In the long and illustrious history of the Boston Red Sox, no lineup scored more runs than their lineup in 1950. It was an immense amount of offense all things considered, so who did the damage?
During the 1950 regular season, the Boston Red Sox scored a whopping 1,027 runs. It would be the only time the club would score over 1,000 runs and, to this day, the most runs scored in a season in the organization’s long history. Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Jimmie Foxx, Mo Vaughn, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, and Tris Speaker were all Red Sox legends, but none of them had a fingerprint on the best offense a Boston lineup has ever produced. Who were the ones that did? And what kind of numbers did they produce to achieve such a feat?
Let’s take a look at the most potent offense in the history of the Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox would produce a 94-60 record in the 154-game long season. Despite finishing third in the American League, Boston would still play winning baseball off the bats of their fantastic lineup.
An obvious omission of Red Sox legends listed earlier and one with fingerprints all over this season is the one and only Ted Williams. While only playing 89 games that year (breaking his elbow tracking a fly ball in the 1950 All-Star Game), Teddy Ballgame still crossed the plate 82 times, as well as churning out one of his many seasons with an OPS above 1.000 (1.099).
No hitter in baseball in 1950 would score more runs than centerfielder Dom DiMaggio. Leading the majors with 131 runs, DiMaggio would also lead Boston in hits with 193 while also leading the AL in with 15 stolen bases and 11 triples. Hitting .328 with a nice .414 OBP on top of it all, DiMaggio was a catalyst of this powerful Boston lineup. but was he the only one?
Not only did Boston have the league’s leader in runs scored, but they also possessed the league’s leaders in runs batted in with shortstop Vern Stephens and second baseman and first baseman Walt Dropo. Both would lead the majors with a staggering 144 RBI.
Stephens five-year tenure with the Red Sox was not without noise and 1950 was arguably his best season ever. Not only would Vern drive in 144 runs, but he scored 125 runs himself. A .295 average with 30 home runs to boot gave us one of the best lesser-known seasons of all time.
Dropo would produce 101 runs himself on top of his 144 RBI, and another member of this lineup that destroyed baseballs all year. Hitting .322 with 34 homers and also leading the American League in total bases, all as a rookie. And yes, Dropo would end up taking the Rookie of the Year Award.
Third on the team in runs scored with 112 was beloved Boston player Johnny Pesky. Playing third base that season for Boston, Pesky was yet another hitter that hit above .300 for Boston (.312). But adding a monstrous 104 walks and a beautiful .437 OBP made Pesky the elite baton passer for this squad.
This team was so good that it took this long to get to Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr. Another 100+ run scorer for Boston in 1950, Doerr scored 103 times, jacking 27 homers and driving in 120. A more than respectable .886 OPS saw Doerr as one of the primary damage creators.
Utility man Billy Goodman would add 91 runs in just 110 games played, but that’s not all as he would seemingly have 20/20 vision with a wonderful .354 batting average. Outfielder Al Zarilla would add 92 runs of his own and hit what feels now like an unimpressive .325.
Amidst the plethora of ridiculous numbers this lineup recorded, a few summed up just how great these bats were:
- 8 players with 80+ runs scored
- 6 players with 70+ RBI
- 3 players with 120+ RBI
- No one struck out over 75 times (Dropo)
- 6 players with an AVG over .312
- 5 players with an OBP over .400
- 7 players with an OPS over .850
Miraculously, no Boston player won the MVP award despite the historic offensive season they all put on display. Perhaps even more pondering, is of all people, Phil Rizzuto of the New York Yankees, would take home the coveted award. While Rizzuto had a great year (hitting .324 with 125 runs scored and 200 hits), there has been much speculation in the years after as to who really was the MVP of the league.
All awards conversations aside, this Boston lineup was absolutely on fire. The team finished third in the AL, but the lineup finished second to no one. Perhaps 2004 is the famous year in Boston, and there have been multiple World Series winning seasons since, but no season provided more firepower for Boston than the 1950 Red Sox.