The 1990s were a mixed bag of results for the Boston Red Sox but they still delivered some of the favorite players in franchise history.
The 2020 Major League Baseball season is currently on pause thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The normal sounds of baseball in the spring have gone silent, meaning our ultimate wishes to see what 2020 has in store for the Boston Red Sox have been put on hold.
Instead of crying, which we’re told isn’t allowed in baseball anyhow, it’s a perfect time to step into the baseball time machine. Where we’re going there are still roads and a Red Sox team that had an uneven decade.
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That’s right: We’re going to look at the Boston Red Sox in the 1990s. More specifically, a look at the top five franchise players from that decade.
The ’90s started out well, with an A.L. East title. Ultimately, Boston was swept in the ALCS by the Oakland A’s.
There would be only one other title in the decade, a first-place finish in 1995 that ended by being swept by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. And it wouldn’t be until 1998 that the Red Sox returned to the playoffs, thanks to the wildcard becoming a thing.
Many familiar names highlighted this decade so a little requirement was needed to whittle down this list. I decided that a player needed to have played three seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
That means players like Pedro Martinez (1998-99) and Jason Varitek (1998-99) just missed the cut. I really wavered on including Varitek because he played one game in the 1997 season, but ultimately, his greatest years in Boston came later.
Both Martinez and Varitek are all-time Boston greats. As is Wade Boggs, who was with Boston for three years in the decade. But the better Boggs years were in the 1980’s so he narrowly missed out on this list as well.
Even players like John Valentin and Ellis Burks missed the cut. Valentin was the toughest decision, having played for Boston most of the decade and was one of the most consistent players during this era.
With that, in no particular order, are the top-five Boston Red Sox players in the 1990s.