20 best home runs in Red Sox history

The Gray Eagle

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The Athletic has a 2-part series ranking the 20 greatest home runs in franchise history.

https://theathletic.com/2248283/2020/12/22/red-sox-best-home-runs-manny-ramirez-babe-ruth-mookie-betts/https://theathletic.com/2250804/2020/12/23/red-sox-best-home-runs/

There have been some memorable HRs to say the least. But as always with these types of articles, every single one of us will agree that the selections are exactly right and the order is perfect. No one will have any disagreements, I'm sure.

Here are their rankings:

20. Manny Ramirez, 2007 walk-off in playoffs against the Angels. Arms raised in victory.
19. Mitch Moreland, 2018 World Series. Pinch hit 3-run bomb with the Sox down 4-0 and 2 out in the 7th.
18. Yaz, 1979, his 400th.
17. Babe Ruth, 1919. His last game in Boston. Pitched and hit cleanup, hit a walk-off homer on Babe Ruth Day. "Hey, we should sell this guy to the Yankees."
16. Troy O'Leary, 1999. They don't actually specify whether they mean the grand slam or the 3-run shot. Both came after Nomar was intentionally walked.
15. Trot Nixon, extra-inning walk-off in Game 3 vs. Oakland 2003.
14. Bernie Carbo, Game 6 1975.
13. Mookie, July 2018. The 7-minute at-bat, the bomb, the yell, and dance down the line.
12. Tony C homers in his first Fenway at-bat, 1964.
11. Harry Hooper's walk-off HR to win the 1915 World Series.
10. Ted's last home run, 1960. “Gods do not answer letters.”
9. Bill Mueller, July 24 2004, walk-off against Rivera in the fight game.
8. David Ortiz, 2004 walk-off to win the playoff series against the Angels.
7. Ted Williams, 1946, hits it to what is now The Red Seat. (Off a guy's head)
6. David Ortiz! David Ortiz! David Ortiz! vs. Tigers in 2013 playoffs, Torri Hunter goes over the wall and the cop raises his arms.
5. Daniel Nava, April 2013, wins the first game after the bombing in the "This is our Fucking City" game.
4. Dave Henderson, 1986, the homer off Donnie Moore in the ALCS.
3. Johnny Damon, 2004 ALCS game 7 against NYY.
2. Fisk waves the ball fair, 1975 World Series.
1. Ortiz, 2004 ALCS game 4 extra-inning walk-off. "We'll see you later tonight."

Subscribe and read the articles, they include videos of most of the home runs.
 
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Rough Carrigan

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Ehh. I don't like the meaningless individual achievement ones. Yaz's 400th. SFW? Why not Yaz's 3 run bomb off Jim Merritt in the 7th inning of game 161 in 1967? Get rid of a couple of the others and put in Ortiz's homer off Quantrill to win game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and his homer off Kevin Brown in game 7 of it. Mookie Betts had a long at bat in a meaningless game and ended up hitting a homer and got really excited about it and that's supposed to obliterate anything else about the context. Jesus.
 
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sean1562

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Yea, the Mookie HR shouldn't be on there. Certainly not higher than Moreland's WS HR or Manny's. Who will really remember the Mookie HR in 10 years? Especially considering he will go down in history as a Dodger, that one is more significant than Yaz's 400th HR?
 

Wallball Tingle

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Man, I'd take Bellhorn's Game 6 eventually-called-right homer or Victorino's slam over Mookie, Ruth, or Yaz for sure.
 

Ale Xander

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Ehh. I don't like the meaningless individual achievement ones. Yaz's 400th. SFW? Why not Yaz's 3 run bomb off Jim Merritt in the 7th inning of game 161 in 1967? Get rid of a couple of the others and put in Ortiz's homer off Quantrill to win game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and his homer off Kevin Brown in game 7 of it. Mookie Betts had a long at bat in a meaningless game and ended up hitting a homer and got really excited about it and that's supposed to obliterate anything else about the context. Jesus.
The Quantrill Ortiz one is number one
 

edoug

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Ehh. I don't like the meaningless individual achievement ones. Yaz's 400th. SFW? Why not Yaz's 3 run bomb off Jim Merritt in the 7th inning of game 161 in 1967? Get rid of a couple of the others and put in Ortiz's homer off Quantrill to win game 4 of the 2004 ALCS and his homer off Kevin Brown in game 7 of it. Mookie Betts had a long at bat in a meaningless game and ended up hitting a homer and got really excited about it and that's supposed to obliterate anything else about the context. Jesus.
It had to have Mookie. Otherwise how can you possibly write a story about Boston's baseball team in 2020. I would have picked,
3. Dewey hitting the the first pitch of the Major league season out in '86
2. Ted destroying an eephus pitch in the '48 All Star game.
1. J.D. Drew's Grand slam off Fausto Carmona, or whatever his real name is, in the first inning of game 6 in the 2007 ALCS.
 

Ale Xander

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If we can count games they lost, Devers ITPer vs Houston in the 17 LDS Game 4 should be mentioned
 

Zedia

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“Best Ever” is not necessarily the same as “most memorable” or “most important.” Manny’s #20 would be higher up in the “memorable” category for me, and I’d add Wily Mo’s line drive over the monster (can’t find video). And it’s unbelievable that this happpened, on Sunday Night Baseball no less:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhgm0S_BOn0
 

CaptainLaddie

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“Best Ever” is not necessarily the same as “most memorable” or “most important.” Manny’s #20 would be higher up in the “memorable” category for me, and I’d add Wily Mo’s line drive over the monster (can’t find video). And it’s unbelievable that this happpened, on Sunday Night Baseball no less:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhgm0S_BOn0
I brought my then-girlfriend, now-wife to that game. I told her we were sitting in the grandstands and I had got us seats first row behind the camera well on the visitors side. Let me just say that was one of the craziest things I've ever seen in a game, ever. Just incredible.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Yea, the Mookie HR shouldn't be on there. Certainly not higher than Moreland's WS HR or Manny's. Who will really remember the Mookie HR in 10 years? Especially considering he will go down in history as a Dodger, that one is more significant than Yaz's 400th HR?
Mrs. HPC, Li’l HPC and I will. We had the good fortune to be in the park, visiting from Seattle. I pointed out to Li’l HPC that there was no need for the video board to implore the fans to make NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! during the AB as they do in Safeco Field. Fenway fans knew what they were watching.

That whole inning was filled with roads not taken that should have kept Mookie from ever getting to take that swing. Thinking about it now, man, do I miss baseball.

God bless The Athletic for reminding me if that game.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Couple already mentioned, but some HRs that jump out to me as belonging on the list:

JD Drew's grand slam in Game 6, 2007 ALCS
Mike Napoli's solo HR as the only run in Game 3, 2013 ALCS
Shane Victorino's grand slam in Game 6, 2013 ALCS
Either one of JBJ's HRs in 2018 ALCS (grand slam in Game 3 or go-ahead 2-run HR in Game 4)

I think post-season HRs trump regular season HRs, especially ones that didn't really impact the season overall. Yaz's 400th was a nice personal accomplishment, but it's not like it set a record or dramatically won a game. And Babe Ruth's HR? I'm not sure what should be considered "better" about a HR that was only significant because it was the last he hit in the uniform.
 

Van Everyman

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Worth noting that the piece itself is really well-written. I didn’t have any reservations about whether stuff belonged or where it was listed once I read the piece.

Also: they’re gonna do homers that just missed the cut next week.
 

Average Reds

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Couple already mentioned, but some HRs that jump out to me as belonging on the list:

JD Drew's grand slam in Game 6, 2007 ALCS
Mike Napoli's solo HR as the only run in Game 3, 2013 ALCS
Shane Victorino's grand slam in Game 6, 2013 ALCS
Either one of JBJ's HRs in 2018 ALCS (grand slam in Game 3 or go-ahead 2-run HR in Game 4)

I think post-season HRs trump regular season HRs, especially ones that didn't really impact the season overall. Yaz's 400th was a nice personal accomplishment, but it's not like it set a record or dramatically won a game. And Babe Ruth's HR? I'm not sure what should be considered "better" about a HR that was only significant because it was the last he hit in the uniform.
I will co-sign the JD and Victorino slams and the Napoli HR as they jumped out as omissions when I read this.

If “greatest” is going to mean “incredible moments” I’d take Nava hitting the first pitch he ever saw in MLB for a grand slam, but I understand why that wouldn’t resonate for others.

Man, I miss meaningful baseball.
 

Van Everyman

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I was at the Victorino slam with Van Everywoman and Mr. and Mrs. @Section15Box113 and that was one of the most cathartic sports moments I’ve ever seen, much less witnessed. That year was so special but that game had been one nut punch after another with Verlander looming in game 7 and the the Flyin’ Hawaiian looking like a shell of himself due to injuries. It’s def. up there.
 

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I brought my then-girlfriend, now-wife to that game. I told her we were sitting in the grandstands and I had got us seats first row behind the camera well on the visitors side. Let me just say that was one of the craziest things I've ever seen in a game, ever. Just incredible.
My brother and I were there too. It was nuts. As I recall, wily mi was there next man up
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Man, I'd take Bellhorn's Game 6 eventually-called-right homer or Victorino's slam over Mookie, Ruth, or Yaz for sure.
Was coming to shout out Victorino’s slam. Funny, was just thinking about him yesterday when O heard “Three Little Birds” — he was a fantastic Red Sox in every way, played a big role in an championship, and isn’t as super well-remembered as many of his counterparts. Wish he’d been around longer.
 

bosockboy

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Couple already mentioned, but some HRs that jump out to me as belonging on the list:

JD Drew's grand slam in Game 6, 2007 ALCS
Mike Napoli's solo HR as the only run in Game 3, 2013 ALCS
Shane Victorino's grand slam in Game 6, 2013 ALCS
Either one of JBJ's HRs in 2018 ALCS (grand slam in Game 3 or go-ahead 2-run HR in Game 4)

I think post-season HRs trump regular season HRs, especially ones that didn't really impact the season overall. Yaz's 400th was a nice personal accomplishment, but it's not like it set a record or dramatically won a game. And Babe Ruth's HR? I'm not sure what should be considered "better" about a HR that was only significant because it was the last he hit in the uniform.
All need inclusion and I’ll add IMO the most underrated homer. Ortiz’ 8th HR off Gordon, 2004 ALCS Game 5. For all the magic of the previous night, the Sox were down 4-2 with 5 outs to go when he went oppo on Gordon. That game had the same or higher degree of difficulty. This one always misses the list but is just as big as his walk off the night before.
 

bosockboy

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Was coming to shout out Victorino’s slam. Funny, was just thinking about him yesterday when O heard “Three Little Birds” — he was a fantastic Red Sox in every way, played a big role in an championship, and isn’t as super well-remembered as many of his counterparts. Wish he’d been around longer.
And the base clearing double in the WS clincher.
 

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All need inclusion and I’ll add IMO the most underrated homer. Ortiz’ 8th HR off Gordon, 2004 ALCS Game 5. For all the magic of the previous night, the Sox were down 4-2 with 5 outs to go when he went oppo on Gordon. That game had the same or higher degree of difficulty. This one always misses the list but is just as big as his walk off the night before.
Maybe the most underrated play of the entire 2004 ALCS. Just immense.
 

greek_gawd_of_walks

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I'll add Jonny Gomes go-ahead three run blast off Maness in game 4 of the 2013 WS.

Down 2-1 in the series, on the road and the fact that Gomes wasn't even supposed to play slotting in for a scratched Victorino, makes that home run all the more memorable. Turned the momentum of the game and the series.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Bellhorn’s 8th inning nail-in-the-coffin-lid ringer off the foul pole in game 7. After the MFY’s had scored off Pedro, sowing just a few seeds of doubt... That drive was a big “FU, we’re winning this thing” moment. Not the most important or dramatic, but certainly memorable. (Really, all 4 dingers in that game could be counted as a package deal.)
 
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DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Yep. If he doesn’t homer there we are done. Period.
I think that’s almost certain. If he makes an out we are done and even a double or something and I don’t love our chances. I wonder if they run for him if he doubles there.
 

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I think that’s almost certain. If he makes an out we are done and even a double or something and I don’t love our chances. I wonder if they run for him if he doubles there.
I wouldn't have run for him in that spot. He's not the tying run, he's already in scoring position, and there are no outs (he led off the inning). I think you leave him because he doesn't have to run the whole 180 feet in one go. If it's not a gap shot double or better, you can hold him at third and hope the next guy in line gets him in. I don't think speed is enough of a factor there that you burn the Roberts bullet.
 

bosockboy

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I wouldn't have run for him in that spot. He's not the tying run, he's already in scoring position, and there are no outs (he led off the inning). I think you leave him because he doesn't have to run the whole 180 feet in one go. If it's not a gap shot double or better, you can hold him at third and hope the next guy in line gets him in. I don't think speed is enough of a factor there that you burn the Roberts bullet.
Nitpick but there was one out.
Edit: I was incorrect. My bad. I’m getting old.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I wouldn't have run for him in that spot.
I think that’s right though it is tempting. You have to get at least one run in that inning with Rivera against the bottom half in the ninth lurking. What running for him gets you mostly is the better chance to score one run without having to get a hit.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think that’s right though it is tempting. You have to get at least one run in that inning with Rivera against the bottom half in the ninth lurking. What running for him gets you mostly is the better chance to score one run without having to get a hit.
Not really though. Scoring a run there without a hit means the run is coming home station-to-station style. I think the only scenario in which additional speed would even just slightly increase the odds of scoring is if both Millar and Nixon hit relatively shallow fly balls. If it's something like a basic ground ball to the right side and then a flyball to deepish center or right, Ortiz should score just as easily as Roberts.

Frankly, with the lineup they had, with the lead-off runner was on, I would have been thinking multiple runs that inning rather than one. It's not like the lineup dropped off a cliff after Ortiz. Millar, Nixon and Varitek were all capable hitters following him, then it was Mueller, Bellhorn, Damon. They had the capability of a 3-4 run inning even with Rivera looming.

Fortunately, this can remain a hypothetical debate since Ortiz mashed on over the fence instead of off it.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Not really though. Scoring a run there without a hit means the run is coming home station-to-station style. I think the only scenario in which additional speed would even just slightly increase the odds of scoring is if both Millar and Nixon hit relatively shallow fly balls. If it's something like a basic ground ball to the right side and then a flyball to deepish center or right, Ortiz should score just as easily as Roberts.

Frankly, with the lineup they had, with the lead-off runner was on, I would have been thinking multiple runs that inning rather than one. It's not like the lineup dropped off a cliff after Ortiz. Millar, Nixon and Varitek were all capable hitters following him, then it was Mueller, Bellhorn, Damon. They had the capability of a 3-4 run inning even with Rivera looming.

Fortunately, this can remain a hypothetical debate since Ortiz mashed on over the fence instead of off it.
Yeah. I think this is all correct. I was thinking of 2015 Ortiz who didn’t always advance to third on fly balls to right and grounders to right, but I think I am forgetting that 2004 Ortiz was actually more deceptively athletic than we tend to remember.
 

Bergs

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“Best Ever” is not necessarily the same as “most memorable” or “most important.” Manny’s #20 would be higher up in the “memorable” category for me, and I’d add Wily Mo’s line drive over the monster (can’t find video). And it’s unbelievable that this happpened, on Sunday Night Baseball no less:
Every year or so, I look in vain for video of that home run. That ball had no arc.
 

54thMA

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Carbo's home run has to be higher than #14.

If he does not hit that pinch hit home run, home run #2 never happens, game 7 never happens, the 3-0 lead they blew in game 7 never happens.

Two out of three ain't bad.
 

E5 Yaz

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As always in such lists, our thoughts about the best in "team history" are dominated with nominations that begin in the early 2000s.

Carbo's home run has to be higher than #14.
Yeah, that is too low, considering ones above that aren't as memorable or impactful.
 

tims4wins

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As always in such lists, our thoughts about the best in "team history" are dominated with nominations that begin in the early 2000s.



Yeah, that is too low, considering ones above that aren't as memorable or impactful.
The thing about the homers that began in 2003 or 2004 are that they started leading to titles. So while Carbo's homer was absolutely freaking massive... it's hard to compare to the homers in title seasons.
 

E5 Yaz

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The thing about the homers that began in 2003 or 2004 are that they started leading to titles. So while Carbo's homer was absolutely freaking massive... it's hard to compare to the homers in title seasons.
Two of the top 4 homers in the original list were in non-title seasons. My bigger point is that we all too often, in every sport, conider "team history" or "greatest ever" lists to the past 20 years or so.

But, as usual, I'm spitting into the wind. Carry on
 

Zedia

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Two of the top 4 homers in the original list were in non-title seasons. My bigger point is that we all too often, in every sport, conider "team history" or "greatest ever" lists to the past 20 years or so.

But, as usual, I'm spitting into the wind. Carry on
The article vaguely defines these as "most enjoyable." I haven't enjoyed any homers pre 1975 (and actually I cried when I woke up the next morning and heard about Fisk's homer; I was a 6 year old Reds fan!).

To me, a list of post-season home runs is kind of boring. The random, regular season, "meaningless" homers that everyone remembers seem a lot more fun to discuss.
 

E5 Yaz

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To me, a list of post-season home runs is kind of boring. The random, regular season, "meaningless" homers that everyone remembers seem a lot more fun to discuss.
Unfortunately, the headline says "best ever" and "greatest."

I'm completely on board with you about the ramdom, meaningless home runs ... the first that came to mind was Buckner's inside the park job when Claudell fell into the bleachers
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Two of the top 4 homers in the original list were in non-title seasons. My bigger point is that we all too often, in every sport, conider "team history" or "greatest ever" lists to the past 20 years or so.

But, as usual, I'm spitting into the wind. Carry on
I think it's more to do with the ubiquity of games being televised. Even those two you mention are on the list because they were televised and we've seen them over and over and over again. I'd argue that the only reason that Yaz's 400th is on the list is because the local media made it a big event. It was televised only because they broken into regular programming just to air his at bats. If there'd been regular TV coverage of the 1960 Sox, maybe Ted's 500th would have as much acclaim. Instead, it's his 521st that makes the list (aided by it being on film).
 

E5 Yaz

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I think it's more to do with the ubiquity of games being televised. Even those two you mention are on the list because they were televised and we've seen them over and over and over again. I'd argue that the only reason that Yaz's 400th is on the list is because the local media made it a big event. It was televised only because they broken into regular programming just to air his at bats. If there'd been regular TV coverage of the 1960 Sox, maybe Ted's 500th would have as much acclaim. Instead, it's his 521st that makes the list (aided by it being on film).
Absolutely. I guess I'm just hung up on the semantics of it all.
 

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For me, I have to take Damon’s GS as my personal favorite. To set the tone in that game 7 early really was so huge in our tortured history with the Yankees and then Bellhorn clanging one off the foul pole for the dagger never gets old.

JD Drew against Cleveland and Papi’s vs Detroit are close seconds as they both resulted in WS wins eventually but doubtful if they don’t occur.

So many great moments. I can say the two worst are Bucky and Boone. That’s why Damon’s is the sweetest for me.