Sox slugger Manny Ramirez now has 28 homers this year, and with just four more he'll pass Mo Vaughn (230) and take sole possession of fifth place on the Sox all time list. And in that place he'll likely remain for good, behind Dwight Evans (379), Jim Rice (382), Carl Yastrzemski (452) and the immortal Ted Williams (521). Once he passes Vaughn -- in the next week or so -- Manny would have to hit another 150 homers just to pass Evans. Since he only has two more years on his contract -- not including the two option years -- he'll likely be gone from the Sox before he has a chance to advance any further.
Coming into Tuesday night's game, David Ortiz led the majors with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs in his 97 games. The previous club record for most home runs through 100 games was the 32 hit by Jimmie Foxx in 1938. That year Foxx finished the season with a club-record 50 homers. Ortiz could very well break that 68-year-old mark this season.
And before the year is out, Ortiz could find himself in 11th place on the club's all-time home run list. Big Papi currently has 153 career homers with the Sox -- in only four seasons -- and with just one more will tie George "The Boomer" Scott for 14th. After that, it will be a quick ascension into a 12th place tie with Carlton Fisk and Tony Conigliaro (162). And if Ortiz keeps up this torrid pace, it's not inconceivable that he could catch Jackie Jensen (170) for 11th place by year's end. That would require 17 more homers before the season concludes, giving him 51, which would be a new Sox record.
For Red Sox Nation, watching these two prolific sluggers has been a joy and something truly special. The pair have homered in the same game 11 times this season, and 41 times in their four years together. And before this year's All-Star break, they had combined for 55 home runs -- the most ever by a Red Sox tandem.
A duo like this doesn't come along very often. Over the course of the past four seasons, Ramirez and Ortiz lead every pair of Major League teammates in home runs and RBI. In that time, the pair have combined for 306 home runs and 940 RBI. Absolutely remarkable by any standards.
At this point, they've given us reason to expect greatness. In 2004, Ortiz and Ramírez became the first pair of American League teammates to hit 40 home runs, have 100 RBI, and bat .300 since the Yankees Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931. That year, they also became the the first teammates in major league history to each have 40 homers and 40 doubles in the same season.
Those of us who are witnessing their offensive fireworks will never forget them and what they've accomplished. We will speak of these amazing feats long after Manny and Papi are gone. We will tell our children, our grandchildren, and anyone else who will listen, about what we witnessed.
Watching them perform is a true joy, and we should feel grateful for the spectacular displays that they have provided us, and will continue to provide us, on an almost nightly basis.
Long may they reign.
Copyright © 2006 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.