"Can you believe it!?"
It's hard to believe, but it's been 10 years since Joe Castiglione exclaimed those words during his call of the 2004 World Series. It's even harder to believe that Joe has spent 31 seasons as the Red Sox play-by-play announcer, a career which has seen hundreds of Sox players come and go, countless moments of inspiration and heartache, and now 3 World Series Championships. Included in those 31 seasons are the entire Boston careers of Roger Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra, and Pedro Martinez.
So why I am mentioning these Sox legends in particular? Because, ladies and gentlemen, this is your 2014 Red Sox Hall of Fame class! They will be inducted this Thursday at Fenway Park as part of a special luncheon and ceremony, as well as honored pre-game before the Sox-Astros game. And to say this year's class is great would be an understatement.
While pitching for the Sox, Clemens won the Cy Young award three times, as well as being named the AL MVP in 1986. He also happens to be tied for the most career wins and shutouts as a Red Sox, with none other than the legendary Cy Young himself.
And what about NOMAHHHH!!!? Seriously, who doesn't miss the days of screaming his name from the bleachers? Garciaparra was an absolute fan favorite in Boston during the late 90s/early 2000s, winning the 1997 Al Rookie of the Year award. Personally, I'll never forget the birthday game from July 23, 2002, when Nomar hit 3 homers and drove in 8 runs on his 29th birthday.
Last but not least, Pedro Martinez, the Insider's personal favorite Sox player of all-time. Every game on the mound was a must-see event filled with K's and puzzled looks on batter's faces. Pedro was a two-time Cy young Award winner and four-time All-Star during his seven seasons in Boston, and is the all-time leader in 10-strikeout games for the Sox (72). And although there aren't any official stats on personality, he'd be near the all-time leaders in that category as well.
So please join me in tipping our caps to these Red Sox legends, as they join the pantheon of Boston baseball greats!
– "The Front Office Insider"