George “Boomer” Scott, who won eight Gold Glove awards for his defense and played more games at first base for the Boston Red Sox than any player in team history, has died. He was 69.
Scott’s family confirmed that he died of natural causes in his hometown of Greenville, Mississippi, the Red Sox said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
Scott, a right-handed power hitter who liked to call his home runs “taters,” spent nine of his 14 Major League Baseball seasons with the Red Sox and is Boston’s all-time leader at first base with 988 games played, including 944 starts. He hit 154 of his 271 career home runs with the Red Sox and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
“In losing George Scott, we have lost one of the most talented, colorful and popular players in our history,” said Red Sox team historian Dick Bresciani, who has been with the club since 1972. “He had great power and agility, with a large personality and a large physical stature. He could light up a clubhouse with his smile, his laugh, and his humor -- and he was the best defensive first baseman I have ever seen.”
Scott was a member of Boston’s 1967 team that went to the World Series, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. He won the first of his Gold Gloves that season while batting .303 and driving in 82 runs.
Scott made his major-league debut the previous season, when he hit 27 home runs and had 90 runs batted in, the second-most by a Red Sox player in his first year behind only Ted Williams, who had 31 homers and 145 RBI in 1939. Scott would play all 162 games as a rookie, marking the last time a Red Sox infielder played every game in a season.
Scott also spent five seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and played briefly for the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees in addition to Boston during his final season in 1979. A three-time All-Star, Scott led the American League in 1975 with 109 runs batted in with the Brewers and tied Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson with a league-best 36 home runs that season.