Red Sox confirm death of team Hall of Famer George Scott

July 29, 2013 - 9:56 am
The Red Sox confirmed Monday that Sox Hall of Famer George Scott, a key player on two of the most memorable seasons in team history, died Sunday at his home in Greenville, Miss. A report from a newspaper in his home state listed his age at 71, but national reports indicated he was 69. A three-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner at first base, Scott finished his 14-year career with a .268 batting average, .333 on-base percentage, .435 slugging mark, 271 home runs and 1,051 RBIs in 2,034 games. "In losing George Scott, we have lost one of the most talented, colorful, and popular players in our history," said Red Sox vice president/emeritus and 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. We will miss him, and we send our condolences to his family." The personable but mercurial Scott, nicknamed "Boomer," had two stints in Boston. He came up in 1966 and was an American League All-Star as a rookie (and third in the Rookie of the Year balloting), hitting .245/.324/.433 with 27 home runs and 90 RBIs -- plus a league-leading 152 strikeouts. He had a productive season -- .303/.373/.465 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs -- for the 1967 Impossible Dream team that won the AL pennant after finishing with the league's second-worst record the year before. His numbers took a huge dip in 1968 -- .171/.236/..237 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 124 games -- and although he put together a more productive stretch over the next three seasons, he was traded to the Brewers following the 1971 campaign. With the Brewers in 1975, Scott led the league in home runs (36), RBIs (109) and total bases (318) while hitting .285/.341/.515. He was an All-Star and finished eighth in the MVP balloting. Five years later, the Sox sent 26-year-old Cecil Cooper to Milwaukee to reacquire Scott and Bernie Carbo. While Cooper went to become a star for the Brewers over the next decade, Scott had one final hurrah, putting together his third All-Star season in '77 when he hit .269/.337/.500 with 33 home runs and 95 RBIs. Scott also was a member of the 1978 team that lost a 14 1/2-game lead and then a one-game playoff to the Yankees and missed the postseason despite winning 99 games. He was traded to the Royals (for outfielder Tom Poquette) on June 13, 1979. After being released by the Royals in August of that year, Scott finished his career by playing in one game for the Yankees. Following retirement, Scott tried to work his way back to the majors as a coach. He made stops in Mexico and in independent leagues -- he was North Atlantic League Manager of the Year for the Massachusetts Mad Dogs in 1996 -- but stepped away from the game about a decade ago. In recent years he struggled with health issues and needed a walker to get around. He was not in attendance at the team's 100th anniversary of Fenway Park celebration last year. Scott called in to The Big Show last July to promote his book: "Long Taters: A Baseball Biography of George 'Boomer' Scott" and talk about the Red Sox' struggles. Scott is credited with popularizing the term "taters" for home runs.