On-Base Perception

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Playing on both sides of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry

Then-Yankees third baseman Wade Boggs rides a police

Then-Yankees third baseman Wade Boggs rides a police horse around the field after the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves in Game 6 to win the World Series. (Credit: AP, 1996)

There were reports circulating that the Boston Red Sox were interested in hiring Tino Martinez as their hitting coach. Martinez was later hired as the Miami Marlins' hitting coach, but the rumor got us thinking.

Babe Ruth is certainly the prime example of playing for both teams in baseball’s biggest rivalry, and we all know how that turned out for each club. But there have been plenty of others to do the same. Here’s a look at how things worked out for them.

David Wells

Wells played four seasons with the Yankees in two separate stints. He first joined the Yankees from 1997-1998. In those two years he pitched a perfect game and won a World Series on top of putting up solid stats. Wells won 15-plus games and had at least 195 strikeouts in each season he was in New York.

When he joined Boston in 2005, Wells was his usual self. He won 15 games and had 220 strikeouts. But in the second year, he only managed to start eight games and went 2-3 with a 4.98 ERA. Granted, by that point, he was into his 40s.

Roger Clemens

Many of Clemens’ best years came in the first 13 of his career with the Red Sox. He was named the Rookie of the Year in 1984, went to five All-Star Games, won three of six Cy Young Awards and won his lone MVP award all with Boston.

But his illustrious personal accomplishments don’t measure up to the one thing he couldn’t get with the Red Sox — a World Series ring. Clemens was able to get two in his first couple of seasons with the Yankees. And he added another one of those Cy Young Awards the following year.

Wade Boggs

The Hall-of-Famer put himself well on his way toward eclipsing baseball’s 3,000-hits mark with 2,098 with the Red Sox in his first 11 seasons in the majors. Known for his average, he hit above .300 in all but one season, and he was also named an All-Star eight out of those 11 years.

Much like Clemens, Boggs wasn’t missing personal accolades with the Red Sox, but he did get some more with the Yankees. He went to the All-Star Game four more times and won two Gold Gloves in his five years with the Yankees. But winning the 1996 World Series, the Yankees’ first since 1981, and rode around Yankee Stadium on the back of a horse with a mounted police officer was arguably the most memorable moment in Boggs’ career.

Johnny Damon

The ringleader of the “bunch of idiots,” Damon is a staple of the 2004 Red Sox that finally ended the Curse of the Bambino. He spent four years with both teams, and his numbers are fairly similar with each. He hit .295/.362/.441 with Boston and .285/.363/.458 with the Yankees. He even got a second World Series ring in his final year with the Yanks in 2009.

Tags: Yankees , Boston Red Sox , Tino Martinez , David Wells , Roger Clemens , Wade Boggs , Johnny Damon

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