This post first appeared on BaseballDigest.com
In what might be considered Dan Duquette’s greatest swindle as Red Sox General Manager, he was able to acquire minor leaguers Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for struggling closer Heathcliff Slocumb in 1997. While the current captain of the Red Sox came from that trade, it’s impossible to ignore Derek Lowe in this discussion of great acquisitions.
Derek Lowe compiled 85 saves and 70 wins while pitching for the Sox, and earned a trip to the All-Star game for his dominance as a closer and a starter. In Lowe’s final season in Boston, he was the winning pitcher for the clinching games of the American League Division Series, Championship Series and World Series. There is no other player in the history of Major League Baseball who can stake that claim. What is amazing about this, is that Lowe was actually demoted to the bullpen prior to his 2004 postseason resurgence!
Derek Lowe is also the owner of a Sunday afternoon No Hitter at Fenway Park against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2002.
After leaving Boston, Derek Lowe made a home for himself in the National League first with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now with the Atlanta Braves. He has won over 60 games in four plus seasons, and led the National League in starts two of those four seasons.
For his contributions to the 2004 World Championship alone, and for an overall solid Red Sox career, Happy 36th Birthday to Derek Lowe!