While it is not the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, it is still an honor for pitchers Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to receive recognition in getting elected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame as among the greatest players in team history. I do not mean a short history dating back to 1998 such as with the division rival Tampa Bay Rays. I mean a 113-year history that dates back to 1901 and includes Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Cy Young, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, and more.
Clemens, Martinez, and Garciaparra (along with radio man Joe Castiglione) make up the 2014 class as reported by Red Sox beat writer Ian Browne of MLB.com. A panel of 16 Red Sox officials, media representatives, and booster club representatives elected the men and announced the results on Wednesday, February 5. The official induction ceremony will occur in August.
Clemens deserves induction into the MLB Hall of Fame. I laid out the reasons why when he did not get in this year and actually lost support. In short, he had a career record of 354-184, 3.12 ERA, 1.173 WHIP, 4,672 strikeouts, and 5.8 average WAR over 24 years. He won seven Cy Young awards — SEVEN!
In 13 Red Sox years from 1984-1996, he was 192-111 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.158 WHIP, 100 complete games, 38 shutouts, and 2,590 strikeouts. He also won his first three Cy Young awards. From the link above, I explained why he belongs even with the looming controversy:
“Even amidst controversy, he would get my vote. Besides, Clemens was acquitted of his perjury charges. I am a firm believer in the Constitutional principle of Innocent until Proven Guilty, and MLB did not prove him guilty.”
Martinez also deserves induction on his first ballot in 2015. See why here, but here is an excerpt from that explanation:
“In 18 seasons from 1992-2009, Martinez had a career record of 219-100, 2.93 ERA, 1.054 WHIP, and a 5.3 average WAR from 1993-2008. He also retired with a 10.0 K/9-IP strikeout ratio. He lost 10 games only twice while with the Expos early in his career. His 219 wins would put him ahead of 24 other Hall-of-Fame pitchers (not all starters), and he has fewer losses than 64 of them.”
His Boston numbers from 1998-2004 are even more dominant: 117-37, 2.52 ERA, and 0.978 WHIP. In 1999, he was 23-4, with a 2.07 ERA and 0.923 WHIP as he won his second Cy Young award. His average WAR with Boston was 7.7, which FanGraphs defines as MVP, their highest ranking. Here is the chart on FanGraphs.
While I do not see Garciaparra making the MLB Hall of Fame, he definitely earned his place in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. In the same link as with the Martinez statistics, I laid out Garciaparra’s Red Sox career totals:
“With Boston from 1996 to mid-2004, Garciaparra hit .323/.370/.523 with 178 HR and 690 RBI and made five A.L. All-Star appearances. He was one of the three big-name shortstops (Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez) who turned the position into an offensive one in the late 90s and early 2000s. Unfortunately for him and Red Sox fans, he missed out on the 2004 magic after his mid-season trade to the Cubs as part of a four-team deal.”
Garciaparra was still a good player for the Cubs, Dodgers, and Athletics after leaving Boston, but he will always wear the Red Sox in the team Hall.
Congratulations to Joe Castiglione and Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, and Nomar Garciaparra — three of the greatest Red Sox players of all time.