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Bobby Doerr


Position: Second Baseman
Teams: Boston Red Sox, 1937-1944, 1946-1951

Bobby Doerr
In his 14 seasons with the Red Sox,
Bobby Doerr averaged 16 home runs
and 89 RBI per year.

Bobby Doerr was a great-hitting second baseman who drove in over 100 runs six times as the Red Sox finished first or second in seven of his 14 seasons. His name is eternally linked with that of Ted Williams. They played together in San Diego in 1936, and it was when Eddie Collins of the Red Sox came to scout Doerr that Williams was discovered.

A Los Angeles native, Robert Pershing Doerr (born in 1918) was a star on his American Legion team and well known throughout the Los Angeles area. The 1934 Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League had a hole at second base and desperately wanted Bobby to patrol the keystone. After persuading his father, the Stars were able to sign the 16-year-old Doerr. He spent three years in the PCL, leading the loop in hits with 238 in 1936 and 504 assists at second base.

Signed by the Boston Red Sox as a 19-year-old rookie in 1937, Doerr’s first season wasn’t memorable. One year later Bobby was the Red Sox starting second baseman, a job he would hold for the next 12 years.

The right-handed-hitting Doerr was able to take advantage of
Fenway Park’s peculiarities to hit for terrific power. He led the league in slugging in 1944 with a career-high .528 mark, while posting a career-high .325 batting average. The next year he was off to World War II, returning in 1946 and picking up just where he left off. Doerr appeared in his only World Series in ’46. Although the Red Sox lost, Doerr did his part with nine hits and a .409 average in six games.

Although he played with Ted Williams, one of the most scientific hitters who ever lived as well as one of Bobby’s best friends, Doerr was primarily a guess hitter with terrific intuition. A solid .288 lifetime hitter, Doerr collected 2,042 hits, 223 home runs, and 1,247 RBI. In 1950, Doerr led the league in triples, hit 27 dingers, and drove home 120 runs. It was his last productive year, and he was out of baseball by 1952 due to a severe sacroiliac attack in 1951.

A solid fielder, Bobby remains in the all-time top lists for putouts and assists for second basemen, even though many second sackers have played much longer. In the 1948 near-pennant year, Doerr accepted 414 chances without an error -- almost three months. After his retirement, Doerr served as a coach for the Red Sox and later was a coach for the Toronto Blue Jays until 1981. The Veterans Committee elected Bobby Doerr to the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Here are Bobby Doerr's major league totals:

BA

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

.288

1,865

7,093

1,094

2,042

381

89

223

1,247

54

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