Wade Boggs spent substantial time in the minors, hitting .318 over five seasons before advancing to the big leagues and hitting .349 in his rookie year, 1982, polling third in Rookie of the Year voting. In his sophomore season, Boggs hit .361 and won the American League batting title. He went on to win the batting crown four years in a row, from 1985 through 1988, and he hit 200 or more hits in seven consecutive seasons, from 1983 through 1989. His 240 base hits in 1985 is the single-season record for the Red Sox, comfortably exceeding Tris Speaker's 222 hits in 1912. Boggs was mostly a singles and doubles hitter, but in 1987 he hit 24 home runs, the only time in his 11 years with the Sox that he even reached double digits. Boggs was an on-base machine, too, leading the league in OBP for six seasons. All of the hitting and all of the bases on balls (twice, he led the league) added up to a career .428 OBP as a member the Red Sox. He posted a career .338 batting average for the club, as well.

Five seasons with the Yankees and two with Tampa Bay followed his time in Boston, but represented a slow decline from his prime. In his 18 seasons in Major League baseball, Boggs became a member of the very exclusive 3,000 hit club and hit for a lifetime .328. Boggs won two Gold Gloves, was named to the All-Star team 12 times, and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.