Yesterday it was announced that Chris Sale will be starting for the AL team and will be joined by his teammates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez in the starting lineup. Of course, Mitch Moreland and Craig Kimbrel will likely make an appearance as well, but there is no doubt that the Boston Red Sox are well represented in this seasons Mid-Summer Classic. My first installment of this list, which consisted of the top ten through six ranked all franchise All-Stars had some great names on it. However, we are getting to the top five All-Stars in Red Sox history.
5. Pedro Martinez (98, 99, 00, 02)
Originally I thought Joe Cronin belonged in this spot. However, I spent some time thinking and this is the right choice. Everyone knows Martinez as one of the most dominant pitchers to ever live and made a living out of making batters look silly. However, in 1999, he did something spectacular. Sure, he started the All-Star game as many pitchers typically do. This instance is more about the way he started it. He struck out five out of six batters faced over two innings. Those batters were Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Jeff Bagwell. In what is considered one of the best All-Star Game performances of all-time. He also won the ASG MVP after that game. When talking about franchise All-Stars, Pedro must be mentioned.
4. Bobby Doerr (41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 88**)
All-time Red Sox second baseman Bobby Doerr was no stranger to the All Star Game, having started in five of them for the AL. The Red Sox purchased Doerr for $75,000 in 1935 and started for the team when he was 19 years old. A lifetime batter of .288 with 2042 hits, Doerr spent all 14 seasons of his career with the Red Sox. Doerr most likely would have been an All-Star in 1945, but he opted to join the Army instead. After serving his country he returned to the club in 1946 and, despite a dip in batting average, drove in 116 runs. Bobby Doerr sadly passed away at the age of 99 on November 14th 2017, but his legend will be remembered always.
3. David Ortiz (04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 16)
What’s a Boston Red Sox top ten list without David Ortiz? Everyone knows the huggable slugger and Yankee killer that Ortiz became. He always had an overpowering presence when at the plate, regardless of who his opponent was. He meant more to Boston than almost any other player in the franchise’s history. Ortiz has one homer and a .294 average in all ten All-Star games, including seven starts. However, his most memorable moment came during his last All-Star game in 2016, when he was pulled out in the first inning to a standing ovation and salutations from all of his major league peers. He even had a friendly exchange with former Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, which makes all the more reason to get emotional.
2. Carl Yastrzemski (1963, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72,
73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 89**)
Yaz is probably second in everyone’s mind when it comes to best Sox players to ever live. The accolade is well deserved, as he had a lifetime batting average of .285 with 3419 hits and played all 23 seasons with the Red Sox. However, not many know of his All-Star Game heroics. Yaz hit his only ASG home run off Tom Seaver in 1975. He also robbed Johnny Bench of a home run in the 1969 All-Star Game and had a .294 average in 14 games. He represented the Red Sox almost as best as anybody else. Almost.
1. Ted Williams (1940, 41, 42, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60)
Teddy Ballgame is the best hitter ever. His stats are mind-boggling (lifetime .344/.482/.634/.1.116), but these numbers carried over to the All-Star Game realm as well. Batting .304 with four home runs in 16 All-Star Games, he continued to make a name for not only himself, but for the Red Sox as well. In a roster that was just dripping in hall-of-fame talent such as Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio of the likes, he always stood out. Williams had a walk off home run in the 1941 All Star Game off of pitcher Claude Passeau of the Chicago Cubs. Adding to the fact that Williams also hit .406 the same season, this was just icing on the cake.
Williams would have probably had five home runs in All Star Games, but was robbed of a homer by Willie Mays in the 1955 affair. There was also the matchup against Rip Sewell in 1946, when batters would call his eephus pitch “nearly unhittable”. In true Ted Williams fashion, he ripped it out for a home run. Ted was truly one of the best to ever play the game year-round.
Italics = started ASG; ** = managed ASG