“FENWAY'S BEST PLAYERS”
John Valentin born February 18, 1967 in Mineola New York played most of his career with the Sox before heading to the Mets.
He attended Seton Hall University where he played baseball (duh) along with Mo Vaughn and future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (pretty cool eh?). He was drafted to the Sox in the 1988 draft and made his MLB debut four years later in 1992. You can check this official scouting report from 1989 to see the assessment of the big leaguer-to-be: His best season was 1995, when he batted .298 with 27 home runs, 37 doubles, 20 stolen bases and 81 walks. Valentin finished ninth in the American League MVP voting, and helped lead the Red Sox to its first division title since 1990. Valentin had a .971 fielding percentage in his first three years as a shortstop for the Red Sox.
On June 6, 1996, he hit for the cycle. During the 1996 season, Red Sox prospect Nomar Garciaparra battled for the spot of shortstop with Valentin, who had held the position for his entire career. Garciaparra took over the shortstop position in 1997, forcing Valentin to second base. Later that season, he shifted to third base after the regular third baseman, Tim Naehring, was injured. Valentin spent four more seasons with the Red Sox (playing only a total of 30 games over his last two years in a Red Sox uniform, the 2000 and 2001 seasons)
He had a pretty good run with the BoSox batting .281 over 10 seasons in Boston his best ones coming between 1995-1997 where he batted .300 during the span with 58 homers (19/season average) and 238 RBI’s (79/season average). The real highlight of his career though was in 1994 when he turned the 10th unassisted triple play in MLB history which is cool in itself but the fact that Valentin acts like nothing special happened makes it even cooler.
When the 2001 season came to a close Valentin opted to sign with the Mets as a free agent, playing with them through 2002 before calling it quits. He left the game after 11 seasons with a career .279 average alongside 1,093 hits, 124 home runs, and 558 RBI’s.