Bobby Doerr

Owner Tom Yawkey had recently spent thousands of dollars to purchase established stars like Joe Cronin, Jimmy Foxx, and Lefty Grove in an effort to rebuild the forlorn Red Sox. But future Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr arrived as a 19-year-old rookie in 1937, having played pro ball since 1934. He was signed by Eddie Collins on the same scouting trip that netted Ted Williams. As the team’s established second baseman in 1938, Doerr batted .289 and never hit below .270 in his next 13 seasons with the Red Sox, his only major league team. In those years Doerr thrice topped .300 and led the league in slugging in 1944. Doerr played in eight All Star games. During his career his chief rivals in all-round second base play were the fading Charlie Gehringer of the Tigers and Joe Gordon of the Yankees.

Although generally ineffective at bat in All-Star play, Doerr was a tower of strength in his only World Series appearance. Returning from military service, Doerr helped the Red Sox land the 1946 pennant by batting .271 with 18 homers and 116 RBI. In the World Series that year, Doerr batted .406 with a homer and three RBI to pace the Red Sox in their losing seven-game struggle with the Cardinals.

Retiring after the 1951 season, Doerr later served the Red Sox as a coach and was still active as a coach with the 1980 Toronto Blue Jays. In 1986 Doerr was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.