Armour: Remembering the Red Sox’s first number retirement ceremony in 1984

From SABR member Mark Armour at on June 20, 2017:

This Friday (June 23) the Red Sox are retiring David Ortiz’s jersey number 34, ceremoniously displaying it on the right field facade for the ages.  The current Red Sox ownership does history well — there are now 10 numbers permanently out of circulation (plus Jackie Robinson’s 42, retired by all of baseball), even as fans clamor for more honorees.

As an illustration of how things have changed, the Red Sox first retired numbers in 1984, when they retired two at once: for Ted Williams and Joe Cronin.  I was there that night, part of a small crowd who showed up mainly to see Williams.  Twenty-five years later I wrote a book about Cronin, and the story of that evening became the Prolog for my book.

I reprint the Prolog here.

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Originally published: June 22, 2017. Last Updated: June 22, 2017.