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Born: June 15, 1958 Omaha, Nebraska
MLB debut: April 10, 1982 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance: August 27, 1999 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Batting average: .328
Home runs: 118
Runs batted in: 1,014
Teams: Boston Red Sox (1982 - 1992), New York Yankees (1993 - 1997), Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998 - 1999)
Career highlights and awards: 12x All Star selection (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996), World Series Champion (1996), 2x Gold Glove Award winner (1994, 1995), 8x Silver Slugger Award winner (1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994), Tampa Bay Rays #12 retired, Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame - Induction 2005 Vote 91.9% (first ballot)
Wade Anthony Boggs (born June 15, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman. He spent his 18 year baseball career primarily with the Boston Red Sox, but also played for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His hitting in the 1980s and 1990s made him a perennial contender for American League batting titles, in much the same way as his National League contemporary Tony Gwynn. Boggs was elected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. With 12 straight All Star appearances, Boggs is third only to Brooks Robinson and George Brett in number of consecutive appearances as a third baseman. His finest season was 1987, when he set career highs in home runs (24), RBI (89), and slugging percentage (.588). He also batted .363 and had a .461 on base percentage that year, leading the league in both statistics. In 1999, he ranked number 95 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All Century Team. Boggs, a 1976 graduate of Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, currently resides in the Tampa Palms neighborhood of Tampa.
Major league career
Boston Red Sox
A left handed hitter, Boggs won five batting titles starting in 1983. He also batted .349 in his rookie year which would have won the batting title, but was 121 plate appearances short of the required minimum of 502. From 1982 to 1988, Boggs hit below .349 only once, hitting .325 in 1984. From 1983 to 1989, Boggs rattled off seven consecutive seasons in which he collected 200 or more hits, an American League record for consecutive 200 hit seasons that was later matched and surpassed by Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki. Boggs also had six seasons with 200 or more hits, 100+ runs and 40+ doubles. Although he would not win another batting title after 1988 (his batting title that year broke Bill Madlock's Major League record of four by a third baseman), he regularly appeared among the league leaders in hitting.
In 1986, Boggs made it to the World Series with the Red Sox, but they lost to the New York Mets in seven.
New York Yankees
In 1992, Boggs slumped to .259, one of only three times in his career that he failed to reach .300, and at the end of the season he left the Red Sox, with whom he had spent his entire career. He was heavily pursued by two teams: the Los Angeles Dodgers and the arch rival of the Red Sox, the New York Yankees, he chose the Yankees when they added the third year to the contract that the Dodgers would not offer. Boggs went on to be awarded three straight all star appearances, had four straight .300 plus seasons, and even collected two Gold Glove Awards for his defense.
In 1996, Boggs helped the Yankees to their first World Series title in 18 years. It was the only World Series title earned by Boggs. At a key juncture in the 4th game of the series, in the 10th inning, Boggs's ''sharp eye and patience at the plate'' enabled him to draw a bases loaded walk in the 10th inning of a tie game, driving in the winning run and shifting the momentum of the series in favor of the Yankees. After the Yankees won the series in game 6, Boggs memorably celebrated by jumping on the back of an NYPD horse, touring the field with his index finger in the air, despite his self-professed fear of horses.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Boggs signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for the final two seasons of his career, in 1999 collecting his 3,000th hit. Despite his reputation as a singles hitter with limited power, he is the only player whose 3,000th hit was a home run. The historic ball was caught in the right field stands of Tropicana Field by Mike Hogan, a sports information director at the University of South Florida, who gave it back to Boggs at the conclusion of the game. Hogan had moved to Tampa just 10 days before the event. Boggs retired in 1999 after sustaining a knee injury, leaving with a career batting average of .328 and 3,010 hits. A yellow seat among the rest of the Tropicana's blue seats marks where the ball landed in right field, with a small metal plate noting it as the area that the ball landed.
While not unique among non-pitchers, Boggs also recorded a few innings pitching at the Major League level. His main pitch was a knuckleball, which he used 16 times (along with one fastball) in one shutout inning for the Yankees against the Anaheim Angels in a 1997 game. His own style included mental preparedness techniques, which consisted in visualizing four at bats each evening before a game and imagining himself successfully getting four hits.