The 15 Most Notable Major Leaguers To Play for The Dodgers and Red Sox

The Dodgers are hosting the Red Sox for a rare Interleague series this weekend. These games between the two of baseball’s most storied franchises will be the 13th, 14th, and 15th games played all time. Surprisingly, both teams have never met in the World Series. While there hasn’t been much history on the field between Boston and LA, the two clubs share a rich history off the field.

Nobody will ever forget the historic big money trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers. Nor will anybody forget the trade that brought Manny Ramirez to LA in 2008. In 2004, the Dodgers traded away Dave Roberts to the Red Sox for a minor leaguer. As they say, the rest was history.

In Defense of Being a Dodger’s Optimist

Over the years, the Dodgers and Red Sox have had many ball players play for both clubs. 152 to be exact. Here is a list of the 15 most notable Dodgers/Red Sox players throughout history.

15. Bill Buckner (Dodgers 1969-1976, Red Sox 1984-1987, 1990)

Bill Buckner will always be remembered for one play: the one that got between his legs. That was in game 6 of the 1986 World Series between the Red Sox and the Mets. Of course, the Red Sox went on to lose game 7 and prolong the Curse of the Bambino. But aside from that play, Buckner was a solid ballplayer with a 22 year playing career. Eight of those years were spent with the Dodgers, who drafted him in 1968. Buckner’s best year with the Dodgers was in 1974 when he slashed .314/.351/.412 and added 31 stolen bases. By the time Buckner was playing with the Red Sox, he developed some pop and turned into an RBI machine. In 1986, Buckner hit 18 Home Runs and drove in 102 runs, but ill fate has defined this all-star’s career.

14. Reggie Smith (Red Sox 1966-1972, Dodgers 1976-1981)

Reggie Smith was a superstar on a team of stars that led the Dodgers during a golden era. During Smith’s tenure with the Dodgers, the club won three National League Pennants and a World Series title. In 1977, Smith was part of a quartet of Dodgers to hit 30 home runs in a season. Smith hit 32 in ’77 and was joined by Steve Garvey who hit 33, Ron Cey, and Dusty Baker who hit 30 each. Smith, who made his Major League debut with the Red Sox in 1966, enjoyed his best season with Boston in 1971 when he slashed .283/.352/.489, hit 30 home runs and drove in 96 RBI. Known for having a hot head throughout his career, Smith now lives in the Los Angeles area and provides a positive influence among baseball’s youth, running his own baseball academy.

13. Pedro Martinez (Dodgers 1992-1993, Red Sox 1998-2004)

“We lost a Hall of Famer,” Tommy Lasorda once lamented while reflecting on Pedro Martinez’s time with the Dodgers. Pedro was, of course, traded to the Montréal Expos in exchange for Delino DeShields in what was perhaps one of the worst trades in Dodger history. While he showed promise with the Dodgers, Martinez blossomed in Montréal where he won the Cy Young Award in 1997. His most dominant years undoubtedly came with the Red Sox, where he won two more Cy Young Awards and was part of the legendary 2004 Red Sox team. Pedro entered the Hall of Fame as a member of the Red Sox and his number 45 was retired by the team in 2015.

12. Takashi Saito (Dodgers 2006-2008, Red Sox 2009)

Takashi Saito joined the Dodgers as an unheralded non-roster invitee from Japan in 2006. Saito, of course, recorded three very fine seasons as a Dodger reliever, cementing himself as one of the club’s best closers in history. Saito pitched one year for the Red Sox, where he was equally impressive before moving onto Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Arizona.

11. Nomar Garciaparra (Red Sox 1996-2004, Dodgers 2006-2008)

Nomar Garciaparra achieved superstardom with the Red Sox, slashing .306/.342/.534 with 30 home runs and 96 RBI as a rookie in 1997. Garciaparra was among a class of young shortstops including Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Injuries derailed Nomar from having a Hall of Fame career. By the time he had signed with his hometown Dodgers in 2006, Garciaparra made a defensive transition to first and third base. Injuries further hampered his time with the Dodgers, but he made two playoff runs with the club in 2006 and 2008, slashing .303/.367/.505 with 20 homers and 93 RBI in 2006. Nomar’s loyalty to Dodger blue is further demonstrated by his post-career work with the team, calling games on SportsNet LA.

10. J.D. Drew (Dodgers 2005-2006, Red Sox 2007-2011)

J.D. Drew’s two year tenure with the Dodgers is summed up by one productive year cut short by injury and another productive year which led to his signing by the Boston Red Sox. Drew originally signed a 5-year $55 million deal with the Dodgers, but opted out after his second year to sign a 5-year $70 million contract with the Red Sox. Drew’s time with the Sox was productive, and he won a World Series with the club in 2007. Drew left the Dodgers on bad terms, as then-GM Ned Colletti never expected Drew to opt out of the club, and, according to Molly Knight, Colletti threatened to file a tampering grievance against the Red Sox. However, Drew did leave the Dodgers with a memorable moment, as he was part of the quartet that hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Padres in the 9th inning to tie the game back in 2006.

9. Derek Lowe (Red Sox 1997-2004, Dodgers 2005-2008)

Derek Lowe is a Red Sox legend–first as a dominant closer who saved as many as 42 games in 2000 and then as a starter who won as many as 21 games in 2002. Lowe carried a reputation as a big game pitcher, beating the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS and winning Game 4 of the ’04 World Series to clinch the title and break the 86-year-old curse of the Bambino. Lowe signed a 4-year $36 million deal with the Dodgers in 2005 and was a beacon for consistency and reliability, throwing a devastating sinker that only ever got better as the game went on. He started at least 33 games in every year he played for the team and pitched for two playoff teams in 2006 and 2008.

8. Hideo Nomo (Dodgers 1995-1998, 2002-2004, Red Sox 2001)

Hideo Nomo is a Dodger legend, bursting onto the scene in 1995 in the midst of Nomomania when he won the rookie of the year. Nomo was the ace on many Dodger teams, where he infamously threw a no-hitter at Coors Field in 1996. Nomo pitched for the Red Sox in 2001, where he also hurled a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles. Nomo is the only pitcher to have pitched a no-hitter in Baltimore. He is also the only pitcher to have thrown a no-hitter in Denver.

7. Josh Beckett (Red Sox 2006-2012, Dodgers 2012-2014)

Josh Beckett made a name for himself beating the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins. Beckett was dealt to Boston in a blockbuster trade that also sent Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota to the Sox in exchange for Hanley Ramirez and other prospects. Beckett was the ace of the Red Sox staff that won the 2007 World Series. He was then included in the Adrian Gonzalez trade as essentially a salary dump along with Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. When he was not injured, Beckett pitched decently for the Dodgers, most notably throwing a no-hitter against the Phillies in 2014 before retiring after that season.

6. Adrian Beltré (Dodgers 1998-2004, Red Sox 2010)

The Dodgers lost another Hall of Fame ballplayer when they let Adrian Beltré walk after his historic 2004 season. In 2004, Beltré slashed .334/.388/.629, slugged 48 home runs and drove in 121 RBI. Beltré was a home grown star with a slick glove and powerful bat who has averaged over 20 home runs, won four Gold Gloves, and three Silver Sluggers since leaving the Dodgers. Beltré enjoyed one of his best years with the Red Sox in 2010, slashing .321/.359/.561, hitting 28 home runs with 102 RBI.

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Sunha Kim

Sunha writes for Dodgers Nation and Boxing Insider. A graduate of The Ohio State University and Harvard, his writing has appeared in Yahoo!, the business news site Quartz, Dodgers Blue Heaven, and Sons of Steve Garvey. A Dodger fan growing up, his favorite player was pinch hitting guru Dave Hansen. Follow him @SunhaPKim. E-mail him at [email protected]

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