Perhaps the most notable among the former Red Sox who returned to Fenway Park for Tuesday's World Series rings ceremony was Manny Ramirez. Although he said that the team has invited him in the past, not every day you see the MVP of the 2004 World Series in Boston.
In addition to participating in two World Series victories, Ramírez prepared a Hall of Fame summary during his 19-year Major League career (average of .312, .996 OPS, 555 homers). However, the 12-time All-Star has not received a call to Cooperstown in its four years on the ballot.
Ramírez's past cadres, charges of domestic violence and two suspensions related to performance-enhancing drugs have played an important role in his absence from the Hall of Fame.
However, he told WEEI.com that his difficult times within the game played an important role in his development as a person.
"Sometimes you have to go through difficult times to grow and learn," he said. "It happened to me, but it was worth it".
He added that being away from the game and receiving suspensions was not easy to manage.
"The game is missing," said Ramirez. "Not being able to play and suspension and (that) kind of thing, it was (difficult) because this is the game that we love when you were little and, sometimes, when you take away what you really love, you really appreciate life and decisions what you take in the future. "
Manny when asked about the Hall of Fame … pic.twitter.com/EpDNab9ZTo
– Rob Bradford (@bradfo) April 9, 2019
Despite everything that happened in the past, Ramírez still thinks he has an opportunity for immortality in baseball. However, he also seems to be at peace with the reality that he may never receive a plaque.
"We are (we) praying," said Ramírez. "But, you know, I think that (in) life, everyone makes mistakes. You know, nobody is perfect. But I think that over time, I think if it's God's will, we're going to be (in Cooperstown). If not, hey, we're happy to have the opportunity to play the game we love. "
Ramírez also felt that 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 were not always perfect, but, again, he feels that it shaped what he is now.
"When I came to Boston, to be honest, I knew it was going to be difficult. But it also made me a better player to always be at the top of my game and always give everything I have, "Ramirez said." I know that sometimes a lot of people saw that maybe I was not working so hard. I was doing my thing, I was putting my numbers in. As I said, this is an amazing place to play in. God's purpose was for me to be here and play here. "