Wade Anthony Boggs
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 197 lb.
- High School Plant High School
- Debut April 10, 1982
- Final Game August 27, 1999
- Born June 15, 1958 in Omaha, NE USA
In spite of his long career, Boggs did not come to the majors until he had played six years in the minors, hitting over .300 almost every year. It is likely that the Boston Red Sox management did not appreciate how good he was because the team averages at some of Boggs' teams in the minors were pretty low. For instance, with Pawtucket in 1980 when Boggs hit .306, few of his teammates were able to hit as high as .250. In 1981, Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. played against each other in the longest professional game in history. Both played third base and the official scorecard is on display in the Hall of Fame.
Boggs was signed as a 7th round pick in the 1976 amateur draft by the Red Sox and scout George Digby. He broke into the majors hitting .349 in 1982 and was in the general area of .350 for most of his seasons through 1988. He was usually among the league leaders in on-base percentage (he led the league six times) and also doubles (he led the league twice) through 1991. In 1987 he showed some power with 24 home runs, one of only two times that he would get into double figures in homers.
Although he hit over .340 only once after 1988, he still usually hit .300, and finished his career hitting .301 in 1999. With his 724 minor league hits, Boggs' total of 3734 hits in organized baseball is sixth all time. In 1998, he became the third major league player to homer on his 40th birthday, following Bob Thurman (1957) and Joe Morgan (1983). Boggs was the first player to hit a home run for his 3,000th hit, in 1999 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Derek Jeter also did it in 2011.
Late in his career he pitched a couple of times, giving up one run in 2 1/3 innings for a 3.86 ERA. After his playing days, Boggs was the Devil Rays' hitting coach in 2001.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 4, 2005 by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In 2011 he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame. On May 26, 2016, his uniform number, 26, was retired by the Boston Red Sox; Tampa Bay had earlier retired number 12 in his honor.
He had a well-publicized affair with Margo Adams, which apparently did not impact his hitting. He admitted that he was a "sex addict". Boggs' "Delta Force" plan was used to film his teammates while they were cheating on their wives as blackmail to keep his clandestine relationships secret.
He appeared in The Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat". He was known for his exceptional concern with superstitions. For example, he was known to eat only chicken on the day of games; his favorite was lemon chicken. He published a book of chicken recipes, called Fowl Tips.
- 12-time AL All-Star (1985-1996)
- 2-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1994 & 1995)
- 8-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1983, 1986-1989, 1991, 1993 & 1994)
- 5-time AL Batting Average Leader (1983 & 1985-1988)
- 6-time AL On-Base Percentage Leader (1983 & 1985-1989)
- 2-time AL OPS Leader (1987 & 1988)
- 2-time AL Runs Scored Leader (1988 & 1989)
- AL Hits Leader (1985)
- 3-time AL Singles Leader (1983, 1984 & 1985)
- 2-time AL Doubles Leader (1988 & 1989)
- 2-time AL Bases on Balls Leader (1986 & 1988)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1987)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1983-1989)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 7 (1983-1989)
- Won a World Series with the New York Yankees in 1996
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 2005
- Steve West: "Wade Boggs", in Bill Nowlin and Leslie Heaphy, ed.: The 1986 Boston Red Sox: There Was More Than Game 6, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2016. pp. 20-25. ISBN 978-1-943816-19-4