Robert Pershing Doerr (April 7, 1918 – November 13, 2017) was an American professional baseball second baseman and coach. He played his entire 14-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Boston Red Sox (1937–51). A nine-time MLB All-Star, Doerr batted over .300 three times, drove in more than 100 runs six times, and set Red Sox team records in several statistical categories despite missing one season due to military service during World War II. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.
After he retired as a player, Doerr served as a scout and a coach; he worked with Carl Yastrzemski before his Triple Crown season. From April 25, 2017, until his death on November 13 of that year, Doerr was the oldest living former major league player. He was the last living person who played in the major leagues in the 1930s, and was the oldest of only three living people who made their MLB debut before U.S. involvement in World War II (the other two being Chuck Stevens and Fred Caligiuri).
|Born: April 7, 1918|
Los Angeles, California
|Died: November 13, 2017 (aged 99)|
Junction City, Oregon
|April 20, 1937, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 7, 1951, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||1,247|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Election Method||Veterans Committee|
Doerr was the son of Harold Doerr, a telephone company supervisor, and his wife, the former Frances Herrnberger; his middle name was a tribute to General of the Armies John J. Pershing, then the commander of U.S. military forces in World War I.
While playing for the San Diego Padres of the PCL in 1936, Doerr met Ted Williams. The future Red Sox teammates became close friends for many years. Doerr played in 175 games for San Diego that year, batting .342. He lead the league with 238 hits, including 37 doubles and 12 triples.
Doerr broke into the majors in 1937 at the age of 19 and went 3-for-5 in his first game. In 1938, he became a regular in the Red Sox lineup. Doerr led the league with 22 sacrifice hits in 1938. In 1939, Doerr began a string of 12 consecutive seasons with 10 or more home runs and 73 or more runs batted in (RBIs); in 1940 the Red Sox became the 12th team in major league history to have four players with 100 RBIs, with Foxx, Williams, Cronin and Doerr each collecting at least 105.
In 1941, Doerr was an All-Star, the first of nine times he was selected for the AL All-Star team. In 1944, Doerr led the league in slugging percentage. The same year, his .325 batting average was good enough to allow him to finish second in the league, two percentage points behind Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians. The Sporting News named him Most Valuable Player for the American League (AL), although he finished only seventh in Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award voting for the AL. Doerr hit for the cycle twice in his career; on May 17, 1944, in a 12–8 loss to the St. Louis Browns in the second game of a doubleheader, and again on May 13, 1947, in a 19–6 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Doerr missed the 1945 season while serving in the Army during World War II, being stationed at Camp Roberts, California. In 1946, Doerr finished third in MVP voting for the AL (won by Williams, his teammate). Doerr drove in 116 runs despite a .271 average. He hit .409 in the 1946 World Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, with a home run and three RBIs. Doerr's average dropped to .258 in 1947 as he grounded into a league-high 25 double plays, but he had 95 RBIs. He hit .285 with 27 home runs and 111 RBIs in 1948. Doerr had set an AL record in that year by handling 414 chances in a row over 73 games without an error.
In 1949, Doerr hit .309 with 18 home runs and 109 RBIs. At the start of the 1950 season, Doerr was in a slump; he was only batting .232 as of June 2. However, he finished the year with a league-leading 11 triples, and batted .294. On June 8 of that year, he hit three home runs in a 29–4 romp over the Browns. He set career highs that year in triples, runs (103) and RBIs (120); he tied his career high in home runs (27). Doerr appeared in only 106 games in 1951 and he retired that September after suffering from a spinal problem for two years.
Doerr retired with 8,028 plate appearances, 1,094 runs, 89 triples, 809 walks, 1,349 singles, 1,184 runs created, 693 extra base hits, 2,862 times on base, 115 sacrifice hits and nine All-Star Game selections. At Fenway Park, he hit .315 with 145 home runs, compared to a .261 average and 78 HR on the road. Doerr batted over .300 three times, with six seasons of at least 100 RBIs. He never played a game at a position other than second base.
Regarded as one of the top defensive second basemen of his era, Doerr led AL second basemen in double plays five times, tying a league record, in putouts and fielding percentage four times each, and in assists three times. Doerr held the major league record for career double plays at second base (1,507) until 1963.
He set Red Sox records for career games (1,865), at bats (7,093), hits (2,042), doubles (381), total bases (3,270) and RBIs (1,247), All of Doerr's offensive Red Sox records were later broken by Williams, who referred to Doerr as "the silent captain of the Red Sox." His 223 home runs were then the third most by a major league second baseman.
After spending a few years as a cattle rancher in Oregon, Doerr returned to baseball. He became a scout for the Red Sox from 1957 to 1966, also serving as a minor league hitting instructor for the team for the last six seasons of that span. He was hired as the first base coach for the Red Sox in 1967 under new manager Dick Williams. The Red Sox won their first pennant in 20 years and played in the 1967 World Series.
|Bobby Doerr's number 1 was retired by the Boston Red Sox in 1988.|
Doerr lived in Oregon since the late 1930s, residing in the vicinity of Agness for much of his career before relocating to Junction City in the 1950s. Doerr was married to Monica Terpin from October 1938 until her death in 2003; she had lived with multiple sclerosis since the 1940s. They had one son.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. His jersey number 1 was retired by the Red Sox on May 21, 1988. He made annual trips to the Hall of Fame induction at Cooperstown, New York until 2008, after which he stopped attending. On July 29, 2007, the Hall of Fame honored Doerr after the induction of Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn. Reflecting on being inducted into the Hall of Fame and having his number retired by the Red Sox, Doerr said, "If I had played on a world champion, that would have made my life complete."
On August 2, 2007, the Red Sox held "Bobby Doerr Day" at Fenway Park where he rode along the warning track in a car, threw out the first pitch, and gave a speech. Doerr had what was characterized as a minor stroke on August 11, 2011. He attended the Fenway Park 100th anniversary celebration on April 20, 2012.
Upon the death of former New York Yankees executive and American League president Lee MacPhail in November 2012, Doerr became the oldest living member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He became the oldest living former Red Sox player upon the death of Lou Lucier in October 2014. On November 4, 2016, Doerr became the oldest living former major leaguer upon the death of Eddie Carnett.
Doerr was the last surviving member of the 1946 Boston Red Sox team that won the AL Pennant and lost the World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. He was also the last living person who played in the major leagues during the 1930s, and the last living person who played against Lou Gehrig.
| Boston Red Sox first-base coach
| Hitting for the cycle
May 17, 1944
May 13, 1947
| Oldest recognized verified living baseball player
November 4, 2016 – November 13, 2017
The 1937 Boston Red Sox season was the 37th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League (AL) with a record of 80 wins and 72 losses.1938 Boston Red Sox season
The 1938 Boston Red Sox season was the 38th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 88 wins and 61 losses.1940 Boston Red Sox season
The 1940 Boston Red Sox season was the 40th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 82 wins and 72 losses.1941 Boston Red Sox season
The 1941 Boston Red Sox season was the 41st season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 84 wins and 70 losses. The team featured five future Hall of Famers: player-manager Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, and Ted Williams.1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1943 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 11th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1943, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 5–3.
This was the first major league All-Star Game scheduled as a night game.1944 Boston Red Sox season
The 1944 Boston Red Sox season was the 44th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 77 wins and 77 losses.1946 World Series
The 1946 World Series was played in October 1946 between the St. Louis Cardinals (representing the National League) and the Boston Red Sox (representing the American League). This was the Red Sox's first appearance in a World Series since their championship of 1918.
In the eighth inning of Game 7, with the score 3–3, the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter opened the inning with a single but two batters failed to advance him. With two outs, Harry Walker walloped a hit over Johnny Pesky's head into left-center field. As Leon Culberson chased it down, Slaughter started his "mad dash". Pesky caught Culberson's throw, turned and—perhaps surprised to see Slaughter headed for the plate—supposedly hesitated just a split second before throwing home. Roy Partee had to take a few steps up the third base line to catch Pesky's toss, but Slaughter was safe without a play at the plate and Walker was credited with an RBI double. The Cardinals won the game and the Series in seven games, giving them their sixth championship.
Boston superstar Ted Williams played the Series injured and was largely ineffective but refused to use his injury as an excuse.
As the first World Series to be played after wartime travel restrictions had been lifted, it returned from the 3-4 format to the 2–3–2 format for home teams, which has been used ever since. It also saw the return of many prominent players from military service.1947 Boston Red Sox season
The 1947 Boston Red Sox season was the 47th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League (AL) with a record of 83 wins and 71 losses.1948 Boston Red Sox season
The 1948 Boston Red Sox season was the 48th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 96 wins and 59 losses, including the loss of a one-game playoff to the Cleveland Indians after both teams had finished the regular schedule with identical 96–58 records. The first Red Sox season to be broadcast on television, broadcasts were then alternated between WBZ-TV and WNAC-TV but with the same broadcast team regardless of broadcasting station.1950 Boston Red Sox season
The 1950 Boston Red Sox season was the 50th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished third in the American League (AL) with a record of 94 wins and 60 losses, four games behind the AL and World Series champion New York Yankees. The team scored 1,027 runs, one of only six teams to score more than 1,000 runs in a season in the modern era (post-1900), and, along with the 1999 Cleveland Indians, are one of two teams to do so post-World War II. This was the last time that the Red Sox would win at least 90 games until their return to the World Series in 1967. The 1950 Red Sox compiled a .302 batting average, and are the last major league team to record a .300 team batting average.1986 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1986 followed the system in place since 1978.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected Willie McCovey.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.
It also selected two players, Bobby Doerr and Ernie Lombardi.Doerr
Doerr is a respelling of Dörr, a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Anthony Doerr (born 1973), American writer
Bobby Doerr (1918–2017), American baseball player and coach
Harriet Doerr (1910–2002), American writer
John Doerr (born 1951), American businessman
Robert Doerr (c. 1914 – 2013), American politician and educator
Steve Doerr (born 1959), American soccer player
Susan Doerr (born 1945), American swimmer
Thomas Doerr (born 1964), American architect and writerList of Boston Red Sox coaches
The following is a list of coaches, including role(s) and year(s) of service, for the Boston Red Sox American League franchise (1901–present), known during its early history as the Boston Americans (1901–1907).Red Munger
George David "Red" Munger (October 4, 1918 – July 23, 1996) was an American professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher who spent a decade in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals (1943–44; 1946–52) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1952; 1956). The native of Houston, Texas, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg).
Munger pitched a complete game, 12–3 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 1946 World Series at Fenway Park. He gave up nine hits, including a home run by future Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, but only one run was earned. Munger's victory in his only World Series appearance was the only Cardinal win not registered by teammate Harry Brecheen, whose three triumphs propelled the Redbirds to a seven-game World Series championship over the Red Sox.A three-time National League All-Star, Munger worked in 273 regular-season Major League games during his career, winning 77 and losing 56 (.583) with an earned run average of 3.83. He struck out 564 batters in 1,2282⁄3 innings pitched. In 1944, he won 11 of 14 decisions in 21 games, 12 as a starter, with a 1.34 earned run average. He entered the United States Army for World War II service during the middle of that campaign, and did not qualify for the National League's ERA title. He also missed the 1944 World Series, which delivered another Cardinal championship.
Munger took a regular turn in the Cardinal starting rotation from mid-1946 through 1950, then was traded to the Pirates in May 1952. Pittsburgh sent Munger to their top minor league affiliate, the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League, and he responded with 17- and 23-win seasons in 1954–55. During the latter year, at age 36, he registered 25 complete games and an ERA of 1.85. The standout season brought Munger to the Major Leagues for one last campaign, as a relief pitcher and occasional starter for the 1956 Pirates. All told, as a minor leaguer, Munger won 152 games; as a professional, he compiled a 229–174 (.568) record during a career that stretched from 1937 to 1958.
Munger died in 1996, in Houston, aged 77.Rex Cecil
Rex Ralston Cecil (October 8, 1916 – October 30, 1966) was an American professional baseball player. The right-handed pitcher, a native of Lindsay, Oklahoma, had a 14-year pro career, including 18 games pitched, 16 as a starter, in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox (1944–1945). Cecil batted left-handed, stood 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) tall and weighed 195 pounds (88 kg).
Cecil's early pro career (1937–1939; 1941–1944) was based on the West Coast, especially in the Western International and Pacific Coast leagues. In 1944, during the peak of the World War II manpower shortage, Cecil won 19 of 30 decisions, with a stellar 2.16 earned run average, for the PCL San Diego Padres and was acquired by the Red Sox.
Making his Major League debut on August 13, 1944, in relief against the eventual American League champion St. Louis Browns at Fenway Park, Cecil threw four scoreless innings and earned the victory when Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Bobby Doerr hit a walk-off home run in the 13th inning. He then threw successive complete games as a starting pitcher, against the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians, and split two decisions. During his rookie campaign for Boston, Cecil won four games, lost five and compiled a 5.11 earned run average.
In 1945, Cecil began the year with the BoSox and was Boston's Opening Day starting pitcher on April 17 against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Cecil lasted 61⁄3 innings and allowed eight runs — although only two were earned, as he was victimized by three errors by first baseman Catfish Metkovich and made one miscue himself. New York won the game, 8–4. He started six more games during April and May, but in his seven 1945 starts he lost five, won two, and again compiled a high earned run average, at 5.20. He then was demoted to Boston's top farm team, the Louisville Colonels of the American Association, and spent the rest of his pro career in the minors.
In a two-season Major League career, Cecil posted a 6–10 record with 63 strikeouts and a 5.18 ERA in 106 innings pitched, allowing 118 hits and 60 bases on balls. During his long minor league career, he won 161 games, including 21 games in his final pro season, 1953, in the Class C Arizona–Texas League.
Rex Cecil died in Long Beach, California, at the age of 50.Second baseman
In baseball and softball, second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.
Good second basemen need to have very good range since they have to field balls closer to the first baseman who is often holding runners on, or moving towards the base to cover. On a batted ball to right field, the second baseman goes out towards the ball for the relay. Due to these requirements, second base is sometimes a primarily defensive position in the modern game, but there are hitting stars as well.Stan Spence
Stanley Orville Spence (March 20, 1915 – January 9, 1983) was a Major League Baseball center fielder who played from 1940 through 1949 for the Boston Red Sox (1940–41,1948–49), Washington Senators (1942–47) and St. Louis Browns (1949). Spence batted and threw left-handed. He was born in South Portsmouth, Kentucky.
A part-time player for the Boston Red Sox during two years, Spence played his first full-season for the Washington Senators in 1942 and he responded ending third in the American League batting race with a .323 average behind Ted Williams (.356) and Johnny Pesky (.331). His most productive season came in 1944, when he hit .316 and posted career-highs with 18 home runs and 100 runs batted in. After serving in World War II in 1945, he returned to the Senators a year later and hit a career-high 50 doubles with 10 triples and 16 home runs. Spence did a second stint with Boston and ended his majors career with the St. Louis Browns. A four-time All-Star in 1942, 1944, 1946 and 1947, he also was considered in the MVP vote in 1942 and from 1945 to 1947.
Spence hit a pivotal single in the 1947 Major League All-Star Game at Wrigley Field. Prior to his at-bat, former teammate Bobby Doerr singled, stole second, and then took third on pitcher Johnny Sain's errant pickoff attempt. Spence's pinch single resulted in the final margin of 2–1.In a nine-season career, Spence was a .282 hitter with 95 home runs and 575 RBI in 1112 games. He recorded a .984 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions and at first base.
In 1983, Spence was one of the initial four inductees in the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame. Pat Crawford, Charlie Keller and George Suggs were the others.
Spence died of emphysema in Kinston, North Carolina, at age 67.Vern Stephens
Vernon Decatur Stephens (October 23, 1920 – November 3, 1968) was an American shortstop in professional baseball who played 15 seasons in the American League for four teams. He was born in McAlister, New Mexico while his parents were en route from Oklahoma to California. Stephens batted and threw right-handed. He was also nicknamed "Little Slug", "Junior", and "Buster". Ted Williams credited him with being the most effective of those who followed him in the Red Sox batting order. During his stint with the Red Sox he outshone Bobby Doerr, a Hall-of-famer, who followed him in the Sox batting order. In 1949 he hit 39 home runs, second only to Williams that year in the American League, while batting in 159 runs tying Williams for the league lead. The next closest American Leaguers hit 24 home runs that year while Doerr hit 18. In his book "Summer of '49" author David Halberstam seems to go great lengths to belittle Stephens' 1949 performance while exalting that of Doerr which was patently unfair.Wally Westlake
Waldon Thomas Westlake (born November 8, 1920) is a former utility player in Major League Baseball who had a ten-year career from 1947 to 1956.
At age 98, Westlake is the oldest living former National League player and, following the death of Bobby Doerr on November 13, 2017, the oldest living former All-Star. He is also the oldest living former player to play in a World Series.
|J. G. Taylor Spink Award|
|Ford C. Frick Award|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.
Members of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame