Wade Boggs thinks his number should be retired; is he right?

1 4 6 8 9 14 27
Those are the seven numbers retired by the Red Sox over their 105 year history. Bobby Doerr, Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, and Carlton Fisk.

Apparently Wade Boggs thinks there should be one more: his own number 26. Boggs spoke to the Boston Globe about his desire, and assumption, that his number would one day be displayed in right field.
"It would be nice. Am I bitter? I thought when I wore a Boston hat in the Hall of Fame I'd be up there."
The Red Sox reasoning for his number not being retired?
"They told me there's criteria. You have to end your career as a Red Sox."
Boggs is clearly upset that he has not been immortalized by the Red Sox. Statistically, he deserves to be upset, but ownership has shown in the past that statistics are not all that matter when it comes to Fenway immortality.

In eleven seasons with the Red Sox, Boggs was a hitting machine. He batted .338 in Boston, with an .890 OPS. He batted over .350 five times, winning the batting title in each of those seasons. He is 3rd in Red Sox history in WAR, 2nd in batting average, 3rd in OBP, 7th in games played, 6th in runs scored, 5th in hits, 4th in walks, and 4th in doubles. He is arguably one of the five best hitters to wear a Sox uniform, certainly over the course of their career. Of all Hall of Famers who do not have their uniform retired, Boggs played the longest for the Red Sox; he is bust is even wearing a Boston B.

Roger Clemens certainly played for the Red Sox like a Hall of Famer (although his alleged PED use might bar him from actually making Cooperstown), and he played in Boston longer than Boggs. Boggs has clearly thought about this enough to realize that Clemens' number 21 has never given out to a player since his departure from Boston.
"I think his jersey is retired, isn't it? They've never given it to anybody."

By going to the Globe and complaining contemplating about his place in Red Sox history, Boggs seems to be missing the elephant in the room, or in this case, the NYPD police horse in the room. According to Boggs, he was verbally offered a seven year, $35 million offer from Jean Yawkey before her death. However, after she died, the offer never materialized, and Boggs ended up agreeing to a three year, $11 million deal with the Yankees. After his fourth year of .300 hitting in New York, Boggs helped the Yankees win their first World Series in 18 years, famously parading around Yankee Stadium on a police horse after the Game 6 clinching victory.

Boggs was certainly a better hitter than Doerr, Pesky, and Cronin, and arguably better than Rice. But all of those guys either played their whole career in Boston (Doerr, Rice) or had a significant role in the organization after playing (Cronin, Pesky).  No one will mean as much to the organization as Williams and Yaz, so he cannot compare to them. Carlton Fisk is the only player whose number is retired that Boggs could point to and question. Fisk played for the Red Sox from 1971-1980, before playing 13 more seasons for the White Sox. He did not finish his career with Boston, and did not have a smooth transition when he left, but his heroics in the 1975 postseason run alone supplanted him in Red Sox history forever. Most importantly, what do all seven of these Red Sox greats have in common? None of them played for the Yankees.

What do the fans think? Should Boggs be immortalized for his eleven exceptional years in Boston, or forgotten about because he is most known for riding that horse around Yankee Stadium? Comment below...

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