Manny Ramirez identifies his lowest point in the game of baseball

Nick Friar
April 09, 2019 - 4:38 pm

Perhaps most notable among the former Red Sox to make their return to Fenway Park for Tuesday’s World Series ring ceremony was Manny Ramirez. Although he expressed the team has invited him in the past, it’s not every day you see the 2004 World Series MVP back in Boston.

In addition to playing a part in two World Series wins, Ramirez put together a Hall of Fame resume over his 19-year Major League career (.312 average, .996 OPS, 555 home runs). Yet the 12-time All-Star has not received a call to Cooperstown in his four years on the ballot.

Ramirez’s checkered past — domestic violence charges and the two performance-enhancing drug-related suspensions — has played a part in his absence from the Hall of Fame.

However, he expressed to that his tough times within the game played a part in his development as a person.

“Sometimes you got to go through tough times to grow and to learn,” he said. “It happened to me, but it was worth it.”

He added being away from the game and receiving the suspensions were not easy to handle.

“Missing the game,” Ramirez said. “Not being able to be able to play and the suspension and (that) type of stuff. It was (tough) because this is the game we love from when you were little, and sometimes when they take away from you what you really love, you really appreciate life and the decisions you make going forward.”

Regardless of everything that happened in the past, Ramirez still thinks he has a shot at baseball immortality. Though, it also seems he’s at peace with the reality he may never receive a plaque.

“We (are) praying,” Ramirez said. “But, you know, I think (in) life, everybody makes mistakes. You know, Nobody’s perfect. But I think with time, I think if it’s God’s will, we’re going to be (in Cooperstown). If not, hey, we’re just happy that we got the opportunity to play the game that we love.”

Ramirez also felt it was “God’s purpose” that he played in Boston. His trip to Fenway Park reminded him how much he appreciated his seven and a half seasons with the Red Sox. Things weren’t always perfect, but, again, he feels that shaped who he is now.

 “When I came to Boston, to be honest, I knew it was going to be tough. But it also made me a better player to always be on top of my game and always give all I got,” Ramirez said. “I know sometimes a lot of people saw I was maybe not working that hard. Well, I was working hard. I was doing my thing. I was putting my numbers said. Like I said, this is an awesome place to play. It was God’s purpose for me to be here and play here.”