Monday, December 20, 2010

Phil Cavarretta, 1916-2010

Phil Cavarretta, who was the National League's most valuable player in 1945 when he led the Chicago Cubs to their last World Series appearance, died Saturday in Lilburn, Ga. He was 94.

Cavarretta died of complications from a stroke, his son, Phil Cavarretta Jr., told the Associated Press. He also had suffered from leukemia for several years.

Cavarretta, a left-handed-hitting first baseman and outfielder, played 20 seasons with the Cubs from 1934 to 1953 before playing his final 77 games in 1954 and '55 for the cross-town White Sox.

In a statement, the Cubs called Cavarretta "a local hero and a tremendous player." He ranks in the top 10 in most of the team's offensive categories.

Cavarretta led the National League in batting in 1945 with a .355 average as the Cubs won the National League pennant. They lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series and have not won a pennant since.

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