|Was Doerr under-appreciated during his day?|
All this Robinson Cano talk got me thinking about second basemen, and since I'm a Red Sox fan I naturally thought about the two greatest keystone defenders in franchise history: Dustin Pedroia and Bobby Doerr. Seeing as how I wrote at length about Pedroia over the summer, I decided to jot down a few thoughts on Doerr:
- Had a) Boston beaten St. Louis in the 1946 World Series and b) the World Series MVP award existed at the time, Doerr would have been a favorite to win it. Johnny Pesky's double play partner batted .409/.458/.591 in a losing cause for the Sox.
- How did Doerr not get more MVP consideration, especially in the five seasons after World War II? He finished third in '46, but Ted Williams was the runaway favorite that year, and never again finished in the top-15. I just don't get it. Doerr did everything that baseball writers loved to see during those days. He hit for good averages, drove in lots of runs, played a key position for winning ballclubs and was a respected team leader (He was also good at hitting into double plays, which maybe the writers held against him). Obviously having Williams on the same team didn't help, but then Derek Jeter's fared pretty well in the voting even though he was more of a really good complementary player. You have to figure that if the Red Sox hadn't unraveled at the end of 1948 and '49, Doerr would have seen a slight boost in his vote totals.
- Like Pedroia, the right-handed Doerr loved hitting at Fenway Park. He was a .315/.396/.533 hitter there compared to .261/.327/.389 on the road. Had he played anywhere else, he probably wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame.