Bobby Doerr, the Corridor of Fame second baseman who was a clean fielder, well timed hitter and immensely standard determine by means of his 14 seasons with the Boston Crimson Sox, died on Monday in Junction Metropolis, Ore. He was 99 and had been the oldest residing former main leaguer.
His loss of life was introduced by the Crimson Sox.
Doerr was a celebrated presence at Fenway Park, together with Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio within the outfield and Johnny Pesky at shortstop. He was the final surviving main league participant from the 1930s, having begun his profession with the Crimson Sox in 1937.
His loss of life leaves Crimson Schoendienst, 94, finest identified for his years with the St. Louis Cardinals, because the oldest residing Corridor of Famer.
Doerr lacked the tempestuousness of a Williams and the movie star identify of a DiMaggio. He went about his enterprise quietly and have become a group chief by means of his regular excellence.
“We by no means had a captain, however he was the silent captain of the group,” Williams stated when Doerr was elected to the Corridor of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1986.
Taking part in at Fenway Park into the early 1950s, aside from one 12 months within the Military throughout World Battle II, Doerr was a nine-time American League All-Star. He set a report for consecutive fielding possibilities with out an error, batted over .300 in three totally different seasons and drove in additional than 100 runs six occasions.
His groups gained only one American League pennant, in 1946. The Crimson Sox went on to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven-game World Sequence, however he batted .409 in that collection.
“Doerr was simply the preferred participant of the Crimson Sox and probably the preferred baseball participant of his period,” David Halberstam wrote in “Summer season of ’49” (1989), an account of a memorable pennant race between the Crimson Sox and the Yankees. “He was so modest and his disposition so mild that his colleagues usually described him as ‘candy.’ He was the sort of man different males may need envied had they not preferred him a lot.”
Remarking on Doerr’s quick fingers, the novelist and Crimson Sox devotee George V. Higgins wrote in “The Progress of the Seasons: Forty Years of Baseball in Our City” (1989) that Doerr “has the entrance paws of a polar bear.”
What Higgins discovered equally noteworthy was Doerr’s standing earlier than the customarily vital Boston press and followers. “Bobby Doerr can not recall being hammered by the Boston media or being insulted by the followers,” he wrote. “Affordable sufficient, as a result of he was perceived as a workman who all the time gave his perfect.”
Robert Pershing Doerr was born in Los Angeles on April 7, 1918, the son of Harold and Frances Doerr. His father was a phone firm lineman. He was signed by the Hollywood group of the Pacific Coast League out of highschool in 1934 and performed two seasons in Hollywood, then a 3rd 12 months for the franchise when it moved to San Diego.
He was signed by the Crimson Sox after being scouted in the summertime of 1936 by Eddie Collins, the Boston normal supervisor and himself a former second baseman and future Corridor of Famer. On that journey, Collins additionally found Williams, then a young person with the San Diego group.
When Doerr joined the Crimson Sox, he was in awe.
“I’ll all the time bear in mind spring coaching in 1937,” he was quoted as saying by Cynthia J. Wilber in “For the Love of the Recreation: Baseball Reminiscences From the Males Who Have been There” (1992). “I used to be simply 18, and there was Jimmie Foxx hitting balls out of the ballpark like golf balls and Joe Cronin at shortstop and Lefty Grove pitching, and Pinky Higgins and Doc Cramer and the Ferrell brothers. My gosh, all of these guys I had their photos up on my wall as a child. They have been all my heroes and there they have been, and I used to be with them.”
Doerr was hit within the head by a pitch early within the season and performed in solely 55 video games, however he grew to become a daily in 1938, helped by Cronin, the Crimson Sox supervisor and shortstop, who inspired him to calm down on the sphere and gave him batting suggestions.
All through the 1940s, Doerr and Pesky vied with the Yankees’ Joe Gordon at second base and Phil Rizzuto at shortstop because the American League’s main double-play mixture. Doerr led American League second basemen in double performs in 5 totally different seasons and in 1948 set main league information, since damaged, for consecutive possibilities with out an error at his place, 414, and consecutive errorless video games, 73.
Doerr was the batting hero of the 1943 All-Star Recreation at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, hitting a three-run homer off the Cardinals’ Mort Cooper within the American League’s 5-Three victory.
He received his 2,000th hit on July 1, 1951, at Yankee Stadium. However he developed again issues that summer time and retired after the season. He completed his profession with 2,042 hits and a .288 batting common, hit 223 house runs and drove in 1,247 runs. He led the American League in slugging share in 1944 with a .528 mark.
He was later a coach for the Crimson Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays. His No. 1 was retired by the Crimson Sox in 1988.
In his later years, Doerr devoted himself to caring for his spouse, Monica, who had a number of sclerosis, and who died in 2003. He additionally beloved to fish. However he returned to Boston for ceremonial events.
When the Crimson Sox marked the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park in April 2012, he appeared alongside Pesky at second base, every of them in wheelchairs, an emotional excessive level for a gathering that attracted dozens of former Crimson Sox gamers.
Doerr’s survivors embrace his son, Don; two grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren.
The enduring ties amongst Doerr, Pesky, Williams and Dom DiMaggio have been chronicled by David Halberstam in “The Teammates” (2007). Doerr maintained a very shut friendship with Williams, who died in 2002. They usually talked about hitting, however there was a dimension to their closeness past that. Williams, because the product of a damaged house, envied Doerr for the assist he had obtained from his father.
Reflecting on his upbringing, Doerr, a product of the Despair years, informed Cynthia Wilber that his era “didn’t give up at issues, and that was only a lifestyle.”
As for his main league profession, Doerr stated: “In these, days, I don’t assume anybody ever received too complacent. Even after I performed 10 years of ball, I nonetheless felt like I needed to play properly or any person may take my place. I hustled and put that further effort in the entire time.”