Wade Boggs, Still Eccentric After All These Years
The Globe has a feature this morning about former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs. Photographer/writer Stan Grossfeld traveled to Florida to talk to the Hall of Famer, who for some reason, still hasn’t had his uniform number—26—retired by the team. (He played 11 of his 18 seasons in Boston.) Over the years, he developed a not-undeserved reputation as an eccentric. This is a guy who once claimed to will himself invisible to escape a mugger and who claimed to be a sex addict on national television during an interview with Barbara Walters.
In Grossfeld’s very funny story, Boggs doesn’t disappoint. Here are five things I learned from it:
1. Boggs is now a high school baseball coach. And still superstitious. “Before a recent high school game, Boggs schedules stretching for exactly 5:57 p.m,” Grossfeld writes. “He then gets every player to tug on a knotted rope while they warm up. A team-building exercise, he said. ‘In case you fall off the cliff, your teammate pulls you back to safety,’ he said. ‘Everyone pulls for each other.’”
2. He’s part of an ownership group that just bought the farm from Field of Dreams for $3.4 million. “Ah, I had goose bumps,” he tells Grossfeld. “It tears you up a little bit. It’s emotional. I mean, it’s everything that everybody dreams of. It’s playing with your dad in your backyard.”
3. Despite Oil Can Boyd’s claims, he says he’s not a bigot. “You don’t think Jim Rice or Don Baylor would’ve beat my ass if I was?” he asks Grossfeld.
4. He’d like to work for the Red Sox. “Boggs said he and his agent have approached Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino and principal owner John Henry about a public relations role with the Sox, similar to the one Johnny Pesky had,” Grossfeld writes.
5. “The Chicken Man” still loves to eat chicken. “Not free range,” he tells Grossfeld. “Good ol’ Publix chicken.”