A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 52 Wade Boggs (Number 4 Third Base)

It is interesting because early in his career Boggs wasn’t recognized as a good fielder. However, he was give credit for making improvements in the field and one two gold gloves in his mid-30s when players are in the process of going downhill starting in their early 30s. Baseball Reference has him as a above average fielder for almost his whole career and have him taking a downturn in his 30s. Ironically, the year after winning his two gold gloves, Baseball Reference has him playing defense like he is in his 30s. It would be interesting comparing gold glove winners with WAR defensive leaders.

I saw the Red Sox play two consecutive games in 1986 the year the lost the World Series to the Mets. I went on August 5th and the Red Sox had a 2 and a half game lead in their division, but there were 5 teams within 6 and a half games of them. So, there was no time to relax. Richard Dotson pitched a great game against them beating Oil Can Boyd 3-1. The most interesting thing was our trip to the game and our shots. My friend and I were on the east coast camping. He wanted to go back to the campground before going to the game so he could take his insulin shot. He was diabetic. I said we were cutting it close anyway and he could take his shot in the car. I finally convinced him, and he said he would take it in the parking lot at the game. My friend was never a good navigator, long before GPS, and we got a little loss along the way. I stopped once for directions. So, it took as longer than we thought. Consequently, we were late getting to the game. Then the only parking lot we found that had space we had to double park behind other cars. My friend didn’t want to use parking garage for some strange reason. My friend then had to take his shot while the parking lot guys watched from outside our rental car. I have no idea what they thought of us. I was so brilliant I didn’t use this time to mark where are car was located. After the game no one was happy as the Red Sox loss with only 3 hits. We couldn’t find the parking lot where our car was located. It took at least 20 minutes, but it seemed longer. People stared at us when we got back but didn’t say anything. I meekly apologized and we drove away.

We had tickets for the next days game. We planed our day better to get to the game earlier. Since we left earlier, traffic wasn’t as bad, and we made it in good time. I convinced my friend that we should park in a parking garage which worked well. No one watched him take his shot. Bruce Hurst pitched for the Red Sox and gave up 3 hits. He pitched a shutout. Floyd Bannister pitched for the White Sox and didn’t get anyone out. He pitched to six batters. Marty Barrett the number 2 batter hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first getting all the runs the Red Sox would need. He and Boggs each scored 3 runs. Bill Buckner drove in 4 runs. It shows what can happen when your leadoff men get on base. Boggs was 2 for 2 with 3 walks. Buckner was 3 for 4 with 1 walk. So, the first two batters were on base 9 times. Makes it nice for the next four hitters. We left the ballpark fast that night and had a much better time overall at the park.

Boggs peaked from age 25 to 31. He not only led the league in batting average 5 times but led the league in on base percentage 6 times.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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