Boggs deserves place in Cooperstown

Let's not be mistaken: If Wade Boggs isn't a Hall of Famer, then nobody but Babe Ruth is.

Originally Published: December 2, 2004
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Go on, tell the truth. You're not any more excited about Wade Boggs than I am. Your breath is not bated in anticipation of Boggs' stirring acceptance speech next July 31 on the shores of beautiful Lake Otsego. In fact, it's quite possible that only one person ever got truly excited about Wade Boggs. And I heard she got over it.

Wade Boggs
Wade Boggs had 3,010 hits and a career average of .328.
But let's not mistake this thing: If Wade Boggs isn't a Hall of Famer, then nobody but Babe Ruth is. Among major leaguers who might reasonably be considered third basemen, Boggs ranks No. 2 in hits (behind George Brett), No. 2 in runs scored (Brett again), and (wait for it…) No. 1 in on-base percentage. Personally, I would rank Boggs behind Mike Schmidt, Brett, and Eddie Mathews, but ahead of everybody else.

If you'd like to knock down Boggs a peg or two because he benefited from Fenway Park, go ahead (during his 11 seasons with the Red Sox, Boggs batted .369 at home, "only" .307 in road games, and he hit nearly twice as many doubles at home). If you'd like to knock him down a peg or two because he wasn't always considered the teamest of team players, feel free. But it's still fairly difficult to construct a reasonable argument that Boggs isn't one of the five or six greatest third basemen ever.