Bobby Dalbec Joins Red Sox Legend In Record Books With Milestone Home Run

A six-time All-Star isn't bad company to keep

by abournenesn

Oct 1, 2021

Bobby Dalbec launched his 25th home run of the season Friday night as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Washington Nationals, and his hit did more than give Boston some insurance in an eventual 4-2 victory. It landed him among a Red Sox great in the franchise record books.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Dalbec is the first Red Sox rookie to hit at least 25 home runs in one season since Nomar Garciaparra in 1997.

That’s not bad company to keep. While Garciaparra was traded to the Chicago Cubs before the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, the shortstop was a five-time All-Star in nine seasons with the club that drafted him out of Georgia Tech.

In his Rookie of the Year season 24 years ago, Garciaparra finished with 209 hits and 11 triples, both leading the league, and 30 home runs.

After tacking on his latest home run, Dalbec also logged his 100th hit. While it’s just half of what Garciaparra accomplished, it’s worth noting that Dalbec has also proven to be a versatile and capable defender. He has played every infield position except second base this year, and manager Alex Cora has been working him out there, too.

The American League Rookie of the Month for August, Dalbec really turned his season around in the second half. He hit just .219 through 72 games before the All-Star break, but he has moved that figure up to .271 in 59 games since.

Hunter Renfroe — who also homered Friday — took note of his teammate’s turnaround in his own postgame interview.

“When he got out of his own head and just went out there and played, he’s done incredible,” Renfroe said via Zoom. “He’s saved this whole entire season with this second half. He’s stroking the ball like he can. It’s impressive. He’s a big boy. Any time he makes contact, it’s loud contact. It’s fun to watch him. And he’s done a great job over there at first base as well. He’s made some incredible plays for us. It’s fun to watch.”

With two games left this season amid an intense Wild Card race, here’s hoping for more of what has become typical Dalbec down the stretch.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images
Red Sox outfielders Hunter Renfroe, Kiké Hernández, J.D. Martinez
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