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A Boston Red Sox presence in the 2023 World Series

Familiar faces from the 2023 MLB season's grand finale
November 3, 2023

Even though Boston did not make a playoff appearance this year, the 2023 World Series featured a number of familiar faces connected to the Boston Red Sox organization.

Even though Boston did not make a playoff appearance this year, the 2023 World Series featured a number of familiar faces connected to the Boston Red Sox organization.

Without a doubt, Wednesday, November 1, 2023, will forever be a historic day for the Texas Rangers organization and fandom. After two disappointing World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, the ballclub from Arlington finally finished the job and won their first Commissioner’s Trophy in franchise history in five games over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Just as notably, Texas manager Bruce Bochy won his fourth World Series ring after coming out of retirement for the 2023 season. Although Bochy does not have a direct connection to the Red Sox, WooSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg said the four-time World Champion was a rookie manager in San Diego when he and WooSox Chairman and Principal Owner Larry Lucchino joined the Padres organization in 1994.

“In San Diego, we found [Bochy] to be one of the most consistent, reliable, steady, funny, enjoyable managers we ever worked with, and one of the best,” Steinberg said. “He’s something special, and what we had in San Diego was something special.”

According to Steinberg, Bochy played a large role in helping the Padres win the National League pennant in 1998, just the second in San Diego history. Bochy’s success only grew from there; winning three World Series Championships with the San Francisco Giants and now one more with the Rangers. The former major league catcher is now tied for fourth with Joe Torre and Walter Alston for most World Series championships by a manager.

On Arizona’s side, the most obvious Red Sox alumni is manager Torey Lovullo. Although this was his first World Series appearance as a manager, Lovullo was no stranger to championship baseball; he won it all in his first season in Boston in 2013, having served as Red Sox bench coach from 2013 to 2016. In his first year in Arizona in 2017, Lovullo and the Diamondbacks reached postseason baseball in a wildcard spot but were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series. Contributing to this season’s NL Championship win shows promise for the Dbacks and Lovullo, whose contract is extended through 2024.

Behind the scenes, Arizona’s front office is littered with former members of the Red Sox organization. Diamondbacks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Hazen served as Boston’s senior vice president and general manager under Dave Dombrowski in 2016. Before that, he held the same position under Ben Cherington, and going back even farther, he joined the Red Sox organization as director of player development in 2006.

With almost 10 years of Red Sox baseball operations under his belt, Hazen “grew up” before Steinberg and Lucchino’s eyes, according to Steinberg.

“[Hazen] and I would both remember a conversation that we had because we needed him to do something on the air, but he wasn’t the general manager and was a bit reluctant,” he said. “I said, ‘Look, you’re going to be a general manager someday, you might as well get your training ground in as sophisticated a market as Boston. You don’t know where you’re going to be.’ Well, sure enough, here he is in Arizona, and he is in his first World Series as a general manager.”

Another constituent from Lucchino’s Red Sox presidency in Arizona is Amiel Sawdaye, the Diamondbacks senior vice president and assistant general manager. Starting with the Red Sox as an intern in 2002, Sawdaye became a scouting assistant in 2004, assistant director of amateur scouting in 2005, and vice president of amateur and international scouting in 2010. He moved to Arizona’s front office with Hazen in 2016, the same time Lovullo took the helm as manager. Former Red Sox Director of Amateur Scouting Jason McLeod later joined up with the Boston alums in Arizona in 2021, and previously, former Red Sox Vice President of Player Development and International Scouting Craig Shipley joined the Diamondbacks in 2012 after nine years in Boston.

Behind Hazen, Sawdaye, McLeod, and Shipley, the Diamondbacks coaching staff includes former Red Sox and PawSox players, as well. Red Sox 2013 World Series Champion Jonny Gomes currently serves as Arizona’s minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator. Formerly a Red Sox scout and minor leaguer in the Gulf Coast League, Danny Haas is now the Diamondbacks’ special assignment scout. Rob Leary is a pro scout for Arizona, previously employed as Red Sox minor league field coordinator. One of the Diamondbacks’ amateur scouts, Jeremy Kehrt, was a relief pitcher for the PawSox from 2011 to 2014, and Gil Velazquez played for the PawSox and Red Sox before becoming Arizona’s minor league infield coordinator.

Needless to say, the Red Sox organization has its fingerprints all over the 2023 World Series runner-up.

The 2023 World Champion Rangers have a couple former Red Sox, too. Texas’ Executive Vice President of Communications John Blake was vice president of media relations in Boston from 2006 to 2008. Hitting coach Tim Hyers earned his first World Series ring as Red Sox hitting coach in 2018. Former Rangers and Red Sox infielder Ian Kinsler—who was also a part of the 2018 championship team as a player—just won his second ring as Texas’ special assistant to the general manager.

On the field, Red Sox fans certainly recognized starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi on the mound for Texas in Game 1 and the winner in the series-clinching Game 5. Lefty Martín Pérez, who was with Boston in 2020 and 2021, made an appearance at the end of Game 2. Tommy Pham—who had a brief stint with the Sox in 2022—went 4-4 in Game 2 for the Dbacks but sacrificed his fifth at-bat to give fellow teammate Jace Peterson his first World Series appearance.

As a part of four World Series wins in Boston, Steinberg said he “couldn’t be happier” that former Red Sox members had another shot at the World Championship.

“There were no losers in this World Series,” he said. “There were really good people that Larry Lucchino and I have long relationships with and for whom we have great fondness. We take pride in the fact that all of these good people who’ve devoted their lives to the game have gotten to enjoy what we in Boston have gotten to enjoy so much, and that is to be part of the World Series.”