Monday, September 5, 2016

Loyalty and Longevity Pt. 1: Bobby Doerr

In this series, I look at players who played their entire Major League career with the Red Sox, as long as said Major League career lasted at least ten years.
It has not been too long since I covered Bobby Doerr in a post, though that one was focused on his Hall of Fame career.  Here, I am more concerned with the fact that he had a reasonably long career spent entirely in Boston.  Doerr was purchased from the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League in 1935 and made it to Boston during 1937.  He became the starting second baseman the next season and spent every season there until the end of the 1951 season.  He served in World War II in 1945 and did miss that season.

Doerr was somewhat rare for a second-baseman, able to hit for power and high batting averages.  He also drove in a lot of runs, breaking the century mark six times in his career.  Doerr played in the 1946 World Series and was the only Red Sox hitter to have a successful Series.  He hit .409 with a home run, double, and nine RBIs in the seven-game Series.  Back problems in 1951 ended his career prematurely.  His power numbers had been gradually increasing over the previous seasons until his injury and he was just 33 years old when he retired.

For his career, Doerr hit .288/.362/.461 with 223 home runs and 1,247 RBIs.  He was an outstanding second-baseman who was named to nine All Star games and twice finished in the Top 10 for the AL MVP voting.  Doerr was named to the Hall of Fame in 1986 and had his number 1 retired by the Red Sox.

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