Red Sox great Do­err dies at 99

The News (New Glasgow) - - SPORTS -

Bobby Do­err, the Hall of Fame sec­ond base­man dubbed the “Silent Cap­tain” of the Bos­ton Red Sox by long­time team­mate and friend Ted Wil­liams, has died. He was 99.

Do­err died Mon­day in Junc­tion City, Ore­gon, the Red Sox said Tues­day in a state­ment. The Red Sox said Do­err had been the old­est liv­ing ma­jor league player.

“Bobby Do­err was part of an era of baseball giants and still stood out as one him­self,” Red Sox owner John Henry said in the state­ment. “And even with his Hall of Fame achieve­ments at sec­ond base, his char­ac­ter and per­son­al­ity out­shined it all. He will be missed.”

Signed out of the old Pa­cific Coast League on the same scout­ing trip that brought Wil­liams to Fen­way Park, Do­err played 14 sea­sons with the Red Sox and joined his fish­ing buddy in the Hall of Fame in 1986. He had a .288 life­time av­er­age and helped the Red Sox to the 1946 World Se­ries.

The nine-time all-star of­ten for­gave his more ac­com­plished friend for his sto­ried anger and im­pa­tience.

“Ted couldn’t un­der­stand medi­ocre, see. And I was in that medi­ocre class,” Do­err told The As­so­ci­ated Press on his 90th birth­day in 2008, which the gov­er­nor of Ore­gon de­clared Bobby Do­err Day.

Do­err’s mod­esty was be­lied by his stats: He fin­ished with 2,042 hits, 223 home runs and 1,247 RBIs and he once went 414 games with­out an er­ror — a record at the time. His six sea­sons with at least 100 RBI was not matched by an­other sec­ond base­man for 25 years.

Do­err was in­ducted into the Na­tional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veter­ans Com­mit­tee and the Red Sox re­tired his No. 1 jer­sey in 1988.

The Red Sox hon­oured Do­err with a 2004 World Se­ries ring af­ter break­ing their 86-year cham­pi­onship drought.

As a hit­ter, Do­err said he was al­ways look­ing for the fast­ball, fig­ur­ing he couldn’t do much with a break­ing ball un­less it was a hang­ing curve.

“I didn’t like to hit guys like Bob Feller,” Do­err told the AP.

“He had a big mo­tion and was a lit­tle on the wild side. You just had to bow your neck and stay in there.”

He fre­quently led AL sec­ond base­men in dou­ble plays, putouts and as­sists, cred­it­ing his field­ing skill to end­less hours spent bounc­ing a rub­ber ball against the front steps of his fam­ily’s Los An­ge­les home.

He helped the Red Sox win the AL pen­nant in 1946 — the only time his teams got past the Yan­kees — but they lost Game 7 of the World Se­ries to the St. Louis Car­di­nals when Enos Slaugh­ter scored the win­ning run from first on a sin­gle. Do­err long main­tained that with just one more strong re­lief pitcher, they could have won more pen­nants.

Forced to re­tire by a bad back in 1951, Do­err lived out his re­tire­ment in Ore­gon, his adopted home af­ter spend­ing a win­ter fish­ing for steel­head on the Rogue River and meet­ing his fu­ture wife. When Do­err re­tired, he picked up a bam­boo fly rod Wil­liams de­signed and named for him — but Do­err still had to pay for it.

Do­err re­turned to the Red Sox as a coach from 1967-69 and was a bat­ting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1980.

AP PHOTO

Hall of Famer Bobby Do­err waves dur­ing Baseball Hall of Fame in­duc­tion cer­e­monies in Coop­er­stown, N.Y., in 2011.

AP PHOTO

Bobby Do­err with the Bos­ton Red Sox in 1946.

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