C: Jason Varitek - Jason Varitek has not only been my favorite catcher, but my favorite player for years. Jason Varitek is the epitome of professional. Throughout his Red Sox tenure, the rockstars have come and gone and come and gone, flashing their wild ways in front of the media camera. Jason Varitek is the rock that keeps these talented and entertaining diva-characters anchored in a team unit. Yet, in his own Jason Varitek way, the guy has been nothing short of badass. (I'll never forget the time he force-fed his mitt to A-Rod.) Throw in the no-hitters and near no-hitters that the guy tends to catch, and it is hard not to love the man with the military haircut.
1B: Albert Pujols - I have selected Sir Albert simply because I never got a chance to see Jimmie Foxx play. Albert Pujols is the sweetest right-handed bat I have ever seen or feel that I will ever see. There is nothing I can say about him that you readers do not already know. But his combination of power and patience is unreal, and I feel fortunate to be able to witness such a great player go to work.
2B: Pokey Reese - Everyone reading this will laugh hysterically upon seeing this selection. But it was the GLOVE that made me go wild about this guy. Plus his name is Pokey. But seriously, I think I saw this guy leap 29 feet in the air once to snare a would-be double before it even got past the infield. Not that he could ever hit well, but injuries sure shortened this guy's playing time.
3B: Scott Rolen - Injuries and ineffectiveness over the last few years have really carried Rolen's name into obscurity of late. When all is said and done, however, Rolen will be heralded as one of the better third baseman of all time. I have so much appreciation for a guy who can do as many amazing things with his glove as he can with his bat. Just an exciting guy to watch in his prime.
SS: Nomar Garciaparra - Who did you expect? Nomar Garciaparra was possibly my first man-crush. He came up right around the time I fell in love with the Red Sox as a child. It may have been his erratic throws across the diamond off-balance and on the move that somehow got guys out at first. It may have been the batting titles. I think it had more to do with the fact that he was Boston's answer for Derek Jeter 's greatness with the Yanks. Name me one kid who grew up a Red Sox fan during Nomar's tenure who didn't try to imitate his batting rituals before digging in. Exactly. He will always be a Boston icon and nothing could ever mar his legacy in my heart.
OF: Dave Roberts - It took one stolen base to etch himself a place in history. I trade for him in all my baseball videogames now.
OF: Josh Hamilton - I ate up the story, and I am not ashamed to admit it. It isn't just a media heart-string story, it is real life. I remember when he was a top draft pick. I remember the potential and the hype. And I remember when he threw it all away for drugs and alcohol and a life of recklessness. So many people are lost to the world of substance abuse, trading potential for a quick high. But Josh Hamilton fought back . He beat those demons. Then he made it back not only to the Major League, but became an RBI machine in the Major League. This kind of story is not a "feel-good" story. It is evidence that people CAN take themselves from rock bottom to the peaks of mountains. Josh Hamilton is one of my favorite players now. Not just because of what he has accomplished on the diamond, but for what he has overcome in life.
OF: Ken Griffey , Jr. - Ken Griffey is the greatest outfielder of all-time. Yes, I do thoroughly believe that. Everyone has heard the whole, "If it wasn't for injuries" thing. And it is true. If it wasn't for injuries. This is another guy I feel fortunate to have seen play the game.
DH: David Ortiz - Something about winning a World Series after an 86-year drought on the back of the clutch hitting of a jolly man who makes mango salsa as well as he produces walk-off wins is just so lovable. This man will never, ever, be forgotten when his playing days are over.
RHSP: John Smoltz - This man has never been anything short of spectacular at any point throughout his career.
LHSP: Tom Glavine - I feel fuzzy inside when lefties continually paint outside corners with changeups for big whiffs.
RP: Keith Foulke - Look, a million other guys deserve this spot. But none of them pitched their hearts out or arms off to win my team a World Series like Keith Foulke did.
Like I said in the beginning, please feel free to rate these selections and to comment on your own. This is meant to be fun and allow you to think back to your favorite memories!