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RED SOX TIMELINE
1901-1925 | 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-Present

Red Sox Legends: Rico Petrocelli

Rico Petrocelli joined the Boston Red Sox in 1965 as a shortstop that would develop a powerful stroke at the plate. His bat guided him into numerous categories of the club's record books but it was his family that guided him as a person.

Petrocelli put his wife and children first, making the everyday schedule of baseball a tough thing to handle at times. He wasn't fond of the long road trips and the demands that travel put on his life so the numbers that he put up with Boston are a testament to a father who excelled while he was playing the game.

The young shortstop came of age in 1967 when the club reached for "The Impossible Dream." He had climbed up through the minors and took over the regular shift at short after joining the Red Sox but didn't break through till the latter years of the decade.

"It was then that I realized that the main thing was to win the pennant," he said. "I don't think I really became a big leaguer until then."

In Game 6 of the 1967 World Series, with the Sox down three games to two, "Petro" opened the scoring with a homer. He followed with another blast in the fourth to help force a seventh game.

Petrocelli exploded in 1969. He hit .297, posted a slugging percentage of .589, and set an American League record by hitting 40 home runs as a shortstop. He is seventh in Red Sox records for most home runs, RBI and extra-base hits thanks to continued success after moving to third base when Luis Aparicio joined the team at short.

Rico Petrocelli excelled in a game that keeps its players on the road for much of the season, by balancing it with the family life that drove his heart. That inner passion helped make "Petro" one of the greatest infielders ever to play for the Boston Red Sox.


1901-1925 | 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-Present