Bobby Doerr: A Second Base Legend

Erin MaweContributor IMay 27, 2010

BOSTON - OCTOBER 24:  (L-R) Boston Red Sox Hall of famers Dom Dimaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky walk out onto the field to throw the first pitch of game two of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox on October 24, 2004 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

In an effort to understand the future of the Rex Sox, it is important to take a look at the past. What better way to do this than examining the all-time greats: those with retired numbers.

So, we'll start this journey down memory lane with an obvious choice, Bobby Doerr, or more specifically, No. 1.

Doerr received so many awards and honors during his career, that it isn't even practical to post them all here. Just to give you a taste of his all-around talent...

-Doerr made appearances in nine All-Star Games out of 14 seasons with the Sox (including three games on the reserves).

-He had a slugging percentage of .528 in 1940, the best in the AL.

-He spent four seasons with the highest number of putouts in the AL (1940, 1943, 1946, and 1950).

-Doerr had four seasons with the highest range factor per game (putouts + assists / games played) in the AL (1939, 1942, 1946, and 1949).

-He finished seven seasons in the top 10 for number of home runs hit in the AL. (1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1948, and 1950).

(Thanks to baseball-reference.com for the stats)

You get the picture. 

Doerr had an average career fielding percentage of .98, with many seasons in the high .98s, and the 1943 season ended with a .99.

Compare this with the Yankees second baseman of the time, Joe Gordon, who had a career fielding percentage of .97, and only broke .98 in two seasons.

Arguably the most important award that Doerr has received was being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986 by the Veteran's Committee as a player.

Not only did Doerr put up some great stats, he also had the kind of loyalty to the Sox that you don't see for teams in baseball today.

According to baseball-reference.com, Doerr is only one of two 10+ season players to spend his entire career with one team (luckily for us, it was the Red Sox). The other was Lou Whitaker, who spent his 19 seasons with the Detroit Tigers- interestingly enough, another second baseman. Maybe second basemen are bred to be loyal? Who knows?

Either way, Doerr competed against tough second basemen around the league, and still managed to stand out. Not only to stand out, but to shine. 

Although Doerr wore No. 9 in 1937, he wore No. 1 for the rest of his career with the Sox. No. 1 was retired from the Red Sox in 1988.