The Boston Red Sox lost one of the most important members of their franchise Monday.
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.
Doerr spent a total of 27 years in the Boston organization, including all 14 years of his playing career from 1937 to 1951. He compiled a .288 lifetime batting average and 223 home runs during that span while earning All-Star recognition nine times. He’s considered by many as the best second baseman in Red Sox history.
Doerr returned to the organization as a scout from 1957 to 1966 and also served as Boston’s first base coach and hitting instructor from 1967 to 1969.
The Los Angeles native was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Red Sox retired his number two years later. Prior to his death, he was the oldest living former major league player and the only Hall of Famer to reach age 99.
“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. “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.”
A statue dedicated to Doerr, Williams, Pesky and DiMaggio was erected outside Fenway Park’s Gate B in 2010.
NESN will air a special episode of “Red Sox Report” on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET paying homage to Doerr’s Red Sox career.