Brandon Phillips is now a member of the Boston Red Sox officially and in doing so, he had to pick a jersey number to wear. He went with 0, which is an underutilized number in baseball if you ask me. If double zeros were good enough form Robert Parish, one should be good enough for anybody.
Perhaps the most interesting revelation of Phillips’ number choice is that nobody in the history of the Red Sox has worn zero. That’s a long time to go before somebody decided a simple nil would suffice. Of course, there have been plenty of players in the franchise’s history to wear other single digit numbers. Here are the best at No. 1-9.
1 - Bobby Doerr
One of 11 players to have their number retired by the Red Sox (including Jackie Robinson), Doerr accumulated 51.3 bWAR in his 14-year Hall of Fame career, which featured nine All-Star appearances.
2 - Jacoby Ellsbury
While the Red Sox’s rivals have a rather famous fellow who wore No. 2, the Sox don’t have as many legends at the spot themselves. Xander Bogaerts should eventually surpass Ellsbury as the best player to wear No. 2, but that 2011 season mixed with his help in the 2007 World Series run gives Ellsbury a slight edge, even if he did trade his Sox for pinstripes.
3 - Jimmie Foxx
A lot of one-year wonders have sported the No. 3. Mark Loretta, Edgar Renteria, Alex Gonzalez and Pokey Reese all come to mind. But Foxx far outpaces them. Although he played the bulk of his career with the Philadelphia Athletics, Foxx won an MVP with the Red Sox in 1938 and hit 222 home runs across seven years in Boston.
4 - Joe Cronin
Also a player with his number retired by the Sox, Cronin was both a very good player and a stand out manager. He batted .301 for his career, including an even .300 mark with the Red Sox. He happened to manage them in the 1946 World Series as well.
5 - Nomar Garciaparra
To this day, you can still find fans wearing No. 5 on their backs at Fenway and they’re not repping Rocco Baldelli jerseys. The 1997 Rookie of the Year and two-time AL batting title winner ruled Boston along with Pedro Martinez in the late 90s and into the early 2000s.
6 - Johnny Pesky
Yet another player with his number retired at Fenway, Pesky batted .313 with an OBP of .401 in his eight years with Boston. He was a key member of the 1946 World Series team and has a piece of the actual ballpark named after him.
7 - Dom DiMaggio
With apologies to Trot Nixon, DiMaggio was the best to ever wear No. 7 for the Sox. He wasn’t the player his brother Joe was for the Yankees, but he made seven All-Star teams and even led the majors in stolen bases in 1950.
Update: As commentor yuj pointed out, there are some other contenders for No. 6 and No. 7. I went with Pesky since his number his actually retired by the team, but Rico Petrocelli had four four-win seasons and even notched a 10-win campaign in 1969. For No. 7, DiMaggio was my pick, but Reggie Smith deserves the accolade as well. He hit 149 home runs, made two All Star teams and even won a Gold Glove in eight seasons with Boston.
8 - Carl Yastrzemski
9 - Ted Williams
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Anyone could help the Red Sox improve a bullpen that is near the middle of the pack among potential postseason teams. (Mike Petriello; MLB.com)
Hector Velazquez will be on the mound tonight. (Chris Cotillo; MassLive)