Kevin Youkilis and Derek Lowe will always hold a special place in the heart of Red Sox fans for the role they played in winning the 2004 World Series. While they were inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame earlier this year, it was also great to see they’re on the 2019 ballot for being inducted into Cooperstown.
After the ballot was released on Monday, Youkilis took to twitter to express his gratitude for simply being on the ballot. “Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams in life,” he wrote. “Never would I have ever dreamed about making this list but hard work, drive and a love for the game allowed me to be included with so many amazing MLB peers.”
Over the course of a 10 year career (eight of which were with the Red Sox), Youkilis made the All-Star team three times and won a Gold Glove award in 2007. He had a .281/.382/.478 batting line with 1053 hits (150 of which were homers) and 681 RBI’s. In other words, he had solid numbers that make him worthy of being on the ballot once but I have a feeling he won’t receive the 75 percent of votes needed to make it to Cooperstown. Unfortunately, I think the more compelling drama will be whether he even receives the five percent needed to stay on the ballot.
Derek Lowe also appears to be in the same situation. Lowe had a long career in which he pitched in parts of 17 MLB seasons (eight of which were with the Red Sox), was the AL saves leader while with the Red Sox in 2000, and led the NL in wins during his time with the Dodgers in 2006. He also amassed a 34.4 WAR, 1722 strikeouts, a 1.330 WHIP, and 86 saves (though it should be noted he alternated between a starting and working out of the bullpen). Perhaps most importantly to Red Sox fans, he had a 3-0 record with a 1.86 ERA during four appearances (three of them starts) in the 2004 playoffs.
Even with Youkilis and Lowe unlikely to receive the votes needed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s good to see them on the ballot as it gives fans like me a chance to think back on the Sox winning their first World Series in 86 years.