- April 7, 1918
- 5' 11"
- 175 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-20-1937 with BOS
- Hall of Fame:
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.
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.
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.
1946 World Series
Collected his 2,000th hit in 1951... Slugged gis 200th homer in 1950.
- May 17, 1944: Cycle...
- May 13, 1947: Cycle...
- June 8, 1950: 3 HR...
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.
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.
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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