RED SOX MOURN THE PASSING OF HALL OF FAMER BOBBY DOERR
Nine-time All-Star Spent 27 Years with Boston, Including 14 as a Player
Born on April 7, 1918 in Los Angeles, Doerr was the oldest living major league player prior to his passing. He is the only member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to live to be 99 years old.
Doerr played each of his 14 seasons with Boston (1937-44, 1946-51) before retiring at age 33 due to a back injury. He also served as a scout for the Red Sox from 1957-66, as well as a first base coach and hitting instructor from 1967-69. Following his career with the Red Sox, Doerr was the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in the franchise’s first five years of existence (1977-81).
After he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veterans Committee, Doerr’s uniform number (1) was retired by the Red Sox in 1988. He was inducted into the inaugural Red Sox Hall of Fame class in 1995.
“Bobby Doerr was part of an era of baseball giants and still stood out as one himself,” said Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry. “And even with his Hall of Fame achievements at second base, his character and personality outshined it all. He will be missed.”
“Bobby’s life is one we salute not only for its longevity, but for its grace,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “He set the standard for what it means to be a good teammate through abiding friendships with Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio, all while realizing legendary status on the diamond. He touched us all with his class and dignity, and will remain an example and an inspiration for generations of players to come.”
“There is something fitting about Bobby Doerr becoming the patriarch of baseball, outliving all of those he played with and against,” said Red Sox President/CEO Sam Kennedy. “Bobby was a special player, to be sure, a Hall of Famer, but he also commanded universal respect from all those fortunate enough to have crossed his path. We celebrated his return every time he came back to us here at Fenway Park, and we now mourn his passing, grateful for the wonderful memories he left.”
Doerr began his Red Sox career in 1937 at only 19 years old. After missing the 1945 season due to military service, he led the 1946 club to the AL pennant with 18 home runs and 116 RBI. In his only World Series appearance, he batted .409 (9-for-22) with a home run and three RBI.
For his career, Doerr batted .288 with 2,042 hits, 381 doubles, 89 triples, and 223 home runs, which at the time of his retirement was the third-highest home run total amassed by a second baseman. He still ranks in the top 10 among Red Sox players all-time in most offensive categories, including games, runs, hits, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, walks, extra-base hits, total bases, and times on base.