Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts ‘blessed’ to become Red Sox’ all-time leader for most games at shortstop

"I mean, it’s definitely something that I thought would never have happened coming up through the minors."

Xander Bogaerts made history on Friday night. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Red Sox had trouble finding stability at shortstop for nearly a decade after they traded Nomar Garciaparra in 2004. Xander Bogaerts ended up giving them stability and then some when he was called up to the majors in 2013.

Almost a decade later, Bogaerts made Red Sox history on Friday night. He played his 1,094th game at shortstop in Boston’s 7-2 win against Oakland, giving him the club record for most games played at short. He surpassed Everett Scott, who played 1,093 games at shortstop for the Red Sox from 1914-21.

Bogaerts took some time to reflect on his big league journey prior to Friday’s game.

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“Time flew by quick,” Bogaerts said. “I’m blessed. I mean, it’s definitely something that I thought would never have happened coming up through the minors. It’s gonna be special. Obviously, during the season it’s a little tough to kind of think of all of that. But it’s gonna be fun to me when I’m in a hotel room with my family [to think about it].”

Bogaerts, who joined the Red Sox organization when he signed as an international free agent in 2009, quickly became a commodity as a prospect. By 2012, he was viewed as one of the best prospects in baseball as he shot up the Red Sox’ farm system.

Bogaerts received the call up to the majors in August 2013 and has remained there ever since.

“The goal is to get up to the league and stay,” Bogaerts said. “You have a lot of guys in the minors, working their butt off and they’re just trying to get to the big leagues. You want to achieve the same thing and just staying up in the big leagues is hard itself. I would have never imagined anything like this.”

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Bogaerts, who is the longest-tenured Red Sox player, earned high praise across the clubhouse for his achievement.

“He’s never satisfied. He wants to keep getting better and we’re very proud of him,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “[It’s such] a great accomplishment in an organization that is very historic. And there’ve been a lot of good players that have played for us.”

Bogaerts is in the midst of another All-Star season. He actually hit a homer and drove in three runs in his record-setting game, giving him six homers and 26 RBIs this season. He’s also hitting .325 at the plate, which is the 10th-best batting average in the league, with a .394 on-base percentage and a .492 slugging percentage.

While the 29-year-old is playing like one of the best shortstops in the league, there’s no guarantee he’ll be in Boston beyond 2022. Bogaerts has an opt-out in his contract following the season and the Red Sox signed shortstop Trevor Story to a six-year deal in March, playing him at second base this season.

The signing of Story led many to speculate that Bogaerts’s time in Boston is nearing its end. But Story seems like he wants to play with Bogaerts past this season, too.

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“Just a special guy. I think a special teammate, someone that’s leading our team in like all categories,” Story said of Bogaerts. “Like I said earlier, I’m happy to be on this team with him. He’s a special player, man, and he handles everything so gracefully. He’s a beast out there, so that always helps.”

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