It is only fitting that I write this post as I watch the Red Sox get pounded by the Blue Jays. The mid 1980s through the early 1990s, it was the Blue Jays who were the main rival of the Red Sox, not the Yankees.
The 1990 Red Sox team is one of my all time favorite Red Sox teams. I got lost for a few hours on Baseball Reference the other day and found myself diving into the 1990 Red Sox all over again. I miss that team. On paper, they were nothing really special. That was part of their appeal. The 1990 Blue Jays were a more talented team but could not find a way to beat out the Red Sox for the AL East crown.
The 1990 Red Sox had Roger Clemens though. Clemens won the MVP in 1986 but he was never more valuable than he was in 1990. He carried the Sox more than he ever had or ever would. I really think the 1990 season was his best simply for that reason.
Ellis Burks was one of my favorite players on that team. The main reason being because of July 14th of 1990 when he hit a go ahead, pinch hit, three run homer in the 8th inning to beat the Royals 8-7 off of Jay Baller. Burks was pinch hitting because he was battling injuries and had not played for nine days. He pinch hit earlier in the day in the first game of the double header and struck out and looked awful doing it. This time he crushed a ball into the screen. It was one of my favorite moments ever at Fenway. From that day on, I became a big Burks fan.
I also loved Tom Brunansky. Bruno was acquired in a trade with a Cardinals in early May. He carried the Sox in a big weekend series with the Blue Jays late in the year hitting three homers during the Saturday game of the series. He quickly became one of my all time favorite Red Sox. A few days later he put himself into Red Sox lore with a division clinching catch to rob Ozzie Guillen.
I tweeted about my love for the 1990 Red Sox and was surprised at the responses I received. I was not alone with my love for this team. Ruben Lipszyc tweeted me back about his fondness for this team and especially Jeff Stone. Here is his blog post about the 1990 Red Sox and Jeff Stone
As the 2014 Red Sox limp to the end of the season, I wish I could go back and enjoy this 1990 Sox team again. Whenever I get this feeling I summon Out of the Park Baseball. Time travel is not possible but OOTP Baseball is as close as it gets. So here goes, a season replay where I take over the 1990 Red Sox. Will I be blogging about it? Of course! So here we go, here are your 1990 Boston Red Sox....OOTP style