Red Sox

Blue Jays' Clay Buchholz watches Red Sox ring ceremony from other side

Blue Jays' Clay Buchholz watches Red Sox ring ceremony from other side

The baseball gods work in mysterious ways.

As members of previous Boston Red Sox World Series championship teams took the field at Fenway Park for Tuesday's ring ceremony, another already was stationed in the visiting dugout: pitcher Clay Buchholz.

That's right: The two-time World Series champion signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in early March, and despite beginning the season on the injured list with an elbow strain, he was on hand for Tuesday's game.

It was Buchholz's first time back in Boston since the Red Sox traded him in December 2016, and it must have been a bit strange to watch his 2007 and 2013 teammates celebrate with the 2018 champion Sox.

But the 34-year-old starter chose a different emotion when asked before Tuesday's game.

"This is where I grew up. It’s exciting," Buchholz told reporters, via MLB.com's Jessica Camerato. "I know the experience of getting to walk on the field and get a ring. I’ve done it a couple times.

"It’s a really cool experience. Looking out from the other side makes you want to do it again."

Buchholz, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2005 and spent a decade in Boston, enjoyed arguably the best season of his career on that 2013 title team, posting a 12-1 record and 1.74 ERA through 16 starts before a shoulder injury cut his year short.

He struggled in Philadelphia during the 2017 campaign before having a 2018 renaissance with the Arizona Diamondbacks, sporting a 2.01 ERA through 16 appearances.

It appears injuries are plaguing the two-time All-Star once again in Toronto, but at least he got to witness another cool moment for his former club.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Who are the best center fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best center fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

The Red Sox have employed all manner of center fielders throughout their history.

Whereas left field has generally been home to run producers and right to all-around threats, the men in the middle have covered a wide range of styles. There are straight speedsters like Jacoby Ellsbury, defensive dynamos like Jackie Bradley Jr., fun-loving eccentric types like Johnny Damon, underappreciated standouts like Ellis Burks, and even plodding sluggers like Tony Armas.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Only in recent years have the Red Sox consistently prioritized defense in the role, from Coco Crisp to Ellsbury to Bradley.

But that doesn't mean they haven't featured some talented players there, including a turn-of-century Hall of Famer, the younger brother of baseball royalty, and the one who fans over 50 still lament got away.

Click here for the Top 5 center fielders in Red Sox history.

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 100-76

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 100-76

There was once a time when a list of baseball's top 100 players would've been dominated by men in their 30s or even 40s. In 2004, for instance, the NL MVP was 39-year-old Barry Bonds and the Cy Young went to 41-year-old Roger Clemens. It was the seventh respective award for each.

We now can be almost certain that neither accomplishment was achieved without help, but if any good came from that era, it's that it forced baseball to address its PED problem, which means that a top 100 list now looks very different.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

Our list will reflect that shift. What it won't include are three pitchers guaranteed not to play in 2020 because of Tommy John surgery — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and of course Chris Sale of the Red Sox.

Over the next four weeks, NBC Sports Boston will unveil its top 100 players, 25 at a time, and the list is dominated by youth. Never have young players been so essential to winning, whether it's 20-year-old Juan Soto helping lead the Nationals to last fall's shocking World Series title, or 23-year-old Cody Bellinger being named NL MVP.

Click here for Part 1: Players ranked 100th to 76th on our list.