Former Red Sox second baseman Bobby Doerr, whose No. 1 is one of only 11 numbers retired by the team, passed away at age 99 in Junction City, Ore. Prior to his passing on Monday, Doerr was notably the oldest living major league player.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986 and had his number, 1, retired by the Red Sox in 1988.
"Bobby's life is one we salute not only for its longevity, but for its grace", Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said in a statement.
Dubbed the "Silent Captain of the Red Sox" by teammate Ted Williams, Doerr spent his entire 14-year career with the team, missing only the 1945 season while serving in the Army during World War II. "And even with his Hall of Fame achievements at second base, his character and personality outshined it all".
Doerr is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He compiled a.288 lifetime batting average and 223 home runs during that span while earning All-Star recognition nine times. "He set the standard for what it means to be a good teammate through abiding friendships with Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio, all while realizing legendary status on the diamond". He was named the American League MVP by The Sporting News that season.
Unfortunately, Doerr was forced to retire at the age of 33 due to a lingering back injury.
Following his resignation, be was hired as the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1977 to 1981.
Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Doerr started playing backyard baseball and took advantage of the Southern California climate to play year-round. Always humble and considered one of the true gentlemen of the game, Doerr was the oldest person ever elected to the Hall at the time of his enshrinement.
Doerr is survived by his son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.