mostlycloudy
Tuesday November 21st, 2017 8:39PM

Boston Red Sox great Bobby Doerr dies at 99

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Bobby Doerr, the Hall of Fame second baseman dubbed the "Silent Captain" of the Boston Red Sox by longtime teammate and friend Ted Williams, has died. He was 99.

Doerr died on Monday in Junction City, Oregon, the Red Sox said Tuesday in a statement. The Red Sox said Doerr had been the oldest living major league player.

"Bobby Doerr was part of an era of baseball giants and still stood out as one himself," Red Sox owner John Henry said. "And even with his Hall of Fame achievements at second base, his character and personality outshined it all."

Signed out of the old Pacific Coast League on the same scouting trip that brought Williams to Fenway Park, Doerr played 14 seasons with the Red Sox and joined his fishing buddy in the Hall of Fame in 1986. He had a .288 lifetime average and helped the Red Sox to the 1946 World Series.

The nine-time All-Star often forgave his more accomplished friend for his storied anger and impatience.

"Ted couldn't understand mediocre, see," Doerr told The Associated Press on his 90th birthday in 2008, which the governor of Oregon declared Bobby Doerr Day. "And I was in that mediocre class."

Doerr's modesty was belied by his stats: He finished with 2,042 hits, 223 home runs and 1,247 RBIs 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.

Doerr was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veterans Committee and the Red Sox retired his No. 1 jersey in 1988. The Red Sox honored Doerr with a 2004 World Series ring after breaking their 86-year championship drought.

He frequently led AL second basemen in double plays, putouts and assists, crediting his fielding skill to endless hours spent bouncing a rubber ball against the front steps of his family's Los Angeles home.

He returned from a year in the Navy to help the Red Sox win the AL pennant in 1946 — the only time his teams got past the Yankees — but they lost Game 7 of the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals when Enos Slaughter scored the winning run from first on a single. Doerr long maintained that with just one more strong relief pitcher, they could have won more pennants.

Forced to retire by a bad back in 1951, Doerr lived out his retirement in Oregon, his adopted home after spending a winter fishing for steelhead on the Rogue River and meeting his future wife. When Doerr retired, he picked up a bamboo fly rod Williams designed and named for him — but Doerr still had to pay for it.

Doerr returned to the Red Sox as a coach from 1967-69 and was a batting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980. Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski credited Doerr for helping him snap out of a slow start in the "Impossible Dream" season of 1967, when the Red Sox won the AL pennant and Yaz was the league's MVP.

"He was really a big help to me, and he was close to everybody. Everybody loved him," Yastrzemski said. "There wasn't a thing about him that you could dislike. As classy as they come."

Even rivals like Yankees star Tommy Henrich found it hard to dislike Doerr, saying: "Bobby Doerr is one of the very few who played the game hard and retired with no enemies."

The lifelong 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.

"Now Ted, Johnny Pesky and Bobby are together again," former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs said.

Born Robert Pershing Doerr in Los Angeles on April 7, 1918, he figured he would have grown up to work for the telephone company like the rest of his family if he hadn't found a career in baseball.

As a kid, Doerr papered his room with pictures of big leaguers, and remained a fan while a big leaguer himself, once running to his locker for a bat to get autographed by Babe Ruth when he showed up at Fenway Park. 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.

That's when Doerr met Williams, then a brash kid out of high school.

After the 1936 season in San Diego, Doerr spent the winter fly fishing for steelhead in Oregon, where he fell in love with the teacher in the one-room schoolhouse after meeting her at a dance. The next spring, Doerr was called up to the Red Sox to join future Hall of Fame stars Joe Cronin, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove.

After the following season, Doerr and Monica Roseman Terpin were married. After retiring from baseball, Doerr moved his family to Junction City, his wife's hometown, so their son, Don, could go to middle school.

"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."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Entertainment, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Boston Red Sox great Bobby Doerr dies at 99
Bobby Doerr, the Hall of Fame second baseman of the Boston Red Sox and teammate of Ted Williams, dies at 99
9:34AM ( 5 minutes ago )
Trump Jr.'s WikiLeaks exchange adds intrigue to Russia probe
President Donald Trump's oldest son has released a series of direct messages he received from the Twitter account behind the WikiLeaks website
9:25AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Nations press panel to raise annual Bluefin tuna quotas
Nations from around the Atlantic and Mediterranean start assessing how much more of the prized Bluefin tuna can be caught in the next years amid signs stocks of the iconic fish continue to recover
9:23AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Trump Jr. messaged with WikiLeaks during 2016 campaign; Rescuers search debris after Iran-Iraq earthquake killed more than 400; Republicans continue abandoning Alabama Senate candidate Moore after new accusations
7:28AM ( 2 hours ago )
'A national shame': Local papers react harshly to Italy exit
The End, The Apocalypse, A national shame: Local newspapers spared no words in describing four-time champion Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup
7:11AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump hopes swift return of UCLA players detained in China
President Donald Trump says he's hopeful that three UCLA basketball players detained in China will be allowed to return home soon
4:56AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Marlins have Stanton on the market as GM meetings start
The Miami Marlins will spend this week's general managers' meetings shopping Giancarlo Stanton
9:05PM ( 12 hours ago )
Judge, Bellinger unanimous picks as Rookies of the Year
Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have been voted unanimously as baseball's Rookies of the Year after their record-setting home run binges helped the Yankees and Dodgers reach the postseason
8:56PM ( 12 hours ago )
Beltran retires at 40 after winning 1st World Series title
Carlos Beltran retires at 40 after winning World Series title with Astros in his 20th season
7:09PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Pakistan cleric gets bail in model's murder case
A defense lawyer says a Pakistani court has granted bail to a Muslim cleric arrested for alleged involvement in the 2016 murder of social media model Qandeel Baloch
6:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
Glamour fuses with politics at annual Women of Year awards
Talk of politics and the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal took center stage at Glamour magazine's annual Women of the Year awards ceremony in New York City Monday night
3:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
'Hannity' fans smash Keurig brewers over pulled ads
A decision by coffee maker manufacturer Keurig to stop advertising on Sean Hannity's Fox News program has supporters of the conservative host destroying the company's products
8:09PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
'Hamilton' creator to use London debut as climate fundraiser
Creator of hit musical "Hamilton" plans to use international opening in London to raise money to combat climate change
3:35PM ( 18 hours ago )
Lin-Manuel: Puerto Rican efforts making up for slow start
Lin-Manuel Miranda says the rebuilding of Puerto Rico is going well and saluted all the federal workers hard at work there, despite what he considers a slow initial response
1:39PM ( 20 hours ago )
Remember Pappy Pariah? Sean Penn has written a novel
Sean Penn is writing a novel about a "divorced, disillusioned man." Atria Books told The Associated Press on Monday that Penn's "Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff" will come out March 27.
12:12PM ( 21 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Nippon Ham Fighters to post Shohei Otani
Highly touted Japanese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Otani will be posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters allowing him to sign with a major league team next season
5:57PM ( 3 days ago )
Report: Nippon Ham Fighters to post Shohei Otani
Highly touted Japanese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Otani will be posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, according to Kyodo News, allowing him to sign with a major league team next season
10:25AM ( 3 days ago )
Report: Nippon Ham Fighters post Shohei Otani
Highly touted Japanese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Otani will be posted by the Nippon Ham Fighters, according to Kyodo News, allowing him to sign with a major league team next season
10:13AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Trump Jr.'s WikiLeaks exchange adds intrigue to Russia probe
President Donald Trump's oldest son has released a series of direct messages he received from the Twitter account behind the WikiLeaks website
9:25AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Nations press panel to raise annual Bluefin tuna quotas
Nations from around the Atlantic and Mediterranean start assessing how much more of the prized Bluefin tuna can be caught in the next years amid signs stocks of the iconic fish continue to recover
9:23AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Roy Moore losing GOP endorsements after new accusations
Roy Moore's support from his fellow Republicans is hemorrhaging after a second woman accused the Alabaman of groping her when she was a teenager in the late 1970s
9:12AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Trump Jr. faces calls to publicly explain WikiLeaks contacts
President Donald Trump's oldest son has released a series of direct messages he received from the Twitter account behind the WikiLeaks website
9:11AM ( 29 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump wraps up trip to Asia
President Donald Trump is headed home following an Asia tour he called "tremendously successful."
8:48AM ( 52 minutes ago )