Wade Boggs spoke with Yanks Go Yard on behalf of his partnership with Pabst Blue Ribbon, as part of his ongoing quest to get revenge for PBR stealing his look and vibe for their mascot Cool Blue. You can get in on the action and support Boggs at BoggsIsBlue.com.
Hall of Famer Wade Boggs transcends the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry, wrapping his career as one of the precious few who's respected on both sides. Sure, he did a good deal of his damage rapping line drive doubles off the Green Monster at Fenway Park, but it can't be ignored that he was instrumental in getting the Yankees over the finish line from budding competitors to dynasty.
Boggs spoke with Yanks Go Yard on Tuesday and, according to the legend himself, it was between the Dodgers and Yankees when the Red Sox made it known he was no longer a part of their plans. After much thought, he chose the Yankees' "cathedral" and a partnership with George Steinbrenner, which paid off significantly.
Boggs made four All-Star teams in his five seasons in New York, hitting over .300 in four of the five seasons as well (and a "paltry" .292 in 1997, his last year in pinstripes). His "down" 1992 season with the Sox really threw Boston off the scent; he rebounded to become an integral piece of the Yankees' puzzle, hitting .342 with a .922 OPS in 97 games in 1994, what he calls the best Yankee team he ever played for.
That year was ultimately halted and wiped away by a strike, though Boggs remains convinced they would've brought a World Series to the Bronx even earlier if they'd been allowed to continue. As it were, the celebration had to wait until 1996, but Boggs used all the energy he had in reserve from '94 to make it a special one.
When the final out was recorded, Boggs made it from the dogpile onto the back of a police horse for a celebratory trot around the field to thank the fans who stuck around. To this day, he has no idea how he got up there ("Next thing I know, I'm in left-center field on a horse."), and is even afraid of horses.
Yankees legend Wade Boggs spills on 1996 World Series horseback celebration
Surely, that chapped Mr. Steinbrenner, right? He always preferred neat, tidy and orderly to brash and boisterous.
According to Boggs, that wasn't the case at all. Steinbrenner loved it, but had an issue with one other element of Boggs' postseason play:
"The hockey beard that I was growin' sort of got me in a lot of hot water. He didn't like that at all," Boggs told YGY. "I said, 'Boss, we're winning!'."
"'I want it shaved off before the game.' That didn't happen!"
Boggs, obviously, was in the right here. When you're the one who's working game-changing in extra innings in Atlanta, you can rock whatever facial hair you want.
Hopefully, Steinbrenner's son Hal comes to his senses and realizes that could be the key to allowing his current team to gel.