Phil Cavar­retta, 1945 NL MVP with Cubs, dies at 94

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

CHICAGO: Phil Cavar­retta, the 1945 Na­tional League MVP who led the Chicago Cubs to their last World Se­ries ap­pear­ance, died Satur­day. He was 94.

Cavar­retta died at a hospice care cen­ter in Lil­burn, Ga., of com­pli­ca­tions from a stroke, ac­cord­ing to fam­ily mem­bers.

His son, Phil Cavar­retta Jr., of Lil­burn, told The As­so­ci­ated Press in a phone in­ter­view that his fa­ther suf­fered the stroke about a week ago. He also had been bat­tling leukemia for sev­eral years, but that was in re­mis­sion, Cavar­retta Jr. said.

"If he went 0 for 4, he wouldn't bring that home," Cavar­retta Jr. said. "He would en­joy his fam­ily, then he went about his busi­ness the next day."

A first base­man and out­fielder who went to high school just a mile from Wrigley Field, Cavar­retta signed with the Cubs at age 17 and broke into the ma­jor leagues in 1934. He spent the first 20 of his 22 sea­sons with the Cubs be­fore mov­ing across town to play 77 games for the White Sox.

The three-time All-Star led the NL with a .355 bat­ting av­er­age and a .449 on-base per­cent­age in 1945, when the Cubs lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Se­ries. Cavar­retta was one of the last liv­ing mem­bers of that team. The Cubs have not won a pen­nant since and their last World Se­ries cham­pi­onship came in 1908.

In a state­ment re­leased Satur­day night, the Cubs called Cavar­retta "a lo­cal hero and a tremen­dous player."

"His 1945 MVP sea­son con­tin­ues to rank as one of the finest in Cubs lore," the state­ment said. "The Cubs ex­tend our deep­est con­do­lences to Mr. Cavar­retta's fam­ily and his many friends."

Cavar­retta played in three World Se­ries (1935, '38 and '45). He bat­ted .423 with a home run and five RBIs in the 1945 Se­ries, which went seven games. -Afp

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