Give these Boston Red Sox stars more credit for helping win a World Series in 2013.
The 2013 Boston Red Sox were one of the most likable teams of all time.
From their attitude to the swagger, it was impossible to not appreciate the scrappiness of a team that otherwise should be monolithic. Perhaps nothing embodies this more than how the unlikely heroes that ended up being the most important for the Red Sox when it mattered the most.
Some of them still have not gotten the praise they deserve for that World Series Championship. These are the three players who deserve more credit for their role in the 2013 World Series run.
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Saltalamacchia’s best season undoubtedly came in 2013. He hit .273 with a career-high of 116 hits. He also hit for a career-high in doubles with 40, which is a solid mark for a catcher.
Salty’s greatest moment for the Sox came in Game 2 of the ALCS vs. the Tigers. After Big Papi tied the game with his legendary grand slam in the eighth, Salty stepped up to the plate in the ninth with a man on third. He laced one between the shortstop and third baseman to give the Sox the win.
At that point, they were down 1-0 in the series. The catcher made sure that they wouldn’t be heading back to Detroit down 2-0, which could have been catastrophic for the team.
Salty was a fan favorite during his time in Boston, but he was never truly appreciated for how important he was in 2013. Without a reliable catcher, who knows how far the Sox get in 2013?
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Everyone remembers Koji Uehara’s outstanding 2013 season, which he finished off with a near-perfect postseason. However, Craig Breslow was a reliever who deserves just as much praise for his 2013 campaign. In the regular season, Breslow made 61 appearances and kept an absurd 1.81 ERA. He was a major part of the three-headed monster the Sox deployed that included Uehara and Junichi Tazawa.
Apart from one shaky outing in Game 3 of the World Series, Breslow was perfect in his nine other playoff appearances, giving up zero earned runs in 7.1 total innings. He finished with a postseason ERA of 2.45.
Relievers are often underappreciated, and that especially rings true for Craig Breslow in 2013. While Koji may have received all the praise, a lot of that should be directed to Breslow, as he was an excellent bridge reliever for Uehara and Tazawa.
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Many people remember Shane Victorino’s 2013 season as a novelty. They don’t realize how great he truly was throughout the entirety of the season. He didn’t just get a few big hits in October, he was doing it the entire season.
The Sox signed Victorino prior to the 2013 season to bring some much-needed energy to the clubhouse. He did that and so much more. He hit .294 in 2013, the best mark of his career, along with 15 home runs, 61 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. He finished second on the team in WAR at 6.0, behind only Dustin Pedroia at 6.1. He also took home a Gold Glove and received MVP votes.
We all know how well the Flyin’ Hawaiian played in the postseason. In 14 games, he batted in 12 runs, which included his grand slam in Game 6 of the ALCS and bases-clearing triple in Game 6 of the World Series. These two hits both drove in the winning runs in two clinching games for the Sox. It is these moments that cemented him in Red Sox history, but his entire season was impressive by itself and it shouldn’t be forgotten.
Victorino’s 2013 campaign was something to behold. He was one of the Red Sox most important players, both with his bat and his glove. Plain and simple, the Red Sox do not win the World Series without him in 2013.