Manny Ramírez [rah-MEE-rez], born Manuel Arístides Ramírez (May 30, 1972 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), is an outfielder in Major League Baseball who plays for the Boston Red Sox (since 2001). Previously, Ramírez played with the Cleveland Indians (1993-2000). He bats and throws right-handed. Though originally from the Dominican Republic, he grew up in the Washington Heights section of New York City a short walk away from Yankee Stadium.
Through the 2004 season, Ramírez is a career .316 hitter, with a .397 on base percentage and a .613 slugging average. He has totaled 390 home runs and 1270 RBI in 1535 games.
Arguably, Ramírez is the best all-around righthanded hitter in the American League. He combines power, contact and patience at the plate, against left-handed pitchers and righties equally well, but he still doesn't pull the ball very often for a power hitter. He does most of his hitting from center field to the right field line. He has good power that way and seems content to go with the pitch, but he is not afraid to take the occasional free walk.
As a fielder, he's not going for any Gold Gloves. He still has trouble at times with footwork, his range is limited and his arm is fairly strong, but he has soft hands, and his hard work improved every aspect of his game. Ramirez is an adept left fielder in Fenway Park, as he's learned to play all the corners and angles. He is aggressive playing balls off the Green Monster and holding runners to singles.
In the summer of 2003, Ramírez found himself as the latest victim of the Boston Sports Media's thirst for blood when he missed several games with pharyngitis. Some Red Sox fans criticized the outfielder, saying he should have played despite the ailment. When it was learned that he had been seen in a hotel lobby with close friend, Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson, the controversy grew, causing Boston manager Grady Little to bench Ramírez for one game. After the season, the Red Sox put him on irrevocable waivers, meaning he was had but for the asking. All 29 other teams passed, due to the length and costs of his contract.
In 2004, nevertheless, Ramírez silenced his critics. He displayed a good attitude and an enthusiasm for playing, two qualities his critics had charged that he lacked. Coupled with impressive play on the field, this absolved Ramírez in the eyes of many Boston fans and sportswriters. He led the American League in home runs (43), slugging average (.613) and OPS (1.009); finished 3rd in RBI (130), 6th in on base percentage (.397), 8th in base on balls (82), 10th in runs (108), and posted a .308 batting average.
In addition, Ramírez and David Ortiz became the first pair of American League teammates to hit 40 home runs, have 100 RBI, and bat .300 since the Yankees Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931, and the first Red Sox duo with 40 homers since Tony Armas and Jim Rice (1984). Also along with Ortiz, Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs six times, tying the major league single season set by Hank Greenberg and Rudy York (Detroit Tigers) and Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordóñez (Chicago White Sox).
In the All-Star Game, facing Roger Clemens in the top of the first inning, Ramírez knocked out a two-run home run giving his teammates an immediate 3-0 lead. Along with Derek Jeter (a single), Ichiro Suzuki (a double) and Iván Rodríguez (a triple), Ramírez made history as the American League became the first All-Star team to hit for the cycle during the same inning. His numbers were capped off by being named the MVP of the World Series as he led the Red Sox to their first title since 1918.
- 8-time All-Star (1995, 1998-2004)
- World Series MVP Award (2004)
- Hank Aaron Award (1999)
- 5-time Silver Slugger Award (1995, 1999-2002)
- Won American League batting crown (2002, .349)
- Led AL in home runs (2004)
- Led AL in RBI (1999)
- 3-time led AL in slugging percentage (1999-2000, 2004)
- 3-time led AL in OPS (1999-2000, 2004)
- Twice led AL in on base percentage (2002-03)
- Twice led AL in intentional walks (2001, 2003)
- 8-time Top 10 AL in total bases (1996-99, 2001-04)
- 7-time Top 10 AL MVP (1998-2004)
- 6-time Top 10 AL in home runs (1998-2003)
- 5-time Top 10 AL in RBI (1995, 1998, 2000-01, 2004)
- 4-time Top 10 AL hitters (1997, 1999-2000, 2003)
- 4-time Top 10 AL in times on base (1997, 1999, 2003-04)
- Career rankings among active players and on the All-Time lists
- .316 batting average - 4th and 69th
- 390 home runs - 12th and 43rd
- 1270 RBI - 12th and 98th
- .411 on base percentage - 9th and 35th
- .599 slugging average - 3rd and 8th
- 785 extra base hits - 18th and 89th
- 1.010 OPS - 3rd and 9th
- 129 intentional walks - 12th and 56th
- 1993-2000: Ramírez collected 236 home runs and 804 RBI in 967 games, including a career-high 45 home runs in 1998, and a team-record career-high 165 RBI in 1999, when he hit .333 with 44 homers and 131 runs (also a career-high). He made the All-Star team four times, and hit 127 homers and 432 RBI in 415 games over last three seasons. His 165 RBI total in 1999 was the highest by any player since Jimmie Foxx in 1938; and made him the first player to have more RBI's than games played in a season since Ted Williams in 1949.
- Ramírez appealed to fans by joining the 2004 Red Sox tradition of growing an unique hairstyle, maintaining a solid set of dreadlocks throughout the season.
- He was the coverboy of the Electronic Arts Sports electronic game MVP Baseball 2005 .