The Boston Dozen, From Foxx To Betts
This Boston Slugger Finally Got Recognized As The League's Top Player
Ted Williams Obviously Ranks Among The Dozen, But Others Have Been Mostly Forgotten
With their game five victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in November, Boston moved into a tie for the third most World Series Championships by a team. It was the ninth overall crown for the Red Sox, moving them into a tie with the Oakland Athletics but far behind the 27 titles of the New York Yankees in the American League. The St. Louis Cardinals, who have won the World Series a total of eleven times, have the most in the Senior Circuit and second most in all of baseball.
One week after earning the bronze medal for the most titles for a team, the Red Sox also moved into a third place tie in another coveted category for America's pastime. Outfielder Mookie Betts took home the Most Valuable Player Award, which was the twelfth one in the history of the franchise.
Those dozen moved Boston into a third place tie with the San Francisco Giants, trailing only the same two teams that beat them out in World Series Championships. The Yankees have won MVP awards twenty times, and the Cardinals have notched sixteen.
When you think of the dozen winners for Boston, several names automatically come to mind. Hall of Fame outfielders Ted Williams and Carl Yastremski are obvious recipients of the honor, the former winning it in both 1946 and 1949.
Pitcher Roger Clemens, a perennial winner of the Cy Young Award, earned the MVP as well in 1986. He remains the only hurler in franchise history to be named as league MVP, in spite of great Boston arms such as Pedro Martinez, David Price and Luis Tiant.
Given the recent success of the Red Sox, you might expect to find All-Star slugger David Ortiz among the team's dozen MVP winners. Believe it or not, Big Papi never received that honor, although one of his long time teammates took it home in 2008.
Dustin Pedroia, who remains the team's second baseman entering the 2019 season, was selected as the MVP of the A.L. ten years ago. He is one of only two Boston infielders to ever earn that distinction, the other being first baseman Jimmie Foxx back in 1933. Although he had a remarkable run as the starting shortstop for the Red Sox, All-Star and Rookie of the Year Nomar Garciaparra never took home the MVP award.
Two members of the pennant-winning 1975 Red Sox, outfielders Jim Rice and Fred Lynn, won the M.V.P. Award at some point in the or careers. For Lynn it came in that very year when Boston list to Cincinnati in the seven game Fall Classic, and he also was selected as Rookie of the Year as well. Two years later the M.V.P was presented to Rice, the last Red Sox outfielder to get it until Betts nabbed it this year.
The other pair of Boston players to earn the honor were first baseman Mo Vaughn and outfielder Jackie Jenson, who have kind of been the forgotten stars of very good teams. Vaughn was selected as M.V.P. in 1995, while Jenson earned it in 1958.
With a roster of young stars like Betts, Andrew Benentendi, and Xander Bogarts, Boston will likely add to their dozen of M.V.P.s in the near future. Let us not forget that the runner up for the award this year behind Betts was his teammate, J. D. Martinez, who will be among the favorites predicted to win it in 2019.