Doug Griffin, a former Red Sox infielder and Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, passed away yesterday in Clovis, Calif. at 69 years old after a lengthy illness.
Griffin appeared in 614 games with the Red Sox from 1971-77, making each of his 571 starts for the club at second base and also appearing in two games at shortstop. He hit .248 (517-for-2,081) in his Boston career, totaling 69 doubles, 12 triples, seven home runs, 161 RBI, and 207 runs scored. Griffin recorded a .981 fielding percentage at second base while with the Red Sox, committing only 55 errors in 2,951 total chances at the position. His 603 games at second base rank sixth all-time in Red Sox history behind only Bobby Doerr, Dustin Pedroia, Hobe Ferris, Marty Barrett, and Jerry Remy.
Selected by California in the 21st round of the 1965 June Draft, Griffin made his major league debut in 1970 and appeared in 18 games with the Angels before being traded to Boston that off-season. He made an immediate impact with the Red Sox and finished fourth in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 1971, appearing in 125 games and hitting .244 (118-for-483) with 23 doubles and 51 runs scored.
In 1972, Griffin won his lone Gold Glove and recorded career bests in games played (129), hits (122), RBI (35), and walks (45). He helped Boston reach the 1975 World Series by appearing in 100 games (78 starts) during the regular season, serving as the club's primary second baseman prior to the All-Star break. The lone postseason plate appearance of his career came in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, when he lined out to second base in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter.
Born in South Gate, Calif., Griffin worked briefly for his father in the construction trade following his baseball career in the late 1970s. He performed similar work in the 1980s for Buddy LeRoux, who had a construction business in Winter Haven, Fla.
Griffin is survived by his wife, Lorraine Bernard; his children, Chad and Natalie; six granddaughters; his 92-year-old mother, Lillian Griffin; and his three sisters.