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Denny Doyle, midseason addition to 1975 Red Sox, dies at 78

Denny Doyle (right, with Bill Lee) was part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the 1975 American League pennant winners at Fenway Park seven years ago.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Denny Doyle, a second baseman whose career included parts of three seasons with the Red Sox, died on Tuesday. He was 78.

Robert Dennis Doyle, a native of Glasgow, Ky., broke into the majors with the Phillies in 1970. He was traded to the Angels before the 1974 season and then to the Red Sox on June 14, 1975.

He replaced Doug Griffin at second base and hit .310 over 89 games. Mr. Doyle started all 10 games in the postseason, hitting safely in nine of them.

In Game 6 of the World Series, Mr. Doyle was at third base with no outs in a 6-6 game in the bottom of the ninth when Fred Lynn sent a ball to shallow left field along the foul line.


Mr. Doyle tagged up, but was out on a strong throw from George Foster to Johnny Bench. The ball bounced in front of the plate, but Bench pulled it back and got his glove on Mr. Doyle before he reached the plate.

Third base coach Don Zimmer told reporters he told Mr. Doyle, “No, no, no.” But with a sellout crowd at Fenway Park, Mr. Doyle thought he heard, “Go, go, go.”

The Sox won the game in the 12th inning on the famed home run by Carlton Fisk.

Mr. Doyle was 8 for 30 in the Series with two extra-base hits and three runs scored. He struck out once and drew two walks.

In all, Mr. Doyle played eight seasons in the majors. His brother, Brian, was a major league infielder from 1978-81. They went on to start the successful Doyle Baseball School in Florida.

Mr. Doyle and his family were at Fenway Park in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the ballpark.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.