It seems as though lately that a big topic that has appeared on sports shows such as Mike and Mike in the Morning or His and Hers has been who would be on the Mount Rushmore for this or for that, greatest MLB players for example. I decided to come up with my own Mount Rushmore for the Boston Red Sox. This was really tough because it can only be four players and that eliminates a lot of tremendous individuals. As well, this can also be players who made a significant impact. One of these individuals was a slam dunk but the other three took a lot of thought deciding whether or not they should be on there.
Ted Williams is the easy one. He was actually the first player that I thought of and my decision never wavered to take him off. He was a six-time batting champion, seventeen-time All-Star, two-time Triple Crown Winner and a .344 lifetime batting average. He was the last player to hit over .400. Quite simply, the greatest hitter ever.
It got a lot harder after Williams. Next, I decided on Carl Yastrzemski. He didn’t have the career that Williams did, but he played for Boston for 23 years. For certain generations, when thinking about the Red Sox, Yaz is the first player that comes to mind. He won three batting championships in his career and was named to the All-Star game eighteen times. He carried the Red Sox in 1967 with his Triple Crown season.
The third individual to go on my Boston Red Sox Mount Rushmore was the hardest decision because I was torn between two players. Jim Rice really should be there too, but it seemed like that was too many players from one position represented on there. Then it seemed like perhaps a player who contributed on the recent World Series championship teams should be considered. The teams from 2004, 2007 and 2013 changed the face of the franchise from a star-crossed, Shakespearean tragedy of a ball club to a winner. There’s been one person who has been a part of all three.
David Ortiz is the third player because Boston doesn’t win in 2004 or 2013 without him. The greatest designated hitter ever and about as clutch as it gets.
Finally, I felt that a pitcher needed to be up there. Again, this was a tough call. There have been so many great pitchers for the Red Sox. Luis Tiant came to mind. Roger Clemens probably should have been that pitcher but he seemed to distance himself from Boston for years. Because of that and because of the impact that was made, the fourth player to be on my Boston Red Sox Mount Rushmore is Pedro Martinez.
Martinez’s career with the Red Sox wasn’t long but it was tremendous. For a two year period he may have been one of the best pitchers ever going 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA and a 1.74 earned run average in 2000. In his Red Sox career, he went 117-37 which is the highest winning percentage that any pitcher has had with any team in baseball history. Scary good.
I always watched Martinez and wondered if tonight would be the night he would throw a no-hitter. He made his starts almost like a festival. For a team and a city that has had racial issues in the past, it was great to see a player uniting the city like Martinez did.
So, there are my four. Williams, Yaz, Big Papi and Pedro. Some people may tear my list apart but go ahead. That’s the beauty of these conversations, everyone has their opinion. I still wish I could do five and throw Rice up there, but unfortunately, that’s breaking the rules. What’s your Mount Rushmore for your favorite baseball team?