BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox welcomed four new members to their Hall of Fame on Thursday night, including a pair of two-time World Series champions.
Former Red Sox players Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and the late Ira Flagstead were enshrined Thursday night as the 2016 Red Sox Hall of Fame inductees. Red Sox President/CEO Emeritus Larry Lucchino was also enshrined as a non-uniformed inductee, while David Ortiz’s 2013 game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park was remembered as the “Memorable Moment,” a moment in Red Sox history that is regarded for its special significance.
Varitek, a three-time All-Star and a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger-winning catcher, helped lead the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007. He served as Red Sox team captain for his final seven seasons (2005-11) and caught a club-record 1,488 games over 15 years. He was behind the plate for the team’s last four no-hitters, and currently serves as a Special Assistant to the General Manager, a role he’s held since 2012.
Now, Varitek can call himself a Red Sox Hall of Famer as well.
“It’s a complete honor,” said Varitek. “I’m very, very thankful and very, very blessed this has happened.”
“Jason, you were the biggest reason, right along with David and Manny [Ramirez] being clutch in the end, that we won it all [in 2004],” Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez told Varitek during the on-stage portion of the evening.
Wakefield, also a member of the 2004 and 2007 World Series champs, spent 17 seasons in Boston from 1995-2011, finishing his career as the franchise’s all-time leader in starts (430) and innings pitched (3,006.0), second in appearances (590) and strikeouts (2,046), and third in wins (186). The knuckleballer is the only pitcher ever to make at least 200 starts and 150 relief appearances for the Red Sox. He returned to the team as Honorary Chairman of the Red Sox Foundation and Special Assignment Instructor in 2013.
“It’s the most historic franchise in all of sports, in my opionion, and to be in their Hall of Fame is a very special moment for me and my family,” said Wakefield.
It was Wakefield’s versatility, whether it be in the starting rotation or out of the bullpen, that earned his teammate’s respect the most during his 17 years with the club.
“If the team needed something — to start, middle relief, to close — or someone for a charity event, Tim was always that guy,” said former Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin.
Flagstead was known as an outstanding outfielder during his seven seasons with the Red Sox from 1923-29, and is best known for starting three double plays from center field on Patriots Day in 1926. Flagstead led all outfielders with 115 assists during his time with the Red Sox, including a major league-high 33 in 1923 and tied for an AL-best 24 in 1925.
Lucchino was President/CEO during Boston’s historic 14-year stretch when the Red Sox won three World Championships.
Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of the 2013 American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park was enshrined as the team’s “Memorable Moment.” The blast came with two out in the eighth inning and the Red Sox trailing 5-1, with the slam narrowly clearing the glove of tumbling Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter before falling into the Boston bullpen. The Red Sox won in the ninth inning and evened the ALCS at one game apiece, defeated the Tigers in six games before going on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.