Monday, December 21, 2015

I Hate that the Red Sox are Retiring #26

I've said it before. There are any number of ways a team can honor a player. They can elect the player to the team's hall of fame. They can build a statue of him. They can name something after him. They can put a display up of his artifacts. Or, they can retire his number.

Retiring a player's number is an enormous honor. It's basically saying that the player was so important to the team, so iconic that you just can't imagine anyone else wearing the same number as he did. It just wouldn't fit. Wouldn't seem right. If someone else wore #45 this year, it would seem out of place. That's Pedro's number. Always will be. 

For some reason, the Red Sox have suddenly decided to retire #26 in honor of Wade Boggs. Here are the list of players who have worn #26 since Wade Boggs left the team. (Thanks to RedSoxDieHard for having the list all ready for me.)

Wes Chamberlain
Alejandro Pena
Lee Tinsley
Aaron Sele
Orlando Merced
Chris Snopek
Rob Stanifer
Sean Berry
Lou Merloni
Freddy Sanchez
Ramiro Mendoza
Scott Podsednik
Brock Holt

Not exactly a who's who of baseball immortality. If Wes Chamberlain was given the number just a couple years after Boggs left, it doesn't exactly fit the "can't imagine anyone else wearing the number" criteria does it? 

So, how can the Sox now decide that Wade Boggs was such an icon in #26 that it should be retired for him? 

They can't.

This just screams of a Carlton Fisk type excuse to have a ceremony and sell tickets. Sure, Boggs had great numbers when he was here. He deserves to be honored. Name the chicken stand after him. Or hang up another plaque in his honor. Or build him a statue. But, don't retire his number. After all this time.

It just seems pathetic.


  1. Wow, it's like reading something I might have written. While I understand that they likely gave away the number because Boggs went to the hated Yankees, when you have to take the number away from Brock Holt in order to retire it, what does that say about the number?

    I want to say that the Red Sox had defended their position at one point by saying that the official policy was to retire numbers only for HOFers who spent their entire career with the Sox. Guess that's out the window.

  2. Yeah, it's about half the numbers now that don't follow their own rules. I don't mind that so much. Pedro only meets one of the three requirements, but he was an obvious call. It's the retirement of the number after so many others have worn it since that bothers me the most. Want to honor him? Fine. You just missed your chance to do it this way.


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