My Boston Red Sox All-Time World Series Team
Who would you chose?
On the most recent episode of the Bastards of Boston Baseball’s YouTube show, we drafted our All Time Red Sox World Series Team: our all-time team comprised solely of players who won a World Series.
The video turned out great and it’s always fun talking baseball with those guys.
We created a team of: a starting 9 (with a DH), 3 bench bats, 2 starting pitchers, and 2 relievers. Not a full baseball team does that make, but it made for an even numbers of picks per drafter.
As a part of that exercise, I, of course, had to create my own team to bring into the draft. You can see our collaborative team in the video, but you can see my team below.
A few notes on my process:
I chose specific seasons for a player: Would I rather have ’04 David Ortiz or ’07 Ortiz?
I tried to include one member from every World Series team. Yes, that includes going all the way back to 1903. I was able to do so for every team except the 1916 team, which has a few players from other years — but I chose their better seasons.
C — 2004 Jason Varitek S/R
137 games — .296/.390/.482/.872, 121 OPS+, 18 HR, 73 RBI, 10 SB (4.0 WAR)
Come on! Long time Captain of the Red Sox and ’04 was the year that he punched A-Rod in the face.
1B — 1915 Dick Hoblitzell L/R
124 games — .283/.351/.396/.747 127 OPS+, 15 doubles, 12 triples, 9 SB (3.0 WAR)
Dick won two World Series in Boston. He was also a good influence on and off the field — he roomed with rookie Babe Ruth in an attempt to settle the cocky youngster. Sadly, his career was cut short so he could be a dentist in WWI.
2B — 2013 Dustin Pedroia R/R
160 games .301/.372/.415/.787 115 OPS+, 9 HR, 84 RBIs, 17 SB (6.1 WAR)
In 2013, Pedroia led league with 724 plate appearances, messed up his thumb on Opening Day and played the whole season with the injury, won an All Star, Gold Glove, and Defensive Player of the Year Award. He was pretty cold in playoffs that year, but the team never would have made it without him — he was the only player to play more than 150 games that year.
3B — 1912 Larry Gardner L/R
143 games .315/.383/.449/.832 134 OPS+, 24 doubles, 18 triples, 25 SB (23 CS) (5.8 WAR)
He led Boston with 5 RBIs in the 1912 Series and hit the team’s only home run. In the 10th inning of the final game, he also drove in the winning run on a sac-fly.
SS — 2018 Xander Bogaerts R/R
136 games .288/.360/.522/.883 135 OPS+ 23 HR, 103 RBI (4.9 WAR)
This is a very light position throughout Red Sox World Series history. I’ve had my ups and downs with Xander and I’m not crazy about the fact that he’s a career .231 hitter in the playoffs, but his presence on the field and in the clubhouse are often enough for me.
LF — 2004 Manny Ramirez R/R
152 games .308/.397/.613/1.009 152 OPS+, 43 HR, 130 RBI (4.1 WAR)
In 2004, he led the AL in HR, slugging percentage, and OPS. He hit .385 in ALDS, .300 in ALCS, and .412 with a home run and 4 RBI in the World Series.
He also gave us this web gem that year:
CF — 1912 Tris Speaker R/R
153 games .383/.464/.567/1.031 191 OPS+, 10 HR, 90 RBI, 52 SB (28 CS) (10.1 WAR)
Led American League with 10 HR, led majors with 53 doubles. Named MVP (10.1 WAR). Career batting average of .345 (sixth all time). 792 doubles is a career record. Defensively, career records for assists, double plays, and unassisted double plays by an outfielder. His fielding glove was known as the place “where triples go to die.”
He’s a steal.
RF — 2018 Mookie Betts R/R
136 games — .346/.438/.640/1.078 186 OPS+, 32 HR, 80 RBI, 30 SB (10.7 WAR)
2018 MVP (with All Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger) Led majors in runs (129), batting average, and slugging percentage. Highest fielding percentage among major league right fielders at .996.
Boy, was he fun to watch in Boston. I miss him and still rock his jersey to half the games I go to.
DH — 2004 David Ortiz L/L
149 games .301/.380/.603/.983 145 OPS+, 41 HR, 139 RBI (4.3 WAR)
Very close to being 2007 Ortiz who really had better stats (Led AL in walks with 111 and OBP), but his postseason heroics — ALCS Game 4 and Game 5 walkoffs and .400 in the postseason with five home runs and 23 RBI, put ’04 him over the edge.
Bench — 1918 Babe Ruth L/L
Batting: 95 games .300/.411/.555/.966 192 OPS+ with league leading 11 HR. Pitching: 13–7, 20 games, 19 starts, 166.1 IP, 2.22 ERA, 122 ERA+ (7.0 WAR)
Although 1916 was probably a better pitching season for The Babe, 1918 was when he started to find his place as a hitter and he is being used as an offensive bench player here. That’s not to say that he wasn’t an extremely effective pitcher: He pitched 29 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless WS innings, a record that stood for more than 40 years. He was prouder of that record than he was of any of his batting feats.
My fantasy team will use him as both a lefty SP and a bench bat.
Bench — 2018 Brock Holt L/R
Listen, I know that there are more impactful offensive players than 2018 Brock Holt. I wanted some more 2018 representation and although J.D. Martinez would have made more sense offensively (his first year in Boston: .330/.442/.629/1.031 with 43 HR and league leading 130 RBI and 358 total bases while winning two Silver Sluggers for OF and DH), I didn’t want another righty while also wanting some defensive flexibility. Brock played all four infield positions, as well as LF and RF that year. He was also so much fun to watch — I miss him too.
Bench — 2004 Dave Roberts L/L
For The Steal and The Steal only.
SP — 1903 Cy Young RHP
28–9, 40 games, 35 starts, 5 games finished, 34 complete games, 7 shutouts, 2 saves, 341.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 145 ERA+, 0.969 WHIP, 176 Ks. (8.0 WAR)
I mean, it’s the Cy Young. Obviously the game of baseball is entirely different from the way it was played in 1903, but there’s a reason you’ll never see stats like this again: they’re insane. He also did this all at age 36.
He also slashed .321/.340./.431/.771 with a 125 OPS+.
SP — 2004 Curt Schilling RHP
21–6, 32 starts, 3 complete games, 226.2, 3.26 ERA, 148 ERA+, 203 Ks. (7.7 WAR)
This season’s pitching performance happened this century, but you don’t see seasons like this that often either. At age 37, he led the league in wins and finished 2nd in Cy Young voting. And who can forget the Bloody Sock game?
RP — 2013 Koji Uehara
4–1, 21 saves (3 BS), 1.09 ERA, 0.565 WHIP (3.5 WAR)
Although Papelbon is the better career Red Sox closer between the two, Uehara had a better single season that aligned with a World Series win (Papelbon only won in 2007). Uehera had a spectacular regular season (coming in 7th in CY Young votes, the highest finish for a reliever that year) *and* a great postseason, recording seven saves, tying the record for most saves in a single postseason.
RP — 2007 Jonathan Papelbon
1–3, 37 saves (3 BS), 1.85 ERA, 0.771 WHIP (3.1 WAR)
He’s the best closer in Red Sox history, saving a franchise record 219 games. In 2007, he won the AL Delivery Man of the Year for the regular season and in the postseason, he didn’t give up a run in any of his 10.2 IP. And who could forget his reaction to clinching the victory?
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Stats, as always, are from Baseball Reference, FanGraphs, and MLB.com