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  • Writer's picturePaul Semendinger

The Exclusive Players in Red Sox History

by Paul Semendinger

March 30, 2024

***

NOTE - I penned this article for the IBWAA newsletter, Here's The Pitch. It was published on March 23, 2024

***

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article (and coined a new term) highlighting "Exclusive Yankees," players who for a full season played every inning of every game at a set position.  As a Yankees fan, whenever I do baseball research, or at least much of the time, my efforts focus on the history of baseball's most successful team.  


I was taught to love baseball by my father, now 85-years-old and still a devoted and enthusiastic baseball fan.  What many people don't know is that my father is not a Yankees fan, far from it.  My dad's heart has always been with the Boston Red Sox.  The fact that my dad allowed me, as a young child, to choose my own baseball team speaks a great deal about his character.  


Sure, I learned all about Ted Williams, Dominic DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Mel Parnell, Carl Yastrzemski, Rico Petrocelli, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Luis Tiant, and the rest, but they never captured my heart as Graig Nettles, Ron Guidry, Roy White, Reggie Jackson, Sparky Lyle, Willie Randolph, and Thurman Munson did.  And, again, to my dad's great credit, that was fine with him. 


I remember 1978 when a fly ball by Bucky Dent sailed over the Green Monster and I, as a ten-year-old was joyous, as my father's heart sunk yet again... I was too young to appreciate my dad's lifetime being that of a long-suffering fan of the Red Sox.


Because of my father's love of the baseball team from Boston, I never had the typical Yankee dislike, or should I say hatred, of the Red Sox.  In that light, I thought it would be fun to seek and find the Exclusive Red Sox - the players in their long history (from 1903 forward) who never shared their position over a full season.  I even found a player that didn't share his position for two consecutive seasons (imagine that!).  


Here are the Exclusive Red Sox in history, players that played every defensive inning at a position for a full season:


  • 1903 - George LaChance, 1B

  • 1904 - George LaChance, 1B

  • 1905 - Freddy Parent - SS

  • 1922 - Del Pratt - 2B

  • 1926 - Phil Todt - 1B

  • 1943 - Bobby Doerr - 2B

  • 1948 - Vern Stephens - SS

  • 1948 - Dominic DiMaggio - CF

  • 1959 - Frank Malzone - 3B

I love that Dom DiMaggio also had an exclusive season as his more famous brother Joe also did.  This made me seek out the third Major League brother Vince DiMaggio who, unfortunately, never accomplished that feat.  In 1943, Vince DiMaggio did lead the National League in games played with 157, but he did not hold exclusive rights to center field for his Pittsburgh Pirates team.  While he played 156 games in center, DiMaggio shared time there with Johnny Wyrostek (6 games), Johnny Barrett (3 games), and Jim Russell (2 games).


I also found it interesting that in 1948, the Red Sox had two players (Stephens and DiMaggio) who both had exclusive seasons.  I now wonder if other teams have more than one player in the same season who were Exclusive.


It's fun seeking out and finding new information.  I am hoping that other readers and researchers seek out the "Exclusive Seasons" for their favorite teams!

***

Dr. Paul Semendinger, a retired principal, college professor, educational consultant, spends much of his free time reading and writing about baseball.  Paul's latest book is a motivational one titled 365.2: Going the Distance.  He also wrote From Compton to the Bronx (with Roy White), The Least Among The, Scattering the Ashes, and Impossible is an Illusion.  Paul also runs the Yankees site Start Spreading the News.  

7 Comments


morgana16032
Apr 08

You have a talent for connecting with your readers through your writing.  fireboy and watergirl

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Mar 30

It's notable that the 1948 exclusive players also did it in a 155-game season (that is, including the one-game playoff Boston lost to Cleveland to decide the pennant). Vince DiMaggio played 3 extra games because of replayed ties. That's the hardcore way to do it!

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Mar 30

But how did you feel in 2004, especially only a year after the Game 7 of 2003?


Youand your father's Yankees/Red Sox is similar to me and my ex (step) daughter. I love Come. My mother used to try cooking me by pouring Pepsi in a Coke bottle, but no dice. So my 'daughter would say 'I can prove my D loves me. He bought me Pepsi!'. Thanks for that smile to my face.


But my ex BIL tried walking into my house wearing a Red Sox cap. His father told him before id lock him out, it let him in. Well, he tried, I told him remove the hat or go home. My ex FIL was already in m…

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fuster
Mar 30

what was the deal with LaChance?


it appears that he wasn't a very valuable player for Boston


did they play him so much merely because they had no one else with the ability to be league average?

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
Mar 30
Replying to

The double-play combo of LaTinker and LaEvers insisted.

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