Bobby Doerr

Bobby Doerr

Much has been made of Doerr's role as a team leader on the Red Sox teams of the 1940s. Those types of things are often overstated, but in this case the reputation is well deserved. Doerr was a strong, calming influence on teams that were fragmented and populated with selfish men.

Doerr was a rarity: a second baseman who hit in the middle of the lineup. He usually hit fifth, just behind his best friend Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx (and later Vern Stephens) in the cleanup spot.

The righthanded hitting Doerr has some of the most striking platoon splits of any batter in history: he had a career OPS of .716 on the road and .928 in Fenway Park. He averaged 4.2 homers per 100 at-bats in Fenway and 1.9 in road games. He was still a productive player and an All-Star when back problems forced him to retire at the age of 33.