The Red Sox released their 2019 media guide in February.
Typically released by sports teams before the start of each season, media guides contain a wealth of information about the team’s history, current players and staff, and records.
Here are 25 fun facts from the 2019 Red Sox media guide:
- Jackie Bradley Jr. is a distant relative of NBA legend Michael Jordan. Jordan’s grandfather and Bradley’s great-great-grandmother were siblings.
- The team’s assistant pitching coach, Bryan Bannister, owns a full-service photography studio and equipment rental house, Loft 19 Studios, in Phoenix, Arizona. According to the media guide, Bannister’s work has been featured in the New York Times, New York Daily News, and American Photo.
- On July 7, 2005, the Red Sox traded infielder Ramón Vázquez to the Indians in exchange for Alex Cora, who is now the team’s manager. Vázquez currently serves as a coach with the team and was brought in shortly after Cora’s hire in November 2017.
- Cora was only ejected once in the 2018 regular season, on August 3, in a game against the Yankees. (Note: Cora was also ejected during Game 1 of the 2018 ALCS on Oct. 13.)
- Cora initiated 43 replay challenges last season. 22 of those calls were overturned.
- It has almost been 10 years since a Red Sox pitcher hit a home run. The last pitcher to do so was Josh Beckett on June 6, 2009, a solo shot off J.A. Happ of the Philadelphia Phillies.
- It has also been almost 10 years since a Red Sox pitcher played another defensive position. Javier Lopez appeared in right field for the Sox on April 30, 2009, against the Tampa Bay Rays.
- No player whose last name begins with the letter X has ever suited up for the Red Sox. In fact, there has never been an MLB player whose last name starts with X, according to Baseball Reference.
- The Red Sox scored 129 runs in the fifth inning last season while giving up only 49, the team’s largest run differential (+80) of any inning last season.
- Red Sox CEO and team president Sam Kennedy played high school baseball with former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein at Brookline High School.
- Mookie Betts is the only AL player ever to win the World Series and earn MVP, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger awards in a single season. The only NL player ever to accomplish this is Mike Schmidt in 1980.
- Red Sox chairman Tom Werner currently serves as a producer on ABC’s The Conners, the spinoff of Roseanne, which returned and was subsequently canceled in 2018.
- According to Fangraphs, Nathan Eovaldi’s average fastball velocity (96.9 mph) is the highest among all MLB pitchers since 2011 with a minimum of 850 innings pitched.
- The Sox drafted 2018 World Series MVP Steve Pearce in the 10th round in 2004 but he did not sign with the team.
- Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, which lasted seven hours and twenty minutes, is tied for the third-longest game in Red Sox history.
- The 2018 Red Sox set the club record for the most hits in consecutive at bats with 12 against the Miami Marlins on August 29.
- Former infielder Julio Lugo was the last Red Sox player to perform a hidden ball play, on June 8, 2007, against the Diamondbacks. Marty Barrett and Johnny Pesky are the only Red Sox players known to have ever performed a hidden ball play more than once, with three each.
- Xander Bogaerts (.978) and Dustin Pedroia (.991) are the Red Sox’ all-time fielding percentage leaders at their respective positions among those with a minimum of 400 games played. Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are 4th and 5th among outfielders all time.
- Pedroia holds seven of the top ten single-season fielding percentages at second base in Red Sox history.
- The 2018 World Series championship club is tied with the 2011 team for the fewest complete games pitched in a single season in Red Sox history. The 2018 club pitched two complete games.
- It’s been almost 30 years since Sox pitcher John Dopson tied the AL record for most balks in one game on June 13, 1989, against the Detroit Tigers, when he was called for balks four times.
- J.D. Martinez’s 26 home runs at Fenway Park in 2018 are 8th-most in a single season. Surprisingly, David Ortiz does not appear on the top 10 in this list. He appears at No. 14. Ortiz hit 300 of his 541 home runs in away stadiums and occupies 5 of the top 10 most home runs hit in away ballparks all-time among Red Sox hitters. Even so, Ortiz’s 221 home runs at Fenway are 3rd most all-time among Sox hitters, behind Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski,
- Mookie Betts already holds the club record for most career leadoff home runs (16).
- According to MLB.com, 18 players in MLB history have hit four home runs in one game. No player, whether on the Red Sox or on an opposing team, has hit four home runs in a Red Sox game.
- Before 2005, the Red Sox had never before played in the postseason three seasons in a row. Now, they’ve done it three times: 2003-2005, 2007-2009, and 2016-2018.
Sox fans who wish to view this year’s media guide in full, as well as those of years past, can download it here.