Red Sox Hall Of Fame 2B Bobby Doerr Dies At 99
Bobby Doerr, the Hall of Fame second baseman nicknamed the “Silent Captain” of the Boston Red Sox, died Monday at the age of 99.
Bobby Doerr Death News
Doerr’s longtime teammate and friend Ted Williams gave him that nickname.
“Bobby Doerr was part of an era of baseball giants and still stood out as one himself,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in a statement Tuesday. “And even with his Hall of Fame achievements at second base, his character and personality out-shined it all. He will be missed.”
— MLB (@MLB) November 14, 2017
After playing in the old Pacific Coast League, Doerr played 14 seasons with the Red Sox and joined fishing buddy Williams in the Hall of Fame in 1986. He had a .288 lifetime average, helping the Red Sox to the 1946 World Series, and in the first All-Star Game played at night he hit a three-run homer.
Doerr, a modest nine-time All-Star, finished with incredible statistics: he had 2,042 hits, 223 home runs and 1,247 RBI and he once went 414 games without an error — a record at the time. His six seasons with at least 100 RBIs was not matched by another second baseman for 25 years.
The Red Sox retired Doerr’s No. 1 jersey in 1988. He was also honored with a 2004 World Series ring after ending their 86-year championship drought.
“I didn’t like to hit guys like Bob Feller,” Doerr told the AP. “He had a big motion and was a little on the wild side. You just had to bow your neck and stay in there.”
Forced to retire with a bad back in 1951, Doerr lived out his retirement in Oregon. He met his future wife there, and picked up a bamboo fly rod Williams designed and named for him.
Doerr rejoined the Red Sox as a coach from 1967 to 1969 and was a batting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980.
The friendship between Doerr, Williams, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio was described by David Halberstam in the 2003 book “The Teammates: A Portrait of a Friendship.” A statue commemorating that friendship was unveiled at Fenway in 2010.
Doerr was the last surviving member of the group. He was 16 when he joined the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League in 1934, and moved with the team to San Diego in 1936, where they became the Padres.
“People ask, “Don’t you wish you played now?” Doerr said in 1990. “No. I know the money is better, but I just feel fortunate to have played then. I think we had more fun. We played the game hard, but there is so much pressure on these guys.”
COOPERSTOWN, NY – JULY 24: Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr is introduced at Clark Sports Center during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 24, 2011 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)