The two things I remember first about George Scott was how smooth he was for a big man when fielding his position……and how much trouble I had understanding the Greenville, MS native when he spoke.
At this moment I am thinking of George Scott and I smell Fenway Franks and coconut oil. The skin on my forehead is heating up from the sun and my legs are burning in my blue wooden seat in grandstand 8.
I have a little belly and no fear of dying. It is 1970. “American Woman” is playing somewhere and a large black man deftly takes ground balls at first base.
His grace defies his bulky build. Inside that 235 pound frame there is a platinum timing chain. He body and mind are perfectly synchronized. I cannot believe how effortlessly he moves his weight, grabbing, pivoting and dashing to the bag.
He is unmitigated grace.
Except when he speaks.
When asked about a 3rd world nation that at the time suffered a famine, he was asked “What about Biafra?”. He answered: “I don’t know da muddafuka, but when I face him, I will hit a tater.”
Straight faced. Straight up. That was Boomer.
And now we say farewell.
The 3x All Star, 8x Gold Glover, home run & RBI champion will forever be
remembered by Sox fans as a valuable part of the ’67 Pennant winners and the
1977 Sox that smashed 32 home runs in 22 games.
He won a minor league Triple Crown. He wore the Golden Sombrero, striking out 5x in his MLB debut.
His 27 HR’s and 90 RBI as a Rookie placed him 4th in the 1966 ROY voting behind Tommy Agee, Jim Nash and Davey Johnson. At the AS break that year, his stats were .271, 18 , 53. So good that he started for the AL All Stars over Norm Cash.
He hit one ball so far off of Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium that Mickey Mantle estimated the ball would have travelled 550 feet were it to have sailed unfettered.
By 1971’s end, Boomer had struck 115 home runs for the BoSox, and been called the best fielding first baseman since Gil Hodges.
He was a rock solid cog in the machine. I looked forward to the next decade with him at first.
But on Oct. 10, 1971, he was the key man in a 6 player package that went to Milwaukee for Tommy Harper, Marty Pattin and Lew Krause.
In 1975, Brewer team mate Hank Aaron coached him on hitting in ways previously unknown to George. He subsequently posted his best offensive stats with .285, 36 and 109.
Mr. Scott later returned to the Sox for whom he hit another 49 home runs over less than 3 seasons.
He hit 154 HR’s for Boston and 271 total in his career. He would have ranked 5th all-time in HR’s by a Red Sox player had he played his entire career in Beantown.
Injuries ended his career in 1979 but he went on to bat .335 and .350 in the Mexican League in the early 80’s.
He also managed and coached in the minors until 2002.
He leaves behind three sons: a realtor, a high school principal and an athlete.
Red Sox fans of a certain vintage will always remember you, big man. You carried a stick of dynamite and a slick piece of leather.
Rest in Peace, Boomer.