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Ranking the Red Sox by age

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It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Angels
Is David Ortiz Boston’s top player by age? The answer may surprise you. But only if you are not aware of how old he is.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

We can measure the Red Sox any old way we want, but what about a ranking of how old they are, period? That's what I'm up to this week. Using data from redsox.com, I have painstakingly ranked the Sox by age, and I'm ready to share my results with you. Buckle up!

25. Andrew Benintendi

Here he is: The brash young rookie is finally in the majors, but he can’t crack this list any further than that. His talent is considerable, but his life experience is not. Born July 6, 1994, he is the exact age of the Oscar-winning film Forrest Gump.

24. Eduardo Rodriguez

Congrats are in order for E-Rod! With Benintendi’s arrival, he’s no longer the baby of the bunch. Born April 7, 1993, one website estimates his heart has beaten 858.9 million times since then. That’s a lot of heartbeats!

23. Mookie Betts

The Mookie/Xander debates shall likely rage forever, but here’s one list on which Betts will never catch Bogaerts. Born October 7, 1992, he’s six days younger than Xander and figures to maintain his lead over Bogaerts through this list even as the years drag on.

22. Xander Bogaerts

Born October 1, 1992, he is the exact same age as the Cartoon Network and, most importantly, older than Mookie.

21. Matt Barnes

With a June 17, 1990 birth date, Barnes is exactly the same age as British soccer player Jordan Henderson, and just as relevant to the Red Sox. Alright that’s not quite fair but you try relating Jordan Henderson and Matt Barnes.

20. Jackie Bradley Jr.

Born 4/19/90, JBJ may have have missed having a Nice birthday by 24 hours, but it’s good for 20th on this list. It was a close one, though! He almost was a spot higher…

19. Travis Shaw

The consummate professional, Shaw is 72 hours older than Bradley… but the victory comes with a price. On this date, the Sox lost their annual Patriots Day game to the then-American League Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 18-0. Your author was at the game as a 12-year-old. It was bad. Shaw’s birth helps ease the pain, a quarter-century later.

18. Robbie Ross Jr.

In the U.S., Ross’s birth may have been the big news of June 24, 1989 (check the papers), but across the world, it’s best known as the day Jiang Zemin became General Secretary of the Chinese Community Party; four years later Zemin, and not Ross, would take over as President of the People’s Republic of China.

17. Sandy Leon

Sandy Leon was born on the same date on which the entire province of Quebec was struck by a blackout caused by a friggin’ solar storm, heralding his arrival into the world on March 13, 1989.

16. Bryce Brentz

According to this website, the No. 1 song in America on December 30, 1988, the day Bryce Brentz was born, was "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," by Poison. I want this to be true so I’m not looking it up any further. You’re welcome, fam:

15. Rick Porcello

Christmas came and went before Rick Porcello jumped into this world on December 27, 1989, the same day as Hayley Williams, the lead singer of the band Paramore, was born.

14. Drew Pomeranz

Welcome to the club! The new Red Sox starter was born on November 22, 1988, the 25th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. A little disrespectful, imho, but we’ll let it slide.

13. Brock Holt

\o/! On June 11, 1788, Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reached Alaska and likely raised his arms in triumph, much like Brock Holt’s dad likely did 200 years later, when his son was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

12. Craig Kimbrel

The recently returned closer made his world debut on May 28, 1988, the same day 64,000 people crammed themselves full of drugs and into Ohio Stadium in Columbus to watch Pink Floyd perform.

11. Junichi Tazawa

Junichi Tazawa has 1986 all to himself among active Red Sox; he was born on June 6, two years to the day after Tetris debuted in the Soviet Union.

10. Fernando Abad

Finally! Inside the top ten! Born December 17, 1985, the newest Red Sox relief pitcher’s hair would be about 10 feet long had he never cut it, according to this ridiculous website that I trust implicitly.

9. David Price

Big-ticket free agent David Price (born August 26, 1985) was born the same day on which legendary Swedish actor Åke Fridell passed away. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Neither did Fridell.

8. Steven Wright

He’s out of this world! The knuckleballer hatched on August 30, 1984, the same day on which the space shuttle Discovery first blasted off.

7. Clay Buchholz

Born on August 14, 1984, my records show that Buchholz was born at the precise moment that the world’s most frustrating starting pitcher came into this world, if you can believe that. Some coincidence!

6. Hanley Ramirez

I got a lot of problems with all of you! Han-Ram was born on December 23, 1983 -- better known to Seinfeld fans as Festivus.

5. Dustin Pedroia

There’s a lot of August birthdays on this team, huh? Pedroia popped out on August 17, 1983, and hasn’t grown an inch since.

4. Aaron Hill

Aaron Hill was born on March 21, 1982, an inauspicious day for Boston Celtics fans:

3. Ryan Hanigan

The Grateful Dead played the Mississippi River Festival in Edwardsville, Illinois, on August 16, 1980. This seems perfectly appropriate for the day of Hanigan’s birth, given how closely he resembles a Deadhead and/or a roadie.

2. Brad Ziegler

The sometimes-closer closes in on our top spot but can’t quite nab it. His October 10, 1979 birthday is only one of two Sox b-days in the 70s, but as we all know, second place is just first loser. The winner is...

1. David Ortiz

The man, the myth, the legend was born on November 18, 1975, the date of a total lunar eclipse. It couldn’t have been a coincidence, which is why Ortiz takes our top spot in these rankings, as he does in so many others. Also because he is the oldest. Mostly the latter. It’s good to be king. And it’s good to be old.

I’d know.