Before Ramirez became one of the most popular players in all of baseball, he began his career with the Indians. The skinny kid out of the Domincan Republic made his MLB debut as a 21-year-old at the end of the 1993 season, and followed that with a solid rookie season in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
1995 was when Ramirez became a star, finishing with a slash line of .308/.402/.558 and notching his first year with 30+ home runs. He helped lead the team to the World Series, and would do so again two years later.
It was clear that he was one of the biggest stars in the game, which made it difficult to keep him in town after the 2000 season. The Indians offered him a contract that would make the Dolan’s vomit, but he opted for even more money in Boston.
His departure was a major blow to a team that would not return to the World Series again until 2016.
But while Ramirez got his beginnings in Cleveland, Boston may be where he became a true superstar. It is where he helped break a curse, and where his legend really took off.