Best Red Sox of all time, by uniform number

October 9th, 2023

From 0 to 99, Red Sox players have filled out jerseys with 90 different numbers over the years.

You want a fun exercise? Pick the best player to wear every number in the club’s illustrious history.

That’s what has done below.

0: Adam Ottavino
The veteran reliever came on board as a key setup man for Boston’s exciting season in ’21 and joined Brandon Phillips (cameo for the ’18 World Series title team) as the only players in team history to wear Number 0.

1: Bobby Doerr
No contest here. Doerr is a Hall of Famer and a Red Sox legend who was viewed as the unofficial captain of the strong Boston teams of the late 1940s. His number is retired on the right-field façade at Fenway Park.

2: Xander Bogaerts
The star shortstop created a strong legacy for himself by contributing to two World Series championship teams.

3: Jimmie Foxx
Double X wore the Red Sox uniform for seven seasons of his Hall of Fame career and had 50 homers and 175 RBIs for Boston in 1938.

4: Joe Cronin
The wearer of another retired number at Fenway, Cronin was a .300 hitter over 11 seasons with Boston and also managed the club to the American League pennant in 1946.

5: Nomar Garciaparra
The two-time batting champion was one of the most popular players in Red Sox history during his prime years and went by the adopted first name of “Nomahhhhh” in Boston.

6: Johnny Pesky
Given his contributions to the Red Sox in nearly every way imaginable, Pesky is the choice here. Rico Petrocelli, the shortstop for the Impossible Dream team in 1967, also received consideration.

7: Dom DiMaggio
The Little Professor played his entire career (1940-42 and '46-53) for the Red Sox and hit .298 while playing excellent defense in center field. Trot Nixon, a grinder and a fan favorite, would have been a good choice also.

8: Carl Yastrzemski
The legendary Yaz was the key cog in one of the most impactful seasons in team history in 1967. Yaz played all of his 23 season for the Red Sox, doing it with his bat (452 homers) and his glove (seven Gold Glove Awards).

9: Ted Williams
The Splendid Splinter wanted to be known as the greatest hitter who ever lived, and he just might have been. Williams is the last player to hit .400 -- back in 1941. He had a career average of .344 with 521 homers.

10: Lefty Grove
The Hall of Famer recorded 105 of his 300 career victories with the Red Sox.

11: Rafael Devers
Devers arrived as a stud hitter when he was called up as a 20-year-old for the stretch run of the 2017 season and continued to blossom from there. The third baseman was part of the World Series-winning Red Sox in '18 and went on a power tear that helped vault the team to an unexpected run to the American League Championship Series in in '21. 

12: Pumpsie Green
In 1959, Green, an infielder, became the first African American to appear in a game in Red Sox history.

13: John Valentin
An underrated offensive player (.821 OPS in 991 games) for the Red Sox in the 1990s, Valentin also had defensive versatility, playing short, second and third.

14: Jim Rice
The Hall of Famer had power to all fields and also hit for average. There was a time in the late 1970s when Rice was the most feared hitter in the AL.

15: Dustin Pedroia
The “Laser Show” will go down as one of the best all-around players in Red Sox history, despite injuries robbing him of several years at the end of his career.

16: Jim Lonborg
Only Yaz had a bigger impact on the Impossible Dream squad than Lonborg, who won 22 of his 39 starts that season, including Game No. 162, which clinched the pennant.

17: Mel Parnell
We could have gone in a couple of different directions here, but Parnell, a key starter for the Red Sox from the late 40s to the early 50s, gets a slight nod over Dick “The Monster” Radatz, who had a dominant run in the bullpen.

18: Johnny Damon
The sparkplug for the fabled 2004 Red Sox, and also the man who dubbed that historic team “The Idiots.” Damon was a key contributor in all four seasons he played for the Red Sox.

19: Fred Lynn
The graceful left-handed hitter earned instant fame by winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards while helping an ultra-talented 1975 Red Sox team win the pennant. Lynn was a stud throughout his six seasons in Boston.

20: Kevin Youkilis
This relentless competitor was a force at the plate and in the field and won two World Series rings in his time with Boston.

21: Roger Clemens
The Rocket won the first three of his seven career Cy Young Awards with the Sox. He is tied with Cy Young for most wins (192) in Red Sox history.

22: Rick Porcello
This is a thin number as far as truly influential players who wore it for the Red Sox. However, Porcello was a key pitcher for the Boston teams that won three consecutive AL East titles from 2016-18. Porcello won the Cy Young Award in ’16 and helped the Sox win it all in ’18.

23: Luis Tiant
The most popular Red Sox pitcher of the 1970s -- matter of fact, he was one of the most beloved in team history. Tiant won over fans with his ultra-competitiveness and twisting and twirling motion.

24: Dwight Evans
This was the toughest choice of all. Evans gets the nod over Manny Ramirez due to his longevity as a player in Boston (19 years) and his all-around skills (379 homers, eight Gold Glove Awards).

25: Tony Conigliaro
The pride of Lynn, Mass., Tony C was on his way to becoming a local legend for the Red Sox, only to have his career impacted by getting hit on the left eye by a Jack Hamilton pitch during the 1967 pennant race. Despite the adversity, Conigliaro hammered 162 homers over 802 games for his hometown team.

26: Wade Boggs
The best pure hitter in team history after Williams, Boggs won all five of his career batting titles with the Red Sox, topping out at .368 in 1985. He hit .338 over his 11 seasons in Boston.

27: Carlton Fisk
His iconic homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series will never be forgotten. Fisk was a force at the plate and behind the plate during his 11 seasons with Boston.

28: J.D. Martinez
The hitting savant was the missing link the Red Sox needed to win it all in 2018.

29: Keith Foulke
You might have seen that pitch he made to end the 2004 World Series. Foulke made many other big pitches that October and the Red Sox would not have busted their 86-year drought that year without him.

30: John Tudor
Though the pride of Peabody, Mass., did his best pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals, he had the thrill of starting his career with his hometown Red Sox, going 39-32 from 1979-83.

31: Jon Lester
The homegrown lefty was a fierce competitor who helped the club win two World Series titles before he was traded in 2014.

32: Derek Lowe
The sinkerballer threw a no-hitter in 2002 and won all three clinching games in the ’04 postseason.

33: Jason Varitek
Along with Lowe, Varitek came to Boston in what proved to be a steal of a trade for declining reliver Heathcliff Slocumb. A team leader, Varitek was a rock behind the plate and also productive with the bat in his hands for championship teams of 2004 and ’07.

34: David Ortiz
Big Papi is a legend, with hitting heroics that fueled the Red Sox to three championships. When Boston trailed the Yankees 3-0 in the 2004 AL Championship Series, Ortiz came through with walk-off hits on consecutive days and also belted a huge homer in Game 7.

35: Rickey Henderson
Rickey Henderson played for Boston? He sure did. Baseball’s all-time stolen-base king had eight of his 1,406 career thefts for the 2002 Red Sox.

36: Tom Gordon
The man known as “Flash” came to Boston as a starter, but he transitioned to the bullpen, where he saved a franchise-record of 46 games in 1998.

37: Bill Lee
The “Spaceman” hit the 17-win mark three in straight seasons (1973-75) and won 94 games over his 10 seasons with the Red Sox.

38: Curt Schilling
Shortly after his trade to the Red Sox, Schilling boldly announced in a commercial that he arrived to break an 86-year curse. And that’s exactly what he helped do, famously pitching with a bloodied sock in the 2004 postseason.

39: Mike Greenwell
The “Gator” often gets forgotten when people talk about the legendary lineage of left fielders who played for the Red Sox. But this is a man who finished second in the 1988 MVP Award race and spent his entire career in Boston, hitting .303 over 1,269 games.

40: Dave Henderson
His run with the Red Sox was brief (111 games), but his homer in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS was as clutch as any in baseball history.

41: Chris Sale
The lanky lefty’s slider that buckled Manny Machado’s knees to end the 2018 World Series was a moment that will live on in team lore.

42: Mo Vaughn
The “Hit Dog” was a beloved slugger in the 1990s at Fenway and few players in club history have been more involved in the community.

43: Dennis Eckersley
Now a popular announcer with his distinctive dialect for NESN, Eckersley had instant success when he arrived in Boston in a trade with the Indians, winning 20 games in 1978.

44: Orlando Cabrera
The fiery shortstop changed the culture of the 2004 Red Sox when he arrived in a July 31 blockbuster trade for Garciaparra.

45: Pedro Martinez
The best pitcher in Red Sox history. Enough said.

46: Bob Stanley
He shouldn’t be known as the man who uncorked the wild pitch to Mookie Wilson to set up ... you know what. He should be known as one of the most reliable and tireless relievers in Red Sox history.

47: Bruce Hurst
The lefty had a terrific postseason run in 1986 and would have been MVP of the World Series if not for … you know what. Hurt had double-digit wins in his final six seasons (1983-88) with Boston.

48: Lee Smith
The Hall of Fame closer called Boston home from 1988-90, saving 58 games and notching a 3.04 ERA in 139 appearances.

49: Tim Wakefield
The knuckleballer’s 186 wins with the Red Sox place him just six behind Clemens and Young for most in club history. Wakefield, who passed away in 2023, was the consummate professional and was always ready to take the ball.

50: Mookie Betts
Perhaps the finest all-around player in Red Sox history, Betts did it all in his six years with Boston, most notably when he won the AL MVP Award in 2018.

51: Daniel Bard
The hard-throwing righty was throwing 100 back before it seemed to become commonplace. He was a force in Boston’s bullpen during his first three seasons.

52: Mike Boddicker
Lou Gorman made a big trade for the Red Sox during the 1988 pennant race, acquiring Boddicker from Baltimore for Brady Anderson and Schilling. While Anderson and Schilling went on to have big careers, Boddicker was a solid rotation piece who helped the Sox win the AL East in ’88 and ’90.

53: Rich Hill
When Hill's career seemed all but over and he was pitching for the independently affiliated Long Island Ducks, Boston brought him back to the Majors and he had a dramatic revival when given the chance to start again. That was in 2015, the second stint that the Milton, Mass., native had with the Red Sox.

54: Darnell McDonald
The outfielder came to camp as a non-roster invitee in 2010 and the Red Sox purchased his contract when they ran into an injury pileup early in the season. McDonald’s debut was dramatic, as he ripped a game-tying homer and a walk-off single off the Monster against the Rangers.

55: Christian Vázquez
Fans will likely always remember Vázquez as No. 7, but the cannon-armed catcher donned 55 in his rookie year of 2014.

56: Joe Kelly
The fireballing righty had his ups and downs with Boston, but he came through when it mattered the most in the 2018 postseason.

57: Eduardo Rodriguez
The left-hander broke through with 19 wins in 2019. He was also an important contributor in the championship season of ’18.

58: Jonathan Papelbon
The most accomplished closer in Red Sox history called himself Cinco Ocho. Papelbon recorded 219 of his 368 career saves with Boston.

59: Tommy Layne
A true LOOGY, Layne was one of the few bright spots of the 2014 season for the Red Sox, registering a 0.95 ERA. Layne pitched in 128 games for Boston and had a 3.30 ERA.

60: Daniel Nava
Though Nava was wearing No. 29 while participating in the 2013 World Series, he had on No. 60 when he clocked a grand slam at Fenway Park on the first pitch he saw in his Major League career in '10.

61: Clay Buchholz
The wiry righty went on to wear No. 11 later in his career, but he had 61 when he fired a no-hitter in his second MLB start. Bronson Arroyo, a key rotation member of the 2004 Red Sox, also received strong consideration here.

62: Jon Lester
Our choice at 31 also wins at 62 -- the jersey number he wore during his rookie season of 2006.

63: Junichi Tazawa
The righty setup man had No. 36 on during his strong postseason run in 2013. But he had 63 during the ’12 season, when he had a 1.43 ERA in 37 relief outings.

64: Dustin Pedroia
The first lasers came off of Pedroia’s bat when he wore this number as a late-season call-up in 2006.

65: Yoán Moncada
A prized prospect when the Red Sox called him up for the final month of the 2016 season, Moncada struggled. But he still had enough value that Boston was able to trade him for Sale.

66: Brayan Bello
The talented righty from the Dominican Republic got his first call-up in 2022. By ’23, he was known as the best starting pitcher developed by the Red Sox in years.

67: Brandon Workman
The righty reliever was wearing this number for two different World Series championship celebrations, though he did switch to No. 44 for his breakout season in 2019.

68: Matt Barnes
We couldn’t give the nod to Barnes at his current number (32), so instead, the trusted veteran reliever wins at the number he wore in his first four seasons.

70: Ryan Brasier
From out of nowhere, Brasier emerged into one of the most important pieces of a championship-winning bullpen in 2018.

71: Phillips Valdez
A waiver pickup from the Mariners, Valdez was a solid member of the bullpen for the Red Sox in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

72: Xander Bogaerts
Just 21 at the time, Bogaerts earned his way into the starting lineup in the middle of the 2013 postseason and helped the Red Sox win the World Series. He played third base during that October run.

73: Tzu-Wei Lin
The versatile Lin played infield and outfield for the Red Sox in parts of four seasons, including the magical 2018 campaign. He wore No. 73 in '17.

74: Kenley Jansen
The Red Sox added the veteran closer as a free agent prior to the 2023 season. In that first season in Boston, Jansen had a magical moment, collecting career save No. 400 against the Braves. 

75: Cesar Puello
Another number worn by just one player in team history. Puello appeared in five games for the Sox in 2020.

76: Hector Velázquez
The Red Sox signed Velázquez out of Mexico in 2017. A year later, he was a key swingman for a championship team.

77: Pedro Ciriaco
The 2012 season was a pretty disappointing one for the last-place Red Sox. The surprising play of Ciriaco was one of the more pleasant developments. He hit .293 and had 16 stolen bases in 76 games.

78: Justin Thomas
Not much competition here. Thomas was the first to wear it -- back in 2012, when he pitched in seven games. Stephen Gonsalves pitched in three games in ’21, making him the only other player to wear No. 78 for Boston.

79: Robert Stock
The hard-throwing righty had a 4.73 ERA for the 2020 Red Sox. In ’21, Minor Leaguer Kutter Crawford was called up to make his Major League debut in a spot start in September, making him the second player in Sox history to wear 79.

81: Lou Lucier
The righty won three of the 16 games he pitched for the Red Sox in 1943. Kyle Hart became the second player in team history to wear No. 81 in 2020.

82: Johnny Lazor
The outfielder played four seasons with Boston, and this was the number he wore in his rookie year of 1943. No other Sox player has worn 82.

83: Eric Gagne
One of the most dominant closers in Dodgers history, Gagne struggled after his late-season trade to the Red Sox in 2007. But he at least got a World Series ring out of it, as well as being the only player in club history to wear 83.

84: J.T. Snow
The slick-fielding first baseman was winding down his career when he came to the Red Sox in 2006. He played just 38 games, while becoming the only player in team history to wear 84.

85: Che-Hsuan Lin
Best known for winning the Futures Game MVP Award at Yankee Stadium in 2008, Lin never panned out. He had just 12 career at-bats, all for the 2012 Red Sox.

89: Tanner Houck
Houck certainly wore this number well while winning his first three Major League starts in dominant fashion down the stretch in 2020. He followed up with some strong performances in ’21, including in the postseason.

91: Alfredo Aceves
Though his personality was a bit erratic, Aceves was invaluable for the 2011 Red Sox when he pitched in 55 games, including four starts, and had a 2.61 ERA.

94: Dalier Hinojosa
If you’ve never heard of this player, don’t feel bad. Hinojosa, the only No. 94 in Red Sox history, pitched in just one game for Boston in 2015.

99: Alex Verdugo
The outfielder was the main acquisition piece for Betts, and he became an instant favorite in Boston for his grit, enthusiasm and production.