George Scott (first baseman)
March 23, 1944|
|Died: July 28, 2013
|April 12, 1966, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1979, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||1,051|
|Career highlights and awards|
George Charles Scott, Jr. (March 23, 1944 – July 28, 2013) was a first baseman in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox (1966–71, 1977–79), Milwaukee Brewers (1972–76), Kansas City Royals (1979) and New York Yankees (1979). He batted and threw right-handed.
Scott was born March 23, 1944, in Greenville, Mississippi, as the youngest of three children. His father, a cotton farm laborer, died when George Jr. was two years old, and young George was picking cotton by age nine. "That's all we knew", he said. "The reason you did that, all of that money was turned over to your parents to make ends meet. Nothing can be worse than getting up at four in the morning waiting for a truck to pick you up to go pick and chop cotton from six or seven in the morning until five or six in the afternoon."
Scott played Little League baseball in his spare time but was temporarily ejected from the team for being "too good", having hit two or three home runs per game in one six-game stretch. At Coleman High School in Greenville he excelled in baseball, football and basketball, quarterbacking the football team and leading his football and basketball teams to state championships. He chose baseball as a career "to make my living. I got tired of watching my mom struggle [with three jobs]. I didn't have the mind that I could go to college and see my mother struggle for another four or five years."
Major league scout Ed Scott (no relation to George) of Mobile, Alabama, who had signed Hank Aaron to his first major league contract, discovered George Scott and signed him as an amateur free agent straight out of high school on May 28, 1962, for $8,000. Eventually promoted to the Boston Red Sox' new Pittsfield Red Sox farm team of the Double-A Eastern League in 1965, Scott became the Eastern League triple crown winner that year, leading the league in home runs, RBIs, and batting average. He became a Red Sox major-league rookie in 1966 as a third baseman, and played all 162 games that season, the last Red Sox rookie to do so.
Scott was a three-time All-Star in the American League in 1966, 1975 and 1977, starting the 1966 Mid-Summer Classic and homering in 1977. Scott hit over 20 home runs six times in his career, tying Reggie Jackson for the American League lead in 1975 with a career-high 36 and pacing the league in runs batted in (RBIs) that same season with 109. Known for his glovework at first base, Scott was awarded the Gold Glove Award for fielding excellence in the American League during eight seasons (1967–68 and 1971–1976).
In a 14-season career, Scott posted a .268 batting average with 271 home runs (which he called "taters") and 1,051 RBIs in 2034 games. His nickname was Boomer and he called his glove "Black Beauty". George was well known for having a good sense of humor. He wore a necklace which he once identified to a reporter as being composed of "the second baseman's teeth". To complement his unique attire, he also was known for wearing a batting helmet while fielding at first base due to an experience he had with a fan throwing hard objects at him once during a road game. Scott is one of several players, including Dick Allen and John Olerud, to wear his helmet when playing the field.
Scott spent nine of his 14 years with the Red Sox and is Boston's all-time leader at first base with 988 games played, including 944 starts. Scott hit 154 of his 271 career home runs with the Red Sox and is a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2006. Despite his successful career, Scott's 1968 season was noted by ESPN as one of the worst offensive performances ever, especially for a first baseman.
George Scott died July 28, 2013, in his hometown of Greenville. Although a cause of death was not announced at the time, Scott had been impaired by diabetes for several years. "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. "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."
George was the father of three sons, Dion, George III and Brian. His grandson, Deion Williams, who played shortstop for Redan High School in Georgia, was selected by the Washington Nationals in the 2011 draft. Williams was converted into a pitcher and last pitched for the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League in 2015.
- List of Boston Red Sox awards
- List of Major League Baseball career home run leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual runs batted in leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual home run leaders
- Buteau, Michael (August 1, 2013). "All-star first baseman with Red Sox and Brewers won eight Gold Gloves". The Washington Post. p. B8.
- Anderson, Ron (2013). "George Scott". SABR Baseball Biography Project.
- "George Scott". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Baker, Jim (August 22, 2008). "Danny Ainge, Neifi Perez, Reggie Jackson ... step on down". ESPN. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "George Scott obituary". The Boston Globe. July 29, 2013.