This discussion started as part of another discussion, but it deserves to be its own.
Who do you believe will have their # retired by the Sox over the next twenty years or so (past players through current players)?
The Red Sox policy on retiring uniform numbers is based on the following criteria:
-- Election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame
-- At least 10 years played with the Red Sox
I don't know if both these rules will hold up. There used to be a third rule stating that the player had to retire with the team, but they changed that in order to retire Fisk's #27. Rules change. There is no knowing how many players from the amazing 2004-current run will make the HOF (probably not many), so they may have to include a bit of leeway.
Within the next 20 years...
I believe the Sox will retire Pedro (45), Ortiz (34), and Tek (33), with only Pedro actually making the Baseball HOF.
In my opinion, Evans and Boggs also deserve it, but it’s almost too late for Evans, considering they let Manny wear #24, and Boggs is already in the Red Sox Hall of Fame (2005 – they would have retired his # at the same time). How big a smack to the face is it that Boggs wanted to go into the Baseball HOF with a Devil Rays hat due to financial compensation (well-known rumor)? That must really irk the Sox. As well as his playing for the Yankees. That alone should be a lifetime disqualification for having your # retired.
Schilling will make the Red Sox HOF, but I don’t see them retiring his #. He only played for the team for four seasons. The minimum for consideration is ten. He’s well short. However, he very well may make the Baseball HOF, and if he does, they'll retire his #.
Manny is an entirely enigmatic case. I have no idea if the team will honor him or disown him for life. Right now, leaning toward the latter.
No Johnny Damon? No Johnny Damon! And I’d bet my life if Damon gets into the Baseball HOF he goes in with a Yankees hat.
The young guys (Lester, Youkilis, Pedroia) are too young to say yes or no to. They'll all make interesting cases if they stay with team to finish out their careers.