Wade Boggs: Wikis

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Wade Boggs

Third baseman
Born: June 15, 1958 (1958-06-15) (age 51)
Omaha, Nebraska
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 10, 1982 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
August 27, 1999 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Career statistics
Batting average     .328
Hits     3,010
Home runs     118
Runs batted in     1,014
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     2005
Vote     91.9% (first ballot)

Wade Anthony Boggs (born June 15, 1958) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball, primarily with the Boston Red Sox. His hitting in the 1980s and 1990s made him a perennial contender for American League batting titles, in much the same way as his National League contemporary Tony Gwynn. Boggs was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. With 12 straight All-Star appearances, Boggs is third only to Brooks Robinson and George Brett in number of consecutive appearances as a third baseman. His finest season was 1987, when he set career highs in home runs (24), RBI (89), and slugging percentage (.588). He also batted .363 and had a .461 on-base percentage that year, leading the league in both statistics. In 1999, he ranked number 95 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

He currently resides in the Tampa, Florida neighborhood of Tampa Palms.

Contents

Minor league career

Boggs played in the longest game in professional baseball history as a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1981 against Cal Ripken, Jr. and the Rochester Red Wings.

Major league career

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Boston Red Sox

A left-handed hitter, Boggs won five batting titles starting in 1983. He also batted .349 in his rookie year which would have won the batting title, but was 121 plate appearances short of the required minimum of 502. From 1982 to 1988, Boggs hit below .349 only once, hitting .325 in 1984. From 1983 to 1989, Boggs rattled off seven consecutive seasons in which he collected 200 or more hits, an American League record for consecutive 200-hit seasons that was later matched and surpassed by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. Boggs also had six seasons with 200 or more hits, 100+ runs and 40+ doubles. Although he would not win another batting title after 1988 (his batting title that year broke Bill Madlock's Major League record of four by a third baseman), he regularly appeared among the league leaders in hitting.

In 1986, Boggs made it to the World Series with the Red Sox, but they lost to the New York Mets in seven. The photo of him fighting back tears, taken by George Kalinsky, photographer for the Mets, emblemized the emotions of many Red Sox fans after their team's loss at Shea Stadium.

New York Yankees

In 1992, Boggs slumped to .259 – one of only three times in his career that he failed to reach .300 – and at the end of the season he left the Red Sox, with whom he had spent his entire career. He was heavily pursued by two teams: the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees - he chose the Yankees when they added the third year to the contract that the Dodgers would not offer. Boggs went on to be awarded three straight all-star appearances, had four straight .300-plus seasons, and even collected two Gold Glove Awards for his defense.

In 1996, Boggs helped the Yankees to their first World Series title in 18 years. It was the only World Series title earned by Boggs. At a key juncture in the 4th game of the series, in the 10th inning, Boggs's "sharp eye and patience at the plate" enabled him to draw a bases loaded walk in the 10th inning of a tie game, driving in the winning run and shifting the momentum of the series in favor of the Yankees. [1] After the Yankees won the series in game 6, Boggs memorably celebrated by jumping on the back of an NYPD horse, touring the field with his index finger in the air - despite his self-professed fear of horses.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Boggs signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the final two seasons of his career, in 1999 collecting his 3,000th hit. Despite his reputation as a singles hitter with limited power, he is the only player whose 3,000th hit was a home run.[1] The historic ball was caught in the right field stands of Tropicana Field by Mike Hogan, a sports information director at the University of South Florida, who gave it back to Boggs at the conclusion of the game. Hogan had moved to Tampa just 10 days before the event. Boggs retired in 1999 after sustaining a knee injury, leaving with a career batting average of .328 and 3,010 hits.

Legacy

While not unique among non-pitchers, Boggs also recorded a few innings pitched at the Major League level. His main pitch was a knuckleball, which he allegedly used 16 times (along with one fastball) in one shutout inning of pitching for the Yankees against the Anaheim Angels in a 1997 game.

His own style included mental preparedness techniques, which consisted in visualizing four at-bats each evening before a game and imagining himself successfully getting four hits.

As of June 8, 1986, over the course of the previous 162 games (equivalent to a full season, though across two seasons) Boggs was hitting .400, with 254 hits in 635 at-bats.[2]

In 1987, Boggs – who was up for a new contract following the season – hit 24 home runs, easily the most in any year of his career.

On April 7, 2000 his #12 was retired by the Tampa Bay Rays.[3] Although he has not had his number retired by the Boston Red Sox, he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2004.[4]

The Margo Adams affair

Boggs garnered non-baseball related media attention in 1989 for his four-year extramarital affair with Margo Adams, a California mortgage broker. After Boggs ended the relationship in 1988, Adams filed a $12 million lawsuit for emotional distress and breach of oral contract. She argued that Boggs had verbally agreed to compensate her for lost income and services performed while accompanying Boggs on road trips.[5] Boggs' reputation was further sullied when Adams agreed to an interview with Penthouse magazine in which she discussed intimate details of her time with Boggs.[6] While acknowledging the affair, Boggs went on the offensive in order to combat the wave of negative press, denying many of the claims made by Adams. Boggs' rebuttal included an appearance on the ABC program 20/20 in which he presented his side of the story to Barbara Walters.[7] In February 1989, an appeals court threw out $11.5 million of the initial lawsuit, ruling that Adams could not seek compensation for emotional distress.[8] The remaining $500,000 was settled out of court later that year for an undisclosed amount.[9]

Hall of Fame plaque cap logo controversy

Before his retirement, Boggs was plagued by newspaper reports that the expansion Devil Rays gave him financial compensation in return for selecting a Devil Rays cap for his plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame, though he has denied that any such condition was part of his contract.[10] In light of those reports (and other rumors that teams were offering number retirement, money, or organizational jobs in exchange for the cap designation) the Hall decided in 2001 to change its practice of deferring to players' wishes regarding cap logo selection, and reinforced the Hall's authority to determine with which cap the player would be depicted. Boggs is wearing a Boston cap on his plaque.

Superstitions

Boggs was known for his superstitions. He ate chicken before every game (Jim Rice once called Boggs "chicken man"), woke up at the same time every day, took exactly 100 ground balls in practice, took batting practice at 5:17, and ran sprints at 7:17.[1] His route to and from his position in the field beat a path to the home dugout. He drew the Hebrew word "Chai", meaning "life", in the batter's box before each at-bat, though he is not Jewish.[11]

Beer drinking

Boggs is rumored to have once drunk 60-70 beers during a cross country flight, a story which originally received national attention via a sign in the background of an episode of ESPN's College Gameday before a Pittsburgh vs Virginia Tech football game. The rumor has become somewhat of a legend amongst college-aged males. Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon questioned Boggs on an episode of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. Boggs was quite cavalier leaving a slightly-ambiguous air to the whole situation. Although denying the actual number, Boggs understood what could have precipitated the rumor, "it was nothing to be proud of" he said and went on, "let's just say it was a few Miller Lites." The latter statement has resulted in the endearment of Miller Lites as "Boggs" or "Boggs Lite" to the aforementioned young crowd. [12]

Appearances/portrayals in the media

  • Wade Boggs once guest starred on Cheers (sixth season, "The Bar Wars") as himself.
  • He made a guest appearance in an episode of The Simpsons, (Homer at the Bat) in which he was punched out by Barney Gumble after arguing over who was the best prime minister in British history (Boggs favored William Pitt the Elder, while Barney backed Lord Palmerston).
  • Boggs was portrayed in an episode of Futurama as a head in a sports museum.
  • Indie rock band Sebadoh released a compilation of rare recordings entitled "Wade Through the Boggs" to support their 2007 tour.
  • Hip-Hop group House of Pain rhymes in the song "Put on your shit kickers": "Fuck the Dukes because I like Boss Hogg / I'm hittin' home runs like my man Wade Boggs"
  • Boggs has appeared in commercials for [Medical Hair Restoration]
  • Boggs inducted "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31, 2007. He had previously appeared in vignettes with Hennig that aired on WWE programming when he was first introduced, and was close friends with Hennig until his death.
  • According to Boggs on the "The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect" DVD, Boggs sliced his leg open on a barbed wire fence during a hunting trip with Hennig. Hennig carried him about 3/4 of a mile to safety and, according to the doctors, Hennig saved Boggs from bleeding to death.
  • Boggs was referenced in a fourth season episode of 30 Rock, but only in name, as character Tracy notes that he is legally obligated to say Wade Boggs Carpet World five times every time he is on screen.
  • In the 8th Season episode of Family Guy, titled "Quagmire's Baby", Peter incorrectly refers to Roe v. Wade as Wade v. Boggs.

Bibliography

  • Boggs!, Contemporary Books, 1986. ISBN 0-8092-5063-2.
  • The Techniques of Modern Hitting, Perigee Books, 1990. ISBN 0-399-51595-X. (with David Brisson).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "The Ballplayers - Wade Boggs Biography". BaseballLibrary.com. http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Wade_Boggs_1958. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  2. ^ Boston Globe, June 9, 1986. p. 37.
  3. ^ "Retired Uniform Numbers in the American League". Baseball Almanac.com. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/feats10.shtml. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  4. ^ "Red Sox Hall of Fame". RedSox.com. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/history/feature_hall_of_fame.jsp. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  5. ^ "THE LAW; At the Bar". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE1D6133EF930A35750C0A96F948260. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  6. ^ "BASEBALL; Gossip Checks In At Red Sox Camp". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE0D7123FF930A15751C0A96F948260. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  7. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: BASEBALL; Boggs Speaks Out". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE2D81F3EF936A15750C0A96F948260. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  8. ^ "Big Hit for Boggs in Court". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE7D7103FF934A15751C0A96F948260. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  9. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: BASEBALL; Boggs Settlement". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE4D9103CF930A25751C1A96F948260. Retrieved 2008-07-25.  
  10. ^ ""Boggs, Sandberg field queries as new Hall of Famers"". www.usatoday.com. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/hallfame/2005-01-06-boggs-sandberg-questions_x.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-21.  
  11. ^ The Rundown. >"Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me". http://www.npr.org/programs/waitwait/archrndwn/2005/aug/050806.waitwait.html. Retrieved 2008-07-25.   NPR. August 6, 2005
  12. ^ "Wade Boggs likes beer". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75Gx8OmO9Rk.  

External links


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