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Wade Boggs wants his number retired by the Red Sox

Apr 10, 2013, 8:24 AM EDT

Wade Boggs Devil Rays

The best pure hitter — not that I’ve never been clear on what people mean when they say that — of the 1980s speaks to the Boston Globe:

Wade Boggs already owns a piece of the Field of Dreams. But he still dreams that the Red Sox will ease his pain and retire his No. 26 at Fenway Park.

“It would be nice,” said Boggs, 54, who is currently the assistant baseball coach of the Wharton High School Wildcats here, wearing pinstripes. “Am I bitter? I thought when I wore a Boston hat in the Hall of Fame I’d be up there.

“It’s been eight years now. I used to be bitter. But I think those days are over. Was I bitter? Absolutely.”

He probably deserves it on the merits, but having one’s number retired isn’t an exercise in quantitative analysis.  Yes, Boggs has a “B” on his Hall of Fame cap, but there were rumors that the Devil Rays included a “wear a Tampa Bay cap” on your plaque provision in his contract there at the end of his career. Boggs denied it, but the Hall of Fame felt it necessary to change its rules afterward to take away the choice on the matter from the players.

Also didn’t help that Boggs rode that horse in the Yankees World Series celebration in 1996. Which was totally cool and if you hold that against him for some reason you’re a heartless feind, but maybe the Yankees associations hurt his number-retirement cause in Boston.

You have to imagine it’ll happen for him eventually — the Red Sox can’t deny how awesome Boggs was for them forever, right? — but it’s not often that anyone gets what they want in this world by going to the press and whining like this either. Play the long game, Wade.

  1. Detroit Michael - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Of the 25 players in the 3,000 career hit club, Boggs has the oldest at the time of his major league debut. He bucked the odds and had a long and tremendously productive career.

    Now stop the whining, Wade!

    • sabatimus - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      At the same time, it’s pathetic that he has to ask the Sox to retire his number. He’s in the HOF, and deservedly so. What’s the fricking hold-up here? Was he that much of a clubhouse cancer? He was my favorite player growing up. Best contact hitter I’ve ever seen (with the possible exception of Ichiro).

      • spikeintn - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        You should include Rod Carew in that discussion.

      • dexterismyhero - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        but was he the best “Pure Contact Hitter”?

      • sabatimus - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        I didn’t see much of Rod Carew until near the end of his career, but yes, that was an omission.

  2. vallewho - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    This says a lot about the Boston Red Sox.

  3. Jack Marshall - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Boggs embarrassed the club and the city with his Margo scandal and sex addict mea culpa. Combines with the Yankee experience, there’s no way he’s going to have his number retired. I’m amazed he even expects it.

    • oldpaddy - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Didn’t he shit on the organization after he left?

      • soxfan1966 - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

        He crapped on the organization while he was still there. He was a great hitter, and while he started off as a crappy third baseman he worked hard to become adequate (his Golden Gloves were a stretch — not that a Golden Glove is an accurate measure of one’s fielding ability). No one can deny that he had some great personal accomplishments.

        However, a lot of Boston fans also remember his “me first” attitude”. His teammates couldn’t rely upon him to successfully execute a hit-and-run since he would more often than not take pitches. He had problems interacting with his black teammates — Boyd and Rice. The whole Margo Adams thing reeked, and he seemed only too eager to take his teammates down with him by threatening to disclose other players’ personal foibles.

        Boggs deserves his Hall of Fame plaque based upon his hitting accomplishments, but he offended a lot of people in Boston — that’s one reason the Boston brass weren’t too eager to re-sign him after the ’92 season — so a lot of fans at the time weren’t too sorry to see him leave. I would advise him not to hold his breath expecting to see his number hanging on the right-field facade at The Fens.

      • sabatimus - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Honestly, the way each Sox ownership group seems to cyclically treat it’s players like shit, I’m not surprised that he acted in kind.

  4. yahmule - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    Aw, Wade, go to some cushy game reserve and murder some exotic and unsuspecting animal. That always seems to cheer you up. Dick.

  5. rickinnh - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Boggs embarrassed the organization during and after he left. He continues to be a jerk to this day. He was the “headline” speaker at the New Hampshire Baseball Dinner that I was privileged to attend last winter and he was clearly intoxicated while on the dias. Anyone needing the spotlight so desperately needs professional help. Not enshrinement in another HOF.

  6. sdl1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Boggs lost all rights to have #26 retired on December 15, 1992.

  7. beachnbaseball - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    What an embarrassment. Asking a team to retire your number. Really. That’s like asking to be invited to a party.

  8. givetheballtoantowainsmithletsgo - Mar 21, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    Boggs was the real life Roger Dorn.

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