Bill Buckner: Remembering The 1986 American League Champion Boston Red Sox

Bill Buckner, who played first base for the Boston Red Sox from 1984 to 1987 and 1990, ranks in the top 100 among major league baseball players in eight important lifetime categories.  In fact, only 53 players in the history of major league baseball have accumulated more base hits than Buckner’s 2,715 career hits.

Bill Buckner’s career, which began in 1969 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and ended in 1990 with the Red Sox, spanned four decades.  He is one of only twenty-five major leaguers to achieve this distinction.  His four-decade career places him among such luminaries as Ted Williams, who played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, and Carlton Fisk whose career began in 1969 with the Red Sox and ended in 1993 with the Chicago White Sox.

Buckner was also one of the great ‘contact hitters’ of all-time, striking out only once for every 22 plate appearances.  To put that statistic into perspective, the two best contact hitters on the 2006 Red Sox, Mark Loretta and Mike Lowell, are on pace to strike out once for each 11 plate appearances.  Looking back in history, Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs, who was recognized as an exceptional contact hitter, struck out once for each 15 plate appearance during his Red Sox career.

But despite these glowing statistics, Bill Buckner selects the following quote from his playing career as the way he would like to be remembered:  “The fans like players who go all out, play hard.  I do the best I can.  I enjoy playing.  That’s all I’ve done.”  Interviewed by telephone in his Boise, Idaho, home Buckner says, “That pretty well sums it up.  That’s what my career was all about.”

ALL-AROUND ATHLETE 

Bill Buckner was born and raised in Vallejo, California, a small town “out in the country,” in his words, about 50 miles north of San Francisco.  His older brother Bob and younger brother Jim both excelled in schoolboy sports and went on to play minor league baseball.  Bill is quick to acknowledge that his was an athletic household.

“There was a lot of whiffle ball played in the backyard and a lot of softball in the house.  There were quite a few broken windows.  I’m afraid we drove our mother to distraction,” he laughs in memory.  And how did younger sister Jan, Jim’s twin, fare in all this activity?

“She held her own with us.  She was very athletic.  At the time there wasn’t as much opportunity for girls to play sports, but if there had been I think she would have done very well,” he recalls, looking back.  And who was the best athlete among the Buckner boys?

“To be honest,” he replies, “I think we were all pretty even.  Both of them [Bob and Jim] were terrific athletes and had nice careers.  I think it was probably a case where I was a little more motivated and probably got a little better instruction.”

Buckner excelled in sports at nearby Napa High School.  He was an outstanding wide receiver in football and was later elected to the Northern California High School Football Hall of Fame.  But baseball was his first love.

“When I was about twelve years-old, a fellow by the name of Augie Garrido, Sr., [Augie Garrido, Jr., is the nationally-known baseball coach at the University of Texas] who was an umpire and part-time scout, told me he thought I had a future in baseball.  And that always stayed with me.  I enjoyed the other sports, but I always thought baseball was my future.”

After graduation, Buckner matriculated at USC on a combination baseball/football scholarship.  It may surprise Red Sox fans who watched him ten years after a serious ankle injury slowed him, but speed was a primary weapon for the young Buckner.  “When we were at USC I used to race Bobby Valentine [then a future major league player and manager] to classes.  He always won though.  He was quite a track star back in Connecticut.”

The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Buckner in the second round of the June 1968 draft.  He remembers that it was difficult deciding whether to sign a professional contract.  “It was a tough call.  I was torn.  I recognized the value of a college scholarship and I had always intended to graduate.

“And I hated the Dodgers because I grew up a San Francisco Giant fan,” he adds.  “I remember watching them in Seals Stadium [the Giants first home after moving from New York] and seeing players like Willie Mays, Leon Wagner and the Alou brothers.  But in the end I decided to sign with the Dodgers.”

WELCOME TO PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL

             Bill Buckner’s first stop on the road to the big leagues was Ogden, Utah, with the Dodgers team in the short-season Pioneer League.  Buckner remembers his introduction to Ogden’s manager, and subsequent Dodger legend, Tommy Lasorda.  “We had an intra-squad game and Tommy was pitching to both sides.  I hit a double off the wall and stopped at second.

“Tommy threw his glove down and said, ‘If you ever do that again [stop at second instead of trying for a triple] I’ll slit your throat!’  I was in a state of shock.  Here I’ve been in a professional baseball uniform for less than an hour, and the manager is threatening to slit my throat.  I didn’t know what to think,” he recalls, laughing at the memory.

“But Tommy was great, I learned a lot from him.  He made us play every game like it was the World Series,” Buckner said.  “And we had some great players on that team.  Bobby Valentine was on that team.  Steve Garvey and Tom Paciorek played with us.  And Tommy [Lasorda] made sure we won!”

Bill Buckner was on the Dodgers fast track to Los Angeles.  He started the 1969 season with the Dodgers farm team in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but he was promoted to Triple-A Spokane after just 70 games in Double-A.   After batting .315 in Spokane he found himself in Los Angeles as a September call-up.  He made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter in a September 21, 1969, game against the Giants.

Asked how well he remembers his first major league at-bat, Buckner responds, “I’ll never forget it!  We were playing in San Francisco against the team I grew up rooting for.  The Giants were fighting the Braves for first place in the division.   And I had about 30 family and friends in the stands.  As a September call-up I had just been sitting and watching, but Walter Alston [Dodger manager and a Hall-of-Famer] sent me up to pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning.

“I remember how hard my heart was pounding, and thinking, ‘How will I ever play in the big leagues if I feel like this every time I come up?’  I was facing Gaylord Perry, one of the Giants best pitchers.  The home plate umpire saw how nervous I was, and said, ‘Relax son.’  But I did manage to foul off four or five pitches.  Finally I hit one towards right field that looked like it might fall in, but Ron Hunt [Giant second baseman] made a nice catch and the game was over.”

DODGER BLUE

That 19-year-old went on to accumulate an additional 9,396 official at-bats in the major leagues.  Since this total ranks 39th on baseball’s all-time list it is clear that Bill Buckner overcame his first at-bat jitters.  And after an All-Star season with Spokane the following season, he returned to the Dodgers at the end of the 1970 season for 28 games.

Bill Buckner, who played first base for the Boston Red Sox from 1984 to 1987 and 1990, ranks in the top 100 among major league baseball players in eight important lifetime categories.  In fact, only 53 players in the history of major league baseball have accumulated more base hits than Buckner’s 2,715 career hits.Buckner LA

Bill Buckner’s career, which began in 1969 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and ended in 1990 with the Red Sox, spanned four decades.  He is one of only twenty-five major leaguers to achieve this distinction.  His four-decade career places him among such luminaries as Ted Williams, who played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960, and Carlton Fisk whose career began in 1969 with the Red Sox and ended in 1993 with the Chicago White Sox.

Buckner was also one of the great ‘contact hitters’ of all-time, striking out only once for every 22 plate appearances.  To put that statistic into perspective, the two best contact hitters on the 2006 Red Sox, Mark Loretta and Mike Lowell, are on pace to strike out once for each 11 plate appearances.  Looking back in history, Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs, who was recognized as an exceptional contact hitter, struck out once for each 15 plate appearance during his Red Sox career.

But despite these glowing statistics, Bill Buckner selects the following quote from his playing career as the way he would like to be remembered:  “The fans like players who go all out, play hard.  I do the best I can.  I enjoy playing.  That’s all I’ve done.”  Interviewed by telephone in his Boise, Idaho, home Buckner says, “That pretty well sums it up.  That’s what my career was all about.”

CAREER-CHANGING INJURY 

             On April 18, 1975, Bill Buckner suffered a severe left ankle sprain sliding into second base.  “I came back to play after spending some time on the disabled list,” he recalls.  “But my ankle wasn’t right, and yes, that was the beginning of my ankle problems.  I had surgery in September to remove a torn tendon and in October I had bone chips removed.”

The surgeries helped, and in 1976 he came back to hit .301 and steal 28.  But in January 1977 the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Bill Buckner and two others to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Rick Monday and pitcher Mike Garman.  “That [trade] really hurt,” Buckner says emphatically.  “The Dodgers were like family.  I had been with the organization my whole career and it was a close-knit organization.  But when you are traded like that you have to remember that someone else wants you.”

Buckner’s career got off to a solid start with the Cubs when he batted .284 in 1977, playing exclusively at first base.  But he acknowledges that he had to make some significant adjustments.  “It wasn’t just playing for a new team in a new city.  In the fall of 1976 I had had another operation for bone spurs and I ended up with a staph infection. The ankle never healed right and I had to change my approach.  I went from a speed player, to a player who focused on driving in runs.”

Bill Buckner obviously adjusted quickly, because in 1978 he hit .323 and drove in 74 runs despite appearing in only 117 games.  The Chicago writers voted him “Chicago Player of the Year” in recognition of his outstanding performance.  But what he remembers best from that season is that the Cubs, who had gone through some lean years, were in contention for most of the season.

“I remember that we were in or near first place around the All-Star break and the fans were really into it.  The Dodgers had contended for most of my time and it was nice to feel that we [the Cubs] had a shot.  The Cubs fans are really great.  And I came to enjoy living and playing in Chicago.  I lived downtown and I used to ride my bike to Wrigley Field.”

Like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field is a unique ballpark: especially when the wind is blowing out.  A game played at Wrigley Field on May 17, 1979, stands out in Bill’s mind.  “The wind was really blowing out that day and at one point we trailed the Phillies 19-6.  But we came back to tie it 22-22.  I remember I hit a grand slam and knocked in seven runs.  We eventually lost 23-22, but it was a game I’ll always remember.”

NATIONAL LEAGUE BATTING CHAMP 

             In 1980 Bill Buckner found himself locked in a tight battle for the National League batting title.  The race for the batting crown came down to the final game of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Buckner needed one hit to ensure a lead over St. Louis first baseman Keith Hernandez.

“I could have sat out and backed into the title but I didn’t want to do that.  John Candelaria was pitching for the Pirates and I saw him during batting practice.  He said, ‘I don’t want Keith [Hernandez] to win.  I’m going to lay it in for you all day.’  I didn’t know what to think, but the first pitch he threw me was his big curve ball that I couldn’t possibly hit.  It went on like that all day and I was 0-5!  But Keith didn’t do anything either and I won the batting title with a .324 average.”

The following season Bill Buckner made the National League All-Star team.  “That was a thrill,” he remembers.  He also had the distinction of driving in over 20% of the Cubs runs in 1981.  No major leaguer matched that feat until Sammy Sosa, also with the Cubs, drove in 21% of his team’s runs with 160 RBI in 2001.

Bill Buckner continued as a key contributor for the Cubs over the next two seasons.  In 1982 he became the first Cub with over 200 hits since Hall-of-Famer Billie Williams reached that level for the Cubbies in 1970.  In 1983 he set then career highs in doubles [38] and home runs [16] and he set a Major League record for first basemen with 161 assists.  But when the Chicago Cubs began their 1984 season Bill Buckner was spending most of his time on the bench.  The Cubs had decided that Leon Durham was their first baseman of the future.

BOSTON BOUND 

             On May 25, 1984, the Chicago Cubs traded Bill Buckner to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Dennis Eckersley and a minor league infielder.  “I had grown to like Chicago,” Buckner recalls.  “I had some good years there, my older daughter Brittany was born while I played there, and the fans were great.  But it was time to move on.  I knew I was going to sit on the bench in Chicago, but I was going to play every day in Boston.  It was good to change leagues, to get a new start.”

The Red Sox were mired in sixth place in the American League East Division, with a record of 19-25 when Bill Buckner was inserted in the Red Sox lineup on May 26.  In the 113 games that he started at first base over the remainder of the season, the Red Sox had a winning record of 67-46.  Buckner led the team with a .352 average with runners in scoring position, and the team finished in fourth place in the Eastern Division with a respectable 86 victories.

Bill Buckner remembers that he had to adjust his swing to accommodate the dimensions of Fenway Park.  “When I came to Boston my power was to straight away right field.  All you have to do is look at the 380-foot sign on the bullpen to know that isn’t the best place to target.  Walter Hriniak [long-time Red Sox hitting instructor] worked with me a lot to change my hitting style.  I made some adjustments and was able to use the left-field wall and also take advantage of all that room in right field.  Walter was a big help to me.”

In the offseason he had surgery to remove a loose fragment in his left elbow.  He came back in 1985 to have one of his finest major league seasons, starting in all 162 games for the Red Sox.  He had a career-high 110 RBI, his 201 hits ranked third in the American League, and he had the best strikeout to at-bats ratio in the league.  And he led the Red Sox with 18 stolen bases in only 22 attempts.Bill Buckner

How does a 35-year-old player with a bad left ankle manage to steal 18 bases? Buckner responds, “First you need a manager who gives the opportunity to run when the time is right.  And John McNamara trusted my ability to pick my spots.  You pick the right pitcher and the right opportunity.  My speed was gone, I couldn’t run, but I had been trained to steal bases.  I looked for spots that wouldn’t hurt the team if I got caught.”

Starting at first base in all 162 games gave him an opportunity to break his own major league record for assists by a first baseman.  His 184 assists shattered his old mark of 161 with the 1983 Cubs.  “It’s not as big of a deal as it sounds,” Buckner insists.  “I played a deep first base because that allowed me to get to a lot of balls that might have gotten through in the hole between first and second.  As a result I was fielding more balls and had more plays with the pitcher covering.  After I hurt my ankle I played almost exclusively at first and I worked hard on my defense.  I took a lot of pride in my defense at first base.”

The 1985 Boston Red Sox got off to a good start, and they were in second place only two and one-half games out of first place on June 17.  But injuries took their toll and the team finished at 81-81 for fifth place in the American League East Division.

 AGAINST THE ODDS 

 Little was expected of the 1986 Boston Red Sox.  After finishing eighteen and one-half games behind the East Division Champion Toronto Blue Jays the previous season, the team was a media consensus pick for fifth place in 1986.  But Bill Buckner didn’t buy into the media’s pessimism.

“When we started spring training I felt pretty good about our chances.  I thought we would play well.  We had some good young pitchers and I knew Bob Stanley’s versatility would help us.  Injuries hurt us the year before, but we had finished strong,” Buckner observes, referencing the team’s 21-13 record over the last 5 weeks of the season.

Roger Clemens’ record-setting 20-strikeout win over the Seattle Mariners on April 29 seemed to set a tone for the season Buckner remembers.  “Roger Clemens was the best pitcher in baseball that season.  Whenever we needed a win he seemed to come through.”

At mid-season Bill Buckner’s batting average was substantially below his lifetime average, but he continued to be the team’s best contact hitter.  Over the course of the season he drove in 24 of the 37 runners who were on third base with fewer than two outs.  He agrees that his skill as a contact hitter was a major factor in his success at advancing runners.

“I hated to strike out,” he remembers, “and that was part of the reason I usually put the ball in play.  But I was taught that it was my job to move the runner along.  That was ‘the Dodger way.’  If there was a runner on second with no outs, your job was to move that runner over to third.  And if you came up with a runner on third with fewer than two outs, it was up to you to get him in.”

There are no statistics for advancing runners from second to third with no outs.  But they do faithfully record sacrifice flies.  And Bill Buckner ranks 29th in the history of major league baseball with 97 career sacrifice flies.

On August 18 the Red Sox were clinging to first place and Bill Buckner was batting only .248.  But as the team moved to solidify their hold on first place, Buckner caught fire.  He hit 8 home runs with 20 RBI in 12 games between September 2 and 14.  He was named American League Player of the Week for September 8 to 14.  He put together a 17-game hitting streak that ran through September 28.  And on September 28 the Red Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 12-3 at Fenway Park to clinch the 1986 East Division Championship.  The game ended when Bill Buckner squeezed a pop-up in his first baseman’s mitt for the final out.

“That’s a terrific memory,” Buckner offers reflecting on the celebration that took place on the field after the East was won.  “And we had a lot to celebrate.  That was a great team.”

POSTSEASON REMEMBERED

             The 1986 Boston Red Sox were matched against the California Angels, winners of the American League West Division in the American League Championship Series.  The Angels surprised the Red Sox with a Game One victory over Roger Clemens at Fenway Park, but the Red Sox rebounded for a 9-3 win in an afternoon game at home to tie the Series.  The two teams then flew 3,000 miles to Anaheim, California, for Games Three through Five.

After losing Games Three and Four in Anaheim Stadium, the Red Sox were on the brink of elimination when the Angels took a 5-2 lead into the ninth inning of Game Five.  A lasting impression is Bill Buckner’s leadoff at-bat against Angel’s starter Mike Witt.

Buckner kept stepping out of the batter’s box and at one point Witt could be seen screaming at him to step back in.

“I was fired up,” Buckner recalls.  “I knew it might be my last at-bat of the season, and I wasn’t ready to let the season end.”  Eventually he slapped a single up the middle and scored on a Don Baylor home run as the Red Sox closed the gap to 5-4.  Dave Henderson’s “home run for the ages” put the Red Sox up 6-5, and after the Angels tied it in the bottom of the ninth, Henderson’s sacrifice fly in the eleventh inning gave the Red Sox a 7-6 win.

“That was the most exciting game I ever played in,” Buckner acknowledges.  “Dave Henderson was just great.”

The Red won Game Six at Fenway Park behind the pitching of Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd by a score of 10-4.  Roger Clemens pitched masterfully in Game Seven to the delight of the Fenway faithful, and the Red Sox prevailed 8-1 to earn their first American League pennant since 1975.  The stage was set for an historic World Series against the New York Mets.

1986 WORLD SERIES

The Boston Red Sox upset the heavily favored Mets with a 1-0 victory in the Series Opener at Shea Stadium.  And they continued their winning ways with a relatively easy 9-3, Game Two victory in New York.  The Series shifted to Fenway Park with the Red Sox holding a surprising two-game advantage.

But the momentum shifted quickly in the first two Games at Fenway Park.  Boyd never found his rhythm as the starter in Game Three and the Mets won with ease by a margin of 7-1.  When New York won Game Four 6-2, the home field advantage had shifted back to the Mets.  But Bruce Hurst pitched a complete-game victory in Game Five, defeating Mets ace Doc Gooden 4-2.  The Series returned to New York with the Red Sox one victory away from their elusive World Championship.

The Red Sox jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in Game Six scoring single runs in the first and second innings.  The Mets tied the game with a pair of runs in the fifth inning, but the Red Sox eked out a run in the seventh to regain the lead.  Roger Clemens pitched brilliantly through seven innings but he was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth after developing a blister.  The Mets tied the game in the bottom of the eighth with a run off reliever Calvin Schiraldi, and the game moved into the tenth with the score knotted at three apiece.

Dave Henderson led off the tenth inning with another heroic home run, and the Red Sox added an insurance run to take a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the tenth.  But the Mets turned three singles and a wild pitch into two runs to tie the game 5-5.  With Ray Knight at second base and the count at 3-2, Mookie Wilson topped a ground ball down the first base line that eluded Buckner, rolling into right field, and Knight scored the winning run.

Bill Buckner told reporters later, “I was playing deeper than usual, and I knew that Wilson was extremely fast.  The ball seemed to be spinning off the end of the bat, and I was seeing the ball well.  The ball had so much spin on it; I kept looking for it to bounce.  But it never did.  It just kept spinning and spinning and it got under my glove.  It’s hard to believe I missed that ball.  I don’t ever recall missing a ball like that in my past career.”bucknerGame 6

Reflecting on that quote almost twenty year later, Buckner says, “That’s pretty much it.  I couldn’t tell you the last error I had made prior to that play.  I didn’t make many errors [his lifetime fielding percentage at first base was .992] and most of them were on throws, not ground balls.  It was just one of those things.”

Red Sox relief pitcher Bob Stanley, who was in the middle of the action in the tenth inning, probably best puts the game into proper perspective.  “Everyone wants to talk about the last inning, or even the last play,” Stanley said later.  “But that’s not right.  We left 14 runners on base that night.  You have to look at the whole game.”

Bill Buckner remembers feeling good about the Red Sox chances in Game Seven.  “I thought we had the better team.  We hit well again that night and took the lead.  Bruce Hurst was pitching great, but he had pitched a lot in the playoffs and he ran out of gas.  It just wasn’t meant to be.”

INTO HIS FOURTH DECADE  

 The Boston Red Sox placed Bill Buckner on unconditional waivers on July 23, 1987.  Lou Gorman, who was the Red Sox General manager at the time, calls the decision, “One of the toughest things I had to do in baseball, and perhaps my toughest decision with the Red Sox.  Buckner was an intense competitor and a good guy.  He was the consummate professional, but we [the Red Sox] were going poorly and we had to go in a different direction.”

Bill Buckner’s memory is similar to Gorman’s.  “It was tough,” he agrees.  “But I wasn’t playing that well, and I only had two home runs, so I understood.  If I was Lou I would have done the same thing.  Lou Gorman is a very nice man,” he adds.

Bill Buckner signed five days later with the California Angels where he played through May of 1988.  He signed as free agent with the Kansas City Royals on May 13, 1988, and he split his time between first base and serving as their designated hitter for the balance of 1988 and all of the 1989 season.

And Bill Buckner was back in a Boston Red Sox uniform for Opening Day in 1990.  “Playing my way onto the Red Sox team as a 40 year-old was one of the best things I did in baseball,” Buckner says.  “They invited me to spring training partly as a courtesy and partly because the media backed them into a corner.  My locker was down with the minor leaguers, but I played so well they had to put me on the roster.”

buckner 1986            And on Opening Day in 1990, the Boston fans gave Bill Buckner an extended, standing ovation.  “That was very moving,” Buckner emphasizes.  “Even now, talking to you about it, and remembering it, I get chills.  I’ll never forget it.”

He played well early that season, even contributing an inside-the-park home run at Fenway Park.  But a shoulder injury put an end to his comeback.  “At that point, I couldn’t hit, I couldn’t throw, and, of course, I couldn’t run.  Even I knew it was over at that point,” he chuckles softly.

 BOISE, IDAHO

Bill Buckner and his family moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1993.  “When I was a kid,” Buckner explains, “I had a step-uncle who had a ranch in Idaho.  I got to visit in the summer and I fell in love with this part of the country, the whole northwest really.  When I first met my wife, I used to tell her when my playing days were over I wanted to move to Idaho and live on a ranch.  I’m not sure if she believed me, but while I was still playing I bought a ranch out here and I had my brother Jim manage it.

“I did some work with the Red Sox in their minor league system after I retired.  Once I finished up with that, it was time to move out here.  We love it.  Besides, when I was a kid, Bonanza was my favorite show!”

Today Bill Buckner is active in real estate development and he owns four auto dealerships.  “Having good partners is the key,” he emphasizes.  One of the housing developments he built is called Fenway Park.  “That was very successful,” he adds.

Bill Buckner and his wife Jody have two grown daughters, Brittany and Christen Ashley.  Their son Bobby will be a senior at Boise High in the fall, and shows considerable promise as a switch-hitting shortstop.

“I would like to have been at the 1986 reunion at Fenway, it would have been great to go back and see the guys.  But I had made a commitment to Bobby and that had to be my priority.  July 1 was the first day that Division 1 colleges could contact next year’s high school seniors, and he heard from 15 colleges.  That was nice.

Bill Buckner played hard, he played hurt, and he played with great distinction.  He was a “players’ player.”  And these are all attributes that Boston Red Sox fans value highly.

Bill Buckner couldn’t be there when the Red Sox honored the 1986 team on June 27. But when his name appeared on the centerfield video board, the capacity crowd at Fenway Park stood and cheered him for about 30 seconds.  It would be nice to have a chance to repeat that ovation with Bill Buckner on hand to enjoy it.       

Former Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the home Opening Day baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Boston, Tuesday April 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

Former Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner throws out the ceremonial first pitch for the home Opening Day baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Boston, Tuesday April 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

-END-

 

 

HOW BILL BUCKNER RANKS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HISTORY

 

CATEGORY

 

CAREER TOTALS

 

ALL-TIME

MLB RANK

Games Played 2,517 51st
At-Bats 9,397 46th
Base Hits 2,715 62nd
Singles 1,994 49th
Doubles 498 60th
Total Bases 3,833 107th
Sacrifice Flies 97 36th (Tie)
Intentional Walks 111 97th
SOURCE: www.mlb.com

 

 

 

           


Article written by

Herb Crehan is in his 22nd season as a Contributing Writer and he has written more than 125 feature articles for RED SOX MAGAZINE. He has authored three books on the Red Sox, including The Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox: Birth of Red Sox Nation, which was released in November 2016, and contributed to five others. He speaks frequently in the Boston area on Red Sox history. He is the publisher of this website, which is dedicated to the preservation of Boston baseball history. Comments and suggestions for future articles may be submitted at his website www.bostonbaseballhistory.com

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