BOSTON — Three former Red Sox stars who won World Series rings in Boston are among five former franchise players who will head to the team’s hall of fame in 2018.
Former Red Sox players Kevin Youkilis, Derek Lowe, Mike Lowell, and the late John Frank “Buck” Freeman have been selected as the 2018 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees. Alphonso “Al” Green, who has spent the last 44 years working with the Red Sox, has been chosen as the non-uniformed inductee.
In addition, the major league debut of Pumpsie Green, who became the first African American player in Red Sox history on July 21, 1959, has been selected as the “Memorable Red Sox Moment,” a moment in Red Sox history that is regarded for its special significance.
This year’s selections were made by a 21-person committee headed by Red Sox team historian Gordon Edes and comprised of club executives, local and national media members, historians, and fan representatives. The Class of 2018 will be honored at a Red Sox Foundation gala on May 24 at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. More details will be announced at a later date.
Youkilis was selected by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 2001 June Draft and spent parts of nine major league seasons with Boston from 2004-12, appearing in 953 regular season games for the club. The three-time American League All-Star twice finished in the top 10 in AL Most Valuable Player voting, placing third in 2008 and sixth in 2009. He debuted as a third baseman but transitioned seamlessly to first base prior to the 2006 season, winning a Gold Glove Award at the position in 2007.
He still holds AL records for most consecutive games at first base without an error, both for a single season (135) and for a career (238). Youkilis helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series, notably batting .500 (14-for-28) with three home runs against the Cleveland Indians in the Championship Series. In 982 games with the Red Sox between the regular season and postseason, he hit .287 (995-for-3,463) with 139 home runs, 581 RBI, a .387 on-base percentage, a .490 slugging percentage, and an .877 OPS.
Lowe appeared in 384 games (111 starts) for the Red Sox from 1997-2004, earning All-Star honors as both a reliever (2000) and as a starting pitcher (2002). The right-hander went 70-55 (.560) with 85 saves and a 3.72 ERA (429 ER/1,037.0 IP) for Boston after being acquired by the club from the Seattle Mariners in 1997. He led the AL with 42 saves in 2000, and in 2002 he finished third in Cy Young Award voting after going 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA (63 ER/219.2 IP) in 32 starts. Lowe threw the 16th no-hitter in Red Sox history on April 27, 2002 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, walking only one batter in Boston’s 10-0 victory at Fenway Park. He appeared in 17 postseason games (six starts) and remains the only pitcher in MLB history to earn a series-clinching win in the Division Series, Championship Series, and World Series in a single postseason, having defeated the Anaheim Angels, New York Yankees, and St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 to help the Red Sox capture their first championship in 86 years.
Lowell’s final five major league seasons were played with the Red Sox (2006-10), as he hit .290 (650-for-2,244) with 80 home runs, 153 doubles, 374 RBI, and an .814 OPS in 612 games with the club. A standout defensive third baseman, Lowell finished fifth in MVP voting and was named an All-Star during an exceptional 2007 season, when he batted .324 (191-for-589) with 37 doubles, 21 home runs, and 120 RBI in 154 games. He played a pivotal role in Boston’s World Series title run that year, starting all 14 postseason games and batting .353 (18-for-51) with 15 RBI, 10 runs scored, seven doubles, and two home runs. He was named World Series MVP after reaching base multiple times and scoring at least one run in each game of the Fall Classic, going 6-for-15 (.400) with three doubles and a home run in the series. In the Red Sox’ clinching 4-3 victory over the Rockies in Game 4, Lowell went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two runs scored.
Freeman was elected by the committee as part of the pre-1960 ballot. Described by the Society for American Baseball Research as “the first legitimate home run hitter in baseball history,” the former right fielder and first baseman spent his final seven major league seasons with the Boston Americans from 1901-07, appearing in 820 games and batting .286 with 158 doubles, 90 triples, and 48 home runs. He hit .339 in his 1901 Boston debut—the third-best average in the AL—and led the league in extra-base hits in both 1902 (68) and 1903 (72). His 13 home runs in 1903 paced the AL, and he ranked second in the league in 1901 (12), 1902 (11), and 1904 (7). Having hit 25 home runs for the Washington Senators in 1899, he became the first player ever to lead both the NL and AL in home runs (source: SABR). Freeman helped the franchise win its first World Series title in 1903 by going 9-for-32 (.281) with three triples and six runs scored against the Pirates, then played a pivotal role in the club’s pennant-winning 1904 season.
Al Green, who turned 90 years old during the 2017 season, has spent the last 44 years working for the Red Sox, mostly in the team’s Fan Services information booth. A native of Barbados and a former maintenance worker at Harvard University, Green was hired as a member of the game day staff in 1973, one of the few ballpark minority hires at the time. He has become a familiar face at Fenway Park to generations of fans who go out of their way to see him in his Gate D booth and he treats many young staff members as family.
In addition to the players and non-uniformed inductees, a “Memorable Red Sox Moment” is also chosen by the panel. This year’s selection is the major league debut of Pumpsie Green, the first African American player in Red Sox history. On July 21, 1959, in a game against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park, Green pinch-ran for Vic Wertz at first base in the eighth inning with the Red Sox trailing, 2-1, then remained in the game at shortstop. His first hit would come a week later against the Cleveland Indians, as Green appeared in 50 games for the Red Sox that season. He played in 327 games over four seasons with Boston (1959-62) before spending his final major league season with the New York Mets in 1963.
The Red Sox Hall of Fame was instituted in 1995 to recognize the outstanding careers of former Red Sox players and managers. To be eligible for nomination, players/managers must have played at least three years with the Red Sox and must also have been out of uniform as an active player/manager at least three years. The non-uniformed personnel and the memorable moment selected are chosen by a unanimous vote of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame Selection Committee.