In the version of baseball all of us want–the pastime, the grown men playing a kids’ game, the way we embrace homegrown stars as if we helped raise them ourselves–Mookie Betts never wears another uniform but that of the Boston Red Sox. And nobody in Boston wears number 50 ever again.
Betts is a joy to behold, a 5-foot-9 dynamo with power who was signed out of the fifth round with more prowess for his bowling than his baseball. He plays the game hard and he plays it extraordinarily well. He accumulated more Wins Above Replacement through age 26 than any player in Red Sox history except Tris Speaker, a dude born in 1888.