The Boston Red Sox have formally announced that Hall of Fame second baseman Bobby Doerr has passed away at the age of 99. Prior to his passing on Monday, Doerr was notably the oldest living major league player.
Additionally, the longtime Red Sox second baseman is the only member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to live to be at least 99 years old.
“Bobby Doerr was part of an era of baseball giants and still stood out as one himself,” said Red Sox owner John Henry, via the team’s official statement regarding the matter. “And even with his Hall of Fame achievements at second base, his character and personality outshined it all. He will be missed.”
Spending his entire 14-year big league career in Boston, the legendary middle infielder remained with the Red Sox between 1937 and 1944 and from 1946 to 1951.
“Bobby’s life is one we salute not only for its longevity, but for its grace,” said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. “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 touched us all with his class and dignity, and will remain an example and an inspiration for generations of players to come.”
Unfortunately, Doerr was forced to retire at the age of 33 due to a lingering back injury. Serving as a coach within the Red Sox organization after his playing days, the nine-time All-Star owned a career batting average of .288 alongside 223 home runs, 1,247 RBIs and a .362 on-base percentage.
“There is something fitting about Bobby Doerr becoming the patriarch of baseball, outliving all of those he played with and against,” added Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy. “Bobby was a special player, to be sure, a Hall of Famer, but he also commanded universal respect from all those fortunate enough to have crossed his path. We celebrated his return every time he came back to us here at Fenway Park, and we now mourn his passing, grateful for the wonderful memories he left.”