6. Dwight Evans. No way I make a list like this, include Jim Rice and Fred Lynn and NOT include Dwight Evans. "Dewey" was the man in right field. He spent twenty years in the league, 19 with the Red Sox. The three-time allstar was a staple in the Red Sox dugout. Everyone loved him. He was not only a good player but a good person (ask Wade Boggs. Supposedly during his "Margo Adams" days, Boggs tried to set up Evans in a compromising position in the hopes he’d have something to hold over him so that Evans wouldn’t be able to rat out Boggs – something Evans never did. Problem was, there was nothing to ‘get’ Evans on. He was one of the few MLB players who didn’t cheat on his wife or ever put himself in a compromising position). Oh yeah, he also has 8 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Sluggers in his trophy room. Not too shabby.
In 1986, Evans was one of those players who Red Sox fans wanted the World Series won for. He deserved it. WE deserved it too…but Dewey really did.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get it. But in 2004 he was there…
My favorite moment from the World Series dvd that MLB put out is a quick blip…Dwight Evans talking to Mike Timlin prior to Game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Park (a screen grab I took is included here). He tells Johnny Damon to "…have some fun" and then he adds, "You know what? Win it. Win it. Win it".
Every time I see it (and I just watched it again prior to writing this) I’m reminded that they DID win in…and of how important it was to Dwight that they won it.
We all (in Red Sox Nation) talk about how much we "love" the 2003-2004 team. Dwight Evans was that type of player. We loved him no matter what. Didn’t matter that he never got that World Series ring until AFTER his playing days were over, we all knew he did his best to try and get one for himself and for us.
5. Bill Mueller. It still breaks my heart that he’s no longer on the Red Sox, but his being on the Dodgers isn’t so bad. Heck, it isn’t the Yankees, right? Billy gave us a lot to enjoy. His quiet, humble demeanor endeared him to us as much as his hot bat (Silver Slugger in 2003…along with the two grand slams from both sides of the plate in Texas that same year – oh yeah, he hit a solo homerun that night as well). Bill never could figure out what the hub-bub was about. About that three homerun game (where he made MLB history by being the only player to ever hit 2 grandslams using both sides of the plate), he said "I was just trying to have good at-bats" and "I’m just glad I made a positive contribution".
The man was (is) talented and oozes class. The day of the World Series parade here in Boston, he was at home witnessing the birth of his daughter. The Nation missed him terribly and made sure he got his ‘thank yous’ at the home opener the following April. Bill Mueller was only with the team for 3 seasons and he didn’t make much noise, but the silence in the wake of his heading west is deafening.