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Bobby Doerr

Bobby Doerr

Position(s):
2B
Born:
April 7, 1918
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 11"
Weight:
175 lbs
Major League Debut:
4-20-1937 with BOS
Hall of Fame:
1986

Bobby Doerr

The greatest second baseman in Red Sox history, Bobby Doerr patrolled the middle infield in Boston for 13 seasons. He was a nine-time All-Star, and he hit a large majority of his 223 career home runs into the Green Monster at Fenway Park. In the 1946 World Series he batted .406 in the heartbreaking seven-game loss. One of the game's finest gentlemen, Doerr was an excellent defensive player with great range. After years of nagging injujries, Doerr's career was halted at the age of 33 due to a sacroiliac condition (severe back pain). He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1986.



Career Batting Stats
G AB H R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OBP OPS OPS+
1865 7093 2042 1094 223 1247 54 .288 .461 .362 .823 113.5

 

 

Bobby Doerr Teammates

Birdie Tebbetts

 

Best Season: 1950
Just one season from retirement, the 32-year old Doerr set career highs in runs (103), triples (11 to lead the AL), homers (27), and RBI (120). Much of the runs and RBI had to do with the phenomenal offense the BoSox had that year. But Doerr was still a very good player, and an All-Star. Bill James points out in his book, Politics of Glory, that Doerr hit .344 in Fenway with 18 homers and 86 RBI in 77 games (.630 SLG), and .238 with nine homers and 34 RBI (.399 SLG) in 72 road games. Throughout his career, Doerr hit far better in Fenway, posting a .315 average, .532 SLG, and .395 OBP, compared to .256/.447/.346 on the road.

 

Highest Percentage of Homers Hit at Home (min. 200 career HR)
Doerr ranks among the all-time leaders in highest percentage of homers hit in his home park:

1. Bill Dickey... 66.8%
2. Bob Horner... 65.1%
3. Bobby Doerr... 65.0%
4. Rico Carty... 64.7%
5. Cy Williams... 64.1%
6. Rico Petrocelli... 63.8%
7. Chuck Klein... 63.3%
8. Ron Santo... 63.1%
9. Mel Ott... 63.1%
10. Hank Greenberg... 6
1.9% 11. Earl Averill... 60.5%
12. Dolph Camilli... 60.2%

Where He Played
Doerr never played any other position than second base. He played 1,852 games at the keystone bag.

 

Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1937
Bobby Doerr
Ken Keltner
Tommy Henrich
Johnny Vander Meer
George Case
Mickey Owen
Vince DiMaggio
Spud Chandler
Kirby Higbe

Similar Players
Tony Lazzeri, Bobby Grich, Ryne Sandberg

Joe Gordon was an exact contemporary of Doerr, and the two were compared throughout their careers. The numbers suggest that Doerr was better defensively, and Gordon hit for more power, though the ballparks he played in were not suited to his right-handed swing. Gordon won almost every year, appearing in six World Series in his 11-year career, which was interrupted for two years by World War II. Doerr missed just one season to the war, started his career at a younger age, was a better contact hitter, and retired at the age of 33 due to back problems. Gordon was still an effective player when he retired at the age of 35, and enjoyed a successful career as a manager. Doerr ended up in Cooperstown, Gordon did not.

 

Related Players
Doerr and Ted Williams were both signed by Red Sox scout and Hall of Famer Eddie Collins. The scrappy ex-ballplayer netted the two stars while fishing for youngsters on the West Coast.

 

Hall of Fame Voting
Year Election Votes Pct
1953 BBWAA 2 .8%
1956 BBWAA 5 2.6%
1958 BBWAA 25 9.4%
1960 BBWAA 15 5.6%
1962 BBWAA 10 6.3%
1964 BBWAA 24 11.9%
1964 Run Off 5 2.2%
1966 BBWAA 30 9.9%
1967 BBWAA 35 12.0%
1967 Run Off 15 4.9%
1968 BBWAA 48 17.0%
1969 BBWAA 62 18.2%
1970 BBWAA 75 25.0%
1971 BBWAA 78 21.7%
1986 Veterans   %

Post-Season Appearances
1946 World Series

 

Milestones
Collected his 2,000th hit in 1951... Slugged gis 200th homer in 1950.

Batting Feats

  • May 17, 1944: Cycle...

  • May 13, 1947: Cycle...

  • June 8, 1950: 3 HR...

Notes
Doerr finished seventh in AL MVP voting in 1944, and third in 1946 (behind Ted Williams and Hal Newhouser)... He had two hits, including a home run, in the American League's 5-3 victory in the 1943 All-Star Game. The hits were half of his entire total in eight All-Star Game appearances.

 

All-Star Selections
1941 AL
1942 AL
1943 AL
1944 AL
1946 AL
1947 AL
1948 AL
1950 AL
1951 AL

Replaced
As a 19-year old rookie in 1937, Doerr backed up Eric McNair, a veteran second baseman who had one of his best offensive seasons that year. But the next season, McNair , who was never considered a very good defensive player, was backing up Doerr.

Replaced By
Super utility man, jack-of-all-trades Billy Goodman, who played second and hit .306 in 1952, the year after Doerr retired due to back problems.

Best Strength as a Player
Even though Doerr hit more than 200 homers and was a great hitter, his best strength was probably his defensive range. In 12 of his 13 seasons, he was above average (often well above average) in range factor (the number of balls reached per game). He was also sure-handed, retiring with a .980 fielding percentage, one of the best in baseball history by a second baseman at that time. Compared to contemporary Joe Gordon, who won an MVP Award and who almost annually joined Doerr on the All-Star team, Doerr dominated the defensive stats at second base. Gordon had a 5.47 range factor in his 11 seasons, while Doerr's was 5.74. Gordon made far more errors and turned fewer double plays.

Largest Weakness as a Player
Doerr was somewhat fragile, suffering nagging injuries that curtailed his production. Had he been able to play more full seasons, he may have posted 30-homer, 125-RBI type numbers and won an MVP Award.

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Tagged:
1946 World Series, 1986 Hall of Fame, Baseball History, Bobby Doerr, Boston Red Sox, Dom DiMaggio, Ed Linke, Eddie Collins, Johnny Pesky, Mickey Owen, Mort Cooper, San Diego Padres (PCL), Second baseman, Steve Mesner, Ted Williams

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