Boston Red Sox All-Time ERA Leaders
Smoky Joe Wood
The Boston Red Sox have been an MLB team since 1901, when they were known as the Boston Americans. They became the Red Sox in 1908 and have fielded some of the greatest players in baseball history. The team has always had solid pitching, and here is a short list of the Sox’ all-time leaders in ERA to date:
Smoky Joe Wood (1.99)—Smoky Joe Wood pitched most of his career in Boston, from 1908 to 1915, and he ranks first in team history with a 1.99 ERA. Wood had a career best 1.49 ERA to lead the American League in 1915, but his best overall season was arguably 1912. That year, Wood had career highs in wins (34-5) and strikeouts (258) with a very respectable 1.91 earned run average.
Cy Young (2.00)—To some, Cy Young is a legend more than he was an actual pitcher, especially since his 511 career wins are a record that surely will never be broken. But Young was for real, and so were his numbers. He pitched in Boston from 1901 to 1908, and ranks second in franchise history with a 2.00 ERA. Young had a career low 1.26 ERA with Boston in 1908, but his best overall season for them was 1901. That year, Young went 33-10 with a 1.62 earned run average, with the wins and ERA leading the AL that year.
Ernie Shore (2.12)—Ernie Shore had a brief but excellent career and he pitched for the Sox from 1914 to 1917. Shore ranks third in the team’s history with a 2.12 ERA, and his best season was with Boston in 1915. That year, Shore had career best numbers in ERA (1.64), wins (19-8) and strikeouts (102).
Dutch Leonard (2.13)—Dutch Leonard began his career with the Red Sox in 1913 and pitched for them until 1918. Leonard ranks fourth in Sox history with a 2.13 earned run average, and his best season by far was 1914. That year, Leonard had career best figures in ERA (0.96, which led the AL), wins (19-5) and strikeouts (176).
Babe Ruth (2.19)—It’s hard to argue that Babe Ruth wasn’t the greatest player of all-time, not because of his remarkable hitting ability, but because he was a pitcher before he was an outfielder/first baseman, and he was a darn good pitcher. Ruth ranks fifth in Red Sox franchise history with a 2.19 ERA, and his best season as a pitcher was in 1916. That year, Ruth went 23-12 with a career best 1.75 ERA (led the American League), and career high 170 strikeouts.