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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Wade Boggs: Hall of Fame 2005
Talkin' about Wade
What some former teammates, opponents and others have to say about Boggs:
By Times Staff Writer
Published July 28, 2005
Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina:
"When I think of Wade Boggs, I think of a base hit to leftfield, a base hit over shortstop, a base hit up the middle. That's what he usually did to me. I was trying to do anything I could to keep him from doing it, but if he got the pitch (he liked), he usually did. The book on Wade had to be rewritten a lot, and that's why he's going to the Hall of Fame. What worked in the first inning may not work in the sixth. Certainly what worked in May may not work in July. You become a good hitter because you can adjust and anticipate and take what's given to you. And that's exactly what he did, and that's exactly why he hit .350 and why he ended up with 3,000-plus hits."
Devil Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer:
"You could take Boggs and put him in a home-run hitting contest, and he might win. I've seen him hit six or seven balls in a row into the rightfield seats when he wanted to, but he chose to go the other way and get base hits. And he hit .330."
Orioles first baseman and 3,000-hit club member Rafael Palmeiro:
"He was just a great, great hitter. He always got his pitch, and when he got it, he hit a line drive. He just had unbelievable hand-eye coordination."
Red Sox reliever Mike Timlin:
"Wade had the ability like all great hitters that if they're down 0-and-2 or 1-and-2 in the count to somehow stay alive; to wait until you throw that really dirty pitch down and away and he fouls it off. Then you throw one up and in, and he fouls it off. Just to stay alive long enough for you to make a mistake in their mind where they hit the ball instead of striking out."
- Compiled by Times staff writer Marc Topkin with information from Damian Cristodero, Tom Jones and Dave Scheiber.
A look at how Boggs compares with other prominent members of the 3,000-hit club:
Ripken broke in one season before Wade Boggs and retired two years after, so their careers spanned the same era in the same league against the same pitchers. While Ripken (3,184 hits) had 164 more hits than Boggs, he needed nearly 1,400 more at-bats. That explains Ripken's .276 lifetime average compared with Boggs' .328. But there are similarities. Both won two Gold Gloves, and their slugging percentages were nearly identical (Boggs was at .443, Ripken .447). In a perfect lineup, Boggs would hit second ahead of Ripken, and they would do a nice job patrolling the left side of the infield.
One of Boggs' favorite chicken recipes from his book Fowl Tips:
Hot Chicken Salad
4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks
1 8-ounce can pineapple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons tarragon
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped celery and pimentos
Bone and skin breasts, cutting each into strips. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken strips and salt. Cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion, cooking two minutes more, stirring constantly. Add pineapple, syrup, lemon juice and tarragon. Cook four minutes more over medium heat. Remove from heat. Place mixture in medium casserole. Add mayonnaise, bread crumbs, celery and pimentos. Toss lightly until well mixed. Place in 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve.
One of Boggs' most impressive stats:
884: Games, among 2,439, in which he got more than one hit, including a record 135 in 1985.
Some of Boggs' items already in the Hall:
The jersey, cap, spikes and batting gloves he used for his 3,000th hit on Aug. 7, 1999.
Each day, we'll present a top-five list prepared by Boggs. Today, his favorite entertainers: