In what feels like the most boring, endless off-season ever, the Red Sox are finally giving us something to celebrate. No, David Ortiz isn’t magically thirty and un-retiring. No, Dave Dombrowski has not signed a big bat yet. But we do have five new inductees into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, and they’re pretty spectacular.
Growing up, I was always thrilled to see Kevin Youkilis make an appearance at my synagogue. When he, Gabe Kapler, and Adam Stern played together on the Red Sox in 2005, they set a record for the most Jewish players on the field at one time in AL history!
But more importantly, Youk played for the Sox from 2004-2012 and was an integral member of the 2004 and 2007 World Series championship teams. The Greek God of Walks also won a Gold Glove in 2007, the Hank Aaron Award in 2008, and was a 3-time All-Star. Even though he ended his MLB career with the Yankees, it’s hard to find someone in Boston who doesn’t love Youuuuuk.
John “Buck” Freeman
Buck Freeman was one of the OG Red Sox players and one of the first home-run hitters in MLB history. Freeman is remembered as one of the first true sluggers, hitting 25 homers in 1899, a massive feat during the Dead Ball Era. The runner-up for home runs that year only hit 12. Freeman’s record wouldn’t be surpassed until Babe Ruth came along a few years later and hit 29 homers in 1919, his last season in Boston.
Freeman played his final seven seasons for the team formerly known as the Boston Americans from 1901 to 1907 and hit 48 homers for the team during those years. He finished his career with 82 home runs and 713 RBIs. During his time in Boston, the team won their first World Series in 1903, the first World Series ever.
2007 World Series champ and MVP Mike Lowell personified clutch when he helped the Red Sox sweep the Colorado Rockies in the World Series. He’d also helped the 2003 Marlins win their franchise’s second (and last) World Series.
In his five seasons in Boston, Lowell’s numbers were an impressive .290/.346/.468 with 80 homers. In the 2007 World Series, he hit .400 with a homer, 4 RBIs, 6 runs, and a stolen base. He’s a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and 4-time All-Star.
“Al” Green has worked for the Boston Red Sox for 44 years. He will be this year’s non-uniformed inductee. You can find the 90-year-old at the Fan Services Booth, still working to make Fenway the most wonderful place on earth.
Finally, DLowe. He was traded to Boston along with Red Sox HOFer Jason Varitek in 1997, a move the Seattle Mariners are probably still kicking themselves over.
Even though Lowe was a solid pitcher who even threw a no-hitter in 2002, Boston fans probably (and rightfully) remember him for his postseason work. Derek Lowe pitched every clinching game in the 2004 postseason. Working on just two days rest, Lowe pitched Game 7 of the ALCS, leading the Red Sox to a victory over the Yankees. It was the first time in MLB history that a team came back from a 3-0 game deficit to win a postseason series.
But DLowe wasn’t done there; he pitched Game 4 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, who never stood a chance. He wasn’t even supposed to start a postseason game, but God knows where we’d be without him.
The induction ceremony will take place in May. Congratulations, HOFers!