Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are widely recognized as the most potent power-hitting combo in the game today. In fact, the pair are often compared to legendary teammates Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. And for good reason; Boston's dynamic duo have combined for 477 home runs during their tenure with the Red Sox.
Ramirez, with 498 career longballs, is about to become just the 24th member of baseball's 500-home-run-club; 262 of those homers have come as a member of the Red Sox. That puts him firmly in fifth place on the team's all-time list, a spot he will likely hold on to for the reminder of his career with the Sox. The names ahead of him are a veritable who's who of Red Sox greats; Williams, Yastrzemski, Rice, and Evans. Evans, the longtime right fielder, has 379 career homers with the Sox, and it's hard to imagine Ramirez surpassing him for fourth place. Manny would need 118 more blasts to do so.
Meanwhile, Ortiz, who hit his eighth homer of the season yesterday, has 215 dingers with the club. Sox greats, Jimmy Foxx, Bobby Doerr, and Mo Vaughn are just ahead of him, and with just 16 more knocks Ortiz will jump ahead of Vaughn -- and into sixth place -- on the club's all-time list.
It's very fitting that one the greatest home run combos in Red Sox history (the other being Rice and Evans) will reside in fifth and sixth place, respectively, on the much vaunted list, forever connected as Rice and Evans are. Indeed, it's quite appropriate that the two will be bound together, just as they are in the batting order, for years to come.
Boston's modern-day slugging sensations will be remembered as much for what they did as teammates as for what they did individually. The pair have homered in the same game 47 times, which ties them for 15th all-time among any set of teammates. For comparison's sake, Rice and Evans accomplished the feat 56 times, Ruth and Gehrig 73 times, while Aaaron and Matthews did it 75 times.
For two of the most popular players in Red Sox history, who've enjoyed so many successful and productive seasons together, and who've shared such a special bond, it's appropriate that they will be paired together in the Sox record book, just as they are in the present.
Copyright © 2008 Sean M. Kennedy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the author's consent.