Tedy Bruschi squares off against Bobby Doerr in the first round of Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
5. Tedy BruschiOne of the most overused clichés in sports is that a player has the heart of a lion. In Tedy Bruschi’s case, it’s simply the truth. The only Patriot to play in five Super Bowls, Bruschi has hoisted the Lombardi Trophy three times. When he suffered a stroke in 2005, everyone thought his career was over. Everyone but Bruschi, of course. Just eight months later, Bruschi was back on the field to anchor the Patriots’ defense. He retired prior to the 2009 campaign after 13 seasons (all with the Patriots) with more than 1,000 tackles, 30 1/2 sacks, 12 interceptions and four touchdowns. Even with the stroke, Bruschi played in 189 games out of a possible 208. Whether Bruschi’s bust will rest in Canton is a question mark, but the linebacker will have a permanent home in the hearts and minds of New England football fans.
12. Bobby DoerrThere’s a reason why Bobby Doerr’s No. 1 is retired on the upper deck façade at Fenway Park. Doerr was the major league’s most dominant second baseman of the 1930s and 1940s, mashing homers and driving in runs inside a lineup that featured Ted Williams, Jimmie Foxx and Joe Cronin. Doerr will be remembered by Red Sox fans for his tremendous defensive play at second — he actually held the MLB record for double plays as a second baseman for 10 years after his retirement in the early 1950s. Doerr was an all-around player, making the All-Star game eight times in his 14-year career, which was interrupted by World War II when he missed the 1945 season. The career .288 hitter averaged 19 homers and 108 RBIs per season and went on to scout and coach for the Red Sox throughout the 1950s and ?60s. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1985 and had his number retired by the Red Sox in 1988.