Best Athlete in Boston


Tom Brady

This was a winner in our 2013 Best of Boston Readers’ Poll. See all the 2013 winners…Read More

2001 Best Athlete, Red Sox

Manny Ramirez

True to his reputation as a run-producing machine, he single-handedly carried the Red Sox offense while Nomar mended his wrist. Ramirez even managed to make everyone forget that little preseason…Read More

2001 Best Athlete, Celtic

Paul Pierce

He played stabbed. Not only that, he made himself into one of the NBA’s elite scorers and showed he could carry a team all by himself. If only he didn’t…Read More

1999 Best Athlete, Red Sox Player

Pedro Martinez

If there’s one swap that makes you think Dan Duquette maybe knows what he’s been doing, it was letting Roger go and signing Pedro. Roger woke up, lost weight, and…Read More

1999 Best Athlete, Bruin

Byron Dafoe

He’s not the only reason the Bruins have climbed out of their 1997 hole. But he’s the biggest one and damn near the goaltender in hockey…Read More

1999 Best Athlete, Patriot

Drew Bledsoe

He has a running back who blew out his knee, an owner who likes to vamp it up in front of the fans, a head coach with the personality of…Read More

1999 Best Athlete, Amateur

Wayne Turner

One of the great, virtually untold stories in local sports, Turner grew up on Mission Hill, got financial aid to attend the Beaver Country Day School in Newton, and was…Read More

1999 Best Athlete, Rookie

Brian Rose, Red Sox

The city’s four major franchises didn’t exactly harvest a bumper crop of new talent this season, but among the slim pickin’s, rookie starting pitcher Brian Rose stands out, if…Read More

1999 Best Athlete, Pro

Doug Flutie, Buffalo Bills

They say that if you put a lump of coal under enough pressure, you’ll get a diamond. The same goes for the magical Flutie. And between heightened expectations for the…Read More

1995 Best Athlete

Drew Bledsoe

Who else? Get ready—Diamond Drew’s fame is about to become Jordanesque. We’re going to have to share him with McDonald’s, Nike, and the rest of the country…Read More

1994 Best Athlete

Drew Bledsoe

Not merely for performance but for vast promise as well. One day he will be the first Patriot to become legendary without blowing dope, the Super Bowl, or $100 million…Read More

1989 Best Athlete, Red Sox

Bruce Hurst

For winning the pennant. Honorable mention: Mike Greenwell. An MVP year…Read More

1989 Best Athlete, Amateur

The Harvard men’s hockey team

For winning the NCAA championship. Honorable mention: Dana Barros. BC’s stylish point machine supplied what little college hoop excitement Boston enjoyed. And Salem’s Jeff Juden finished up a starry career…Read More

1989 Best Athlete, Pro

John Stephens

The Patriots’ rookie running back gained more than 1,000 yards and almost carried a team with no passing attack into the play-offs…Read More

1989 Best Athlete, Celtic

Robert Parish

When all around him were falling down, slowing down, or giving up, the Chief made a strong argument for retiring his number…Read More

1988 Best Athlete, Celtic

Kevin McHale

Since Larry’s in the Hall of fame. No one can stop him under the basket, and this year he was voted one of the top defensive players in the NBA,…Read More

1988 Best Athlete, Brun

Ray Bourque

The defenseman had his Best season ever, and were it not for Clemens and Bird, he would be the Best the city has. We’re so lucky…Read More

1988 Best Athlete, Patriot

Stanley Morgan

Like Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along. An All-Pro season for the old pro…Read More

1988 Best Athlete, Savior

Paul Fireman

The Reebok zillionaire really wants to save the Patriots, and he has the wherewithal to it…Read More

1988 Best Athlete, Red Sox


His 1987 season-ending shutout of the Brewers may have been his greatest performance yet, the 20-Mariner-strikeout game notwithstanding…Read More

1988 Best Athlete, Pro

Roger Clemens

Two Cy Youngs in a row, and working on a third. With Larry Bird in the Hall of Fame, he’s the obvious choice…Read More

1987 Best Athlete, Bruins

Ray Bourque

Although we suspect he’d trade all the hype for a Stanley Cup first-round victory…Read More

1987 Best Athlete, Patriots

Tony Eason. Or Steve Grogan.

Quarterback was an oasis of consistency on a barren offense that had to throw—or intercept—to make yardage. And, given the offensive line, had to throw awfully quickly…Read More

1987 Best Athlete, Red Sox

Roger Clemens

MVP. Cy Young winner. Twenty strikeouts in one game. And the only major leaguer to foil the owners’ attempts at collusion…Read More

1987 Best Athlete, Retiree

Mike Milbury

Great move, moving to assistant coach of the Bruins. Unfortunately, it turned out to be temporary. He returned to the ice before the season was half over…Read More

1987 Best Athlete, Pro

Kevin McHale

Were it not for Hall of Farmer Larry Bird’s preeminence, McHale might be recognized as the greatest basketball player this town has seen since John Havilcek retired…Read More

1986 Best Athlete, Pro

Danny Ainge

Yeah, yeah. We’ve knocked him in the past as a player. But his athleticism is unquestioned. He has played major league baseball. And this year he decided to play major…Read More

1986 Best Athlete, Red Sox Player

Wade Boggs

And every year baseball’s best hitter works to improve…Read More

1986 Best Athlete, Patriots Player

Andre Tippett

<p>Dick Butkus.</p> <p>That’s who linebacker Andre Tippett brings to mind, says Dick Shinnick, the Patriots’ linebacker coach. “His impact on a game is Butkus’s.”</p> <p>Tippett, a 26-year-old black belt in…Read More

1986 Best Athlete, Celtics Player

Larry Bird

(Fooled you again, right?) With Kevin McHale a worthy runner-up…Read More

1986 Best Athlete, College

Scott Fusco

The Harvard hockey player won his sport’s top national award, the Hobey Baker trophy, and might have led the Crimson to a national championship ha a knee injury not kept…Read More

1985 Best Athlete, Red Sox Player

Jim Rice

For the second year in a row, but pressed hard by Tony Armas…Read More

1985 Best Athlete, Patriots Player

Steve Nelson

The linebacker had an inspiring season despite his injury…Read More

1985 Best Athlete, Amateur

Ray Flynn

Basketball or running, Mayor. You’ve got to choose…Read More

1984 Best Athlete, Bruins Player

Doug Keans

The unsung hero of the regular season. Where was he during the Montreal series?

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