For any Red Sox fan who came of age in the late 1960s, the death of George Scott conjured up a lot of memories.
I got hooked in 1968, the year after their Impossible Dream season, and I remember being utterly perplexed at the horrendous slump Scott had fallen into. He finished the season batting .171 with just three home runs. Fortunately for him and the Red Sox, better times were ahead.
There are a lot of worthwhile remembrances for you to peruse, but perhaps the most disheartening is Gordon Edes’, who reports for ESPN.com that Scott ended his days unhappy over his treatment at the hands of the sport he excelled at. Edes writes:
George Scott, according to his biographer [Ron Anderson, the author of “Long Taters”], never got over the bitterness he felt over the fact that Major League Baseball, and the Red Sox in particular, never offered him a job when his playing days were over — as an instructor, a coach or a manager.
Scott was a good player and a fan favorite. Unfortunately, he enjoyed his best years after the Red Sox traded him to Milwaukee following the 1971 season, bringing him back just as career was beginning to fade. The statistics say he hit 33 homers for the Sox in 1977. My memory says he hit 31 of those homers before the All-Star break. Two years later, he’d be out of baseball.
My last George Scott memory was from the late 1990s, when he was managing the Massachusetts Mad Dogs in Lynn. I took my son to Fraser Field one night. Afterwards, we hung around for a while, hoping for an autograph, until an announcement was made that Scott wouldn’t be available. I didn’t blame him. It couldn’t have been an easy life.
Also worth reading:
- “George Scott, smashing performer in field and at plate; at 69,” Bryan Marquard, Boston Globe
- “George Scott was a big man with a gentle way,” Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
- “Boomer loved his Sox,” Steve Buckley, Boston Herald
- “George Scott recalled as ’67 Dreamer,” John Tomase, Boston Herald
- “George Scott, Slugger, Who Boomed ‘Taters’ in Fenway, Dies at 69,” Richard Goldstein, New York Times
- “Remembering Boomer,” Leigh Montville, Sports on Earth