Top 50 Sox Seasons #28: Wade Boggs, 1987

.363/.461/.588, 1.049 OPS, 551 PA, 200 H, 105 BB, 24 HR, 89 RBI, 70 XBH, 307 TOB, 108 R, 173 OPS+
All-Star starter, Silver Slugger, MVP – 9

For the first and only time in his spectacular career, Boggs found some power, tripling his previous career high in home runs and topping a .500 slugging percentage for what would be the only time in his 18 seasons. Added to his by-now ho hum .360/.450 batting line, the slugging created the best season of his career and easily the best ever by a Red Sox third baseman.

Ironically, his 1987 season became a flashpoint for those critical of the enigmatic Chicken Man. The power surge took place in a contract year, and fans argued Boggs intentionally gave up trying for home runs to pad his enormous batting averages. Boggs (famously referring to himself in the third person as he did so) said the shift midseason to third in the lineup was good for him – and 20 of his home runs came in that position.

Key game: June 29. Falling a double short of the cycle, Boggs nevertheless powers Boston to an easy win over the Orioles. He drives in the first run with a first-inning line single, then extends a 5-2 lead with a two-run triple into the triangle and ices the contest with a sixth-inning grand slam to right. His seven RBI are the most by a Red Sox third baseman until Bill Mueller tallies nine in 2003.

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