As I mentioned when I did Bobby Doerr, this list won’t be all about uniform numbers. But, when the Sox see it fit to retire your number, who am I to argue against your importance. So, who was this Joe Cronin guy?
I’ll be honest; I don’t know all that much about Joe Cronin. I know that either he or Nomar was the best shortstop in Red Sox history. That’s a pretty good start. He also managed and won more games than anyone else in Red Sox history. Nice addition. From there he went on to be the Red Sox general manager. Quite a trifecta there. After that, he moved to the American League front offices becoming the AL President, and Chairman of the Board. Of course, all that got him elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
That’s quite a career. I wonder if anyone else has done so much so well for the Red Sox, or Major League baseball. He could almost be in the Hall-of-Fame three times. (Doesn’t the NBA do that?) He could go in as a superstar player, a wonderful manager, or a long-time league executive.
Cronin’s number 4 was retired by the Red Sox in 1984, the same day as Ted Williams. They were the first two players to have their number retired by the Sox. I’ve always wondered what took so long. Obviously, teams had been retiring numbers since the 30’s. Williams and Cronin were about as good candidates as you’re ever going to get. I wonder why they waited, and what made them change their minds.
4 is for number 4, Joe Cronin.