Friday, June 10, 2005

Favorite Sox, From A To Z, (Part Eye Eye)

Here's the list of my favorite Sox from N-Z. Recap of the rules: Has to be someone I remember, and can't be a 2004 ringholder, as they are on their own list. HM=honorable mention. (For A-M, click here.)

Tim Naehring, 90-97. Always liked him as a 3B, could have been HoF material if he hadn't been injured so much. Built a mini-Fenway in his area near Cincy. HM: Reid Nichols, 80-85. Called Reid-y Deid-y in my house, and appeared on my puzzle of 83 Red Sox baseball cards. I don't know, I guess I just liked the name.

Spike Owen, 86-88. I had a cat named Spike from 84-01. Was at the beach in Old Saybrook watching the game when he got six hits. One of my favorite memories. Was very tough to see him on the yanks. HM=Troy O'Leary, 95-01. To clarify, only the first few years of O'Leary count here. Terrible job by him in the later years, but I liked how he's one of the six regular left fielders we've had since 1940.

Tony Pena, 90-93. Fun-lovin guy, sat on butt with one leg extended while catching at times. Couldn't believe we got such a big superstar at the time, even though it meant the end of Gedman. HM: Phil Plantier, 90-92. Another guy who I still can't believe didn't have a HoF career. Had that low, fun-to-imitate stance, and hit some monster dongs.

Carlos Quintana. 89-91, 93. A teenage years fave. Another guy who lost out on glory due to injury.

Jim Rice, 74-89. The classic Red Sox player from my youth. Like Evans, he was there from birth to mid-teens for me. A truly great baseball player. Should be in the Hall. HM=Jerry Remy, 78-84. Loved the "Scooter," (long before he was known as RemDawg) and he had the same name as me, if spelled incorrectly. Could relate to the little second baseman thing. We got his autograph in the mid-eighties at Fenway, when my dad spotted him in his streetclothes.

Lee Smith, 88-90. Menacing, and also had the same name as me, spelled correctly. HM=Jeff Stone, 89-90. A true Sox fan should know why. HM=Dave Stapleton, 80-86. Don't have a reason.

Luis Tiant, 71-78. Can barely remember the playing Tiante. Another guy who was hard to see in pinstripes. Good to see he went our way in the long run. And he signed a personal autograph to my mom for me, even though he initially said "No personalized."

Ugueth Urbina, 01-02. Terrible job, Ugi. Never liked his over-celebrations, and I'm a dude who loves guys who are really into the game. But he his the only Sox player whose last name started with "U" after the fifties, so by the rules of my list, he's my favorite "U." But note that he's also my least favorite. I feel bad for him with that ransom situation, of course.

Mo Vaughn, 91-98. My dad taught for years with Mo's dad, as Mr. Vaughn was the principal, down in Norwalk. We followed Mo's progress, and when he got drafted by the Sox, we were amazed and delighted. Great guy, great hitter. His mom gave me a big hug when I met her at Fenway. Too bad about the injury. HM: John Valentin, 92-01. Pretty solid, overall, when you think about it. Will never forget Game 3 of the '99 ALCS against Clemens.

Todd Walker, 03. Really grew on me throughout that crazy, crazy season.

X: No Red Sox player ever had a last name starting with X. Terrible job, X people. You all clearly didn't try hard enough.

Carl Yastrzemski, 61-83. Listened to Yaz' last at bat on the radio in '83, in probably my first year as a full-on radio listener. Had a Yaz pennant that said "3000 Hits, 400 HR." The first legend I got to root for.

Bob Zupcic, 91-94. Wins by default, but I really liked him. Had some key hits, but never lived up to his potential.

Non-arabic letter: None. Was too young to remember Eddie 9burg.

Players who didn't have a last name: None.

Didn't Roger's entire family show up for that game (Game #3, 1999 ALCS)? I recall the announcers saying so. I was laughing pretty hard, so the memory is vague.
What do you mean non-Arabic letter?
What Red Sox has ever had a last name that began with an Arabic letter? Do you mean the Latin alphabet?
Myyyyy mistake. I was thinking of my telephone number.....

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