His fans have waited a long time to hear it, but now it’s official. The Red Sox will retire Wade Boggs‘ #26 in a ceremony on May 26.
Boggs’ number will be the 10th to be retired by the club, joining Bobby Doerr‘s #1; Joe Cronin‘s #4; Johnny Pesky‘s #6; Carl Yastrzemski‘s #8; Ted Williams‘ #9; Jim Rice‘s #14; Carlton Fisk‘s #27; Pedro Martinez‘s #45, and Jackie Robinson‘s #42.
Boggs, 57, enjoyed an 18-year MLB career (1982-99) including his first 11 seasons with Boston followed by stints with the Yankees and Rays. In 2005 he was a first-ballot inductee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where his plaque wears a Red Sox cap.
With Boston Boggs slashed .338 AVG/.428 OBP/.462 SLG in 1,625 games. Only seven players have appeared in more Red Sox games than Boggs: Yastrzemski (3,308), Dwight Evans (2,505), Williams (2,292), Rice (2,089), Doerr (1,865) and David Ortiz (1,802).
In his time with the Sox Boggs led all major leaguers in batting average (.338), hits (2,098), doubles (422), on-base percentage (.428), and times reaching base safely (3,124). He also topped the American League in walks (1,004) and OPS (.890). Boggs’ .428 on-base percentage stands behind only Williams (.482) and Jimmie Foxx (.429).
Boggs’ accomplishments are many. His seven seasons with 200+ hits are three more than any other Red Sox. His eight All-Star seasons with the Red Sox are a club record for a third baseman and trail only Yastrzemski (18) and Williams (17) in franchise history.
“Wade Boggs was the best third baseman in Red Sox history and one of the best hitters of his generation,” said Red Sox principal owner John Henry in a press release. “This is a long overdue acknowledgement of a player who is arguably the best pure hitter in Red Sox history,” added team president Sam Kennedy.
Boggs, who owns the highest career AVG at Fenway (.369), said he was both humbled and honored, “To say that your number will never be worn again is the highest honor an athlete can receive,” he told a local Boston news outlet. “This was the last piece of my career that I looked forward to,” Boggs said to the Boston Globe, “The Hall of Fame was incredible, but I always wanted to be recognized by the team I loved being a part of.”
Brock Holt, who has worn #26, will become #12 this season.
We’ll have much more on Wade Boggs as Red Sox Nation prepares to honor #26 next May 26th.