The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has started a series called Starting Nine that features nine cool artifacts highlighting the team history of all 30 teams. The Red Sox, of course, have a wealth of history from Ted Williams’ hitting exploits to Carlton Fisk’s World Series home run
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has started a series called Starting Nine that features nine cool artifacts highlighting the team history of all 30 teams. The Red Sox, of course, have a wealth of history from Ted Williams’ hitting exploits to Carlton Fisk’s World Series home run against the Reds in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, so one can imagine how long it took for the curators to pick the best artifacts.
The Hall’s collection of more than 40,000 three-dimensional pieces contains artifacts that tell the story of the game’s legendary players, moments and triumphs. Beginning in late March and running through 2020, the Museum will share some of those memorable artifacts through a new limited time experience: Starting Nine which features nine artifacts from each of the 30 current MLB franchises.
Whether you’ve visited before, or you’ve always wanted to check it off your family’s bucket list, now is the perfect time to plan a visit to the Hall of Fame -- the spiritual home of America’s Pastime -- in beautiful Cooperstown, New York.
1. Roger Clemens' shoes
Fun facts: On April 29, 1986, Boston’s Roger Clemens wore these shoes when he became the first Major League pitcher to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game as the Red Sox defeated the Mariners, 3-1. Clemens won both the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player Awards that season, becoming the first Red Sox pitcher to sweep the honors.
2. Ball thrown by Bill Dinneen
Fun facts: On October 13, 1903, when the Red Sox were called simply the Boston Americans, right-hander Bill Dinneen struck out the Pirates’ Honus Wagner with this ball, ending the World Series and making Boston the first modern World Champions.
3. Carlton Fisk's bat
Fun facts: It was the shot heard around Boston. It was Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk clouted the game-winning home run by swinging Rick Burleson’s bat and waving the ball fair with his hands. The 12th inning walk-off home run clanged off the left-field foul pole and sent the Reds and Red Sox to a winner-take-all Game 7.
4. Pedro Martinez's jersey
Fun facts: At the 1999 All-Star Game, Martinez wore this jersey while striking out five of the six batters he faced at Fenway Park. The dominant performance helped the AL to a 4-1 victory and earned Martínez the game’s MVP Award.
5. David Ortiz's bat
Fun facts: What a postseason Red Sox slugger David Ortiz had in 2013. Ortiz used this bat during that October, hitting .353 with five home runs, 13 RBIs and a .706 slugging average. Ortiz was at his best during the World Series against the Cardinals, hitting .688 and winning the World Series MVP.
6. Jim Rice's bat
Fun facts: Wielding this bat at Fenway Park on September 29, 1978, Red Sox slugger Jim Rice collected a second-inning single for his 400th total base of the season. He became the first American Leaguer to reach that mark since Joe DiMaggio notched 418 total bases in 1937.
7. Dave Roberts' spikes
Fun facts: Red Sox pinch-runner Dave Roberts wore these spikes as he stole second base in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. His ninth-inning theft eventually led to an extra-inning 6-4 victory, the first of eight straight wins that gave the club its first World Championship in 86 years.
8. Ted Williams' strike zone
Fun facts: Ted Williams was arguably the best hitter in baseball history and his iconic strike zone diagram first appeared in the July 8, 1968, issue of Sports Illustrated and later graced the cover of Ted Williams' and John Underwood’s 1971 book, The Science of Hitting. This three-dimensional version was created for a 1982 episode of The Baseball Bunch television series starring Johnny Bench.
9. Cy Young's Trophy
Fun facts: On August 13, 1908, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Eben Draper presented this silver loving cup to Red Sox pitcher Cy Young, who was known as the "The King of Pitchers." The Boston Post newspaper had collected donations from the pitcher's many fans in order to have the majestic trophy made in time for the celebration dubbed "Cy Young Day" at Boston's Huntington Avenue Grounds.
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.