Manny Ramirez is getting into a baseball Hall of Fame in 2020, just not the one he expected. The Boston Red Sox announced Tuesday that they will induct Ramirez into their team Hall of Fame next season.
Ramirez is one of five men, including former designated hitter David Ortiz, who will receive that honor in 2020. While Ortiz is perhaps the most recognizable name on that list, his induction shouldn’t come as a surprise. No player embodied the Red Sox over the past decade or so more than Ortiz.
Ramirez, on the other hand, is a more controversial selection. His on-field accolades can’t be debated. In eight seasons with Boston, Ramirez hit .312/.411/.588, with 274 home runs. He made the All-Star team every season he was in Boston, and played a big role in the team winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007.
Ramirez’s career took a turn for the worse after leaving Boston. In 2009, Ramirez received a 50-game suspension after he tested positive for using a women’s fertility drug. That drug was linked to steroid use. Ramirez received another suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy in 2011. He was suspended 100 games, and chose to retire from baseball. Ramirez attempted to come back after the 2011 season, but never reached the majors again.
While the Red Sox are willing to overlook Ramirez’s violations, the National Baseball Hall of Fame feels differently. Ramirez has failed to receive a ton of support in the three years he’s been on the ballot. Ramirez received 23.8 percent of the vote in 2017, his first year on the ballot. He hasn’t topped that figure the past two years.
It will be a few years until Ortiz is eligible for induction, though he’s expected to perform much better. There’s even a chance Ortiz will make it into the Hall on the first ballot.
Given the difference in how each player is viewed, it will be interesting to see how Ramirez reacts to the honor. Unless the National Baseball Hall of Fame voters experience a drastic change of opinion on Ramirez, the Red Sox Hall of Fame might be as good as it gets for the slugger.
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