties to the Red Sox went far beyond his accomplishments on the field and he remained a prominent face in the organization throughout his life.
Two-time All-Star shortstop Rico Petrocelli played his entire Major League career in a Red Sox uniform from 1963 to 1976. Petrocelli was a great shortstop with both the bat and the glove. He maintained a 108 OPS+ in his career, peaking in 1969 with career-highs of a .297 average, .403 OBP, and 40 home runs. He ranks in the Red Sox’ all-time top ten in home runs (210), walks (661), and RBI (773).
One of the greatest run producers to ever patrol the shortstop position, Vern Stephens played five of his prime years for Boston from 1948 to 1952. Stephens went to four consecutive All-Star Games with the Red Sox and he led the AL in RBI twice during his tenure. In his first three years with the team, he averaged 33 home runs and 147 RBI per season. He maintained a slash line of .283/.364/.492 with a 118 OPS+ in 660 games for Boston.
Honorable mentions: John Valentin, Rick Burleson, Freddy Parent, Heinie Wagner, Eddie Bressoud, and Everett Scott.
Boston Red Sox Team History & Encyclopedia, Baseball-Reference.com
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