Lou Gorman Leaves Behind Unforgettable Red Sox Legacy


Apr 1, 2011

Hours before they begin a season filled with hope, the Red Sox will pause to reflect on the loss of one of their own.

With word that former general manager Lou Gorman passed away, Boston lost the architect of three division crowns and a partner in the team's incredible growth in popularity in recent years.

Gorman, who served as the team's GM from 1984 through 1993, helped engineer the 1986, 1988 and 1990 American League East Division crowns. After the club sank toward the bottom of the division in the early '90s, he was relieved of his duties but served several more years with the organization in other capacities, most recently in the realm of public affairs.

Many Red Sox fans will remember Gorman as the guy who traded away Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen in 1990 and Curt Schilling two years earlier. While the careers of Bagwell and Schilling will always cause some to question the moves, they were done in a way in which fans should appreciate. Gorman, a native of New England who grew up a Red Sox fan, pulled the trigger on the deals in his best effort to win at the current time, something which never should be overlooked.

Lou Gorman Leaves Behind Unforgettable Red Sox LegacyIt may make all the sense in the world for the modern-day Red Sox fan to appreciate the value of a farm system while the organization attempts to cultivate a third World Series winner in eight years. But the franchise under Gorman had been so close in 1986 and was flirting with glory again in '88 and '90 as it attempted to end a long championship drought. Making the necessary moves to fill the gaps and give the team what it needed to be successful was an admirable undertaking by Gorman, even if the club fell short.

As it is, Andersen and Mike Boddicker, who came over from Baltimore in the Schilling deal, combined to go 7-3 with a 2.35 ERA and one save in their half-seasons with the team after the trades. Boddicker added 15 wins in 1989 and 17 in 1990.

Gorman also made trades for closer Lee Smith and brought in Spike Owen and Dave Henderson to round out the '86 squad. Additionally, he went all out with high-profile free-agent signings. Some of the signings worked (Tony Pena Sr., Jeff Reardon) and some did not (Jack Clark), but the intent was always the same — do everything you can to field a winner worthy of the passionate fans he knew so well.

Remarkably, Gorman's '86 team that came within a strike of winning it all lost to the New York Mets, a team Gorman himself helped build as an assistant to GM Frank Wren in the early part of the '80s. Fortunately, for a guy who invested so much in trying to get the team over the hump, Gorman was still involved with the team when it finally won the World Series in 2004.

That came two years after Gorman was inducted to the Red Sox Hall of Fame, a popular entity he established himself.

In bidding adieu to Lou Gorman, Boston loses one its Hall of Famers and one man who did all he could to bring championship glory to a fan base that craved it so severely. For that, a tip of the cap.

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