John Paul Lazor
Born: Sept. 9, 1912 in Taylor, Wash.
Died: Dec. 9, 2002 in Renton, Wash.
Debut: 1943 | Pos: OF
Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 180 | B: L | T: R
>> Visit the Johnny Lazor biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
While Dom DiMaggio was serving in the military during World War II, Johnny Lazor was the starter in centerfield for the Boston Red Sox. Lazor died Dec. 9, 2002 in Renton, Wash.
Lazor's best season came in 1945 when he played in 100 games, hitting .310 with 5 home runs and 45 RBIs. By the end of 1946, he was out of the major leagues.
According to reports, Lazor got his start in industrial leagues and then the Seattle League in Washington. He was a catcher, but made the switch to the outfield.
He moved on to play for Bremerton in the Northwest League and his manager was a scout for the Boston Red Sox. That led to Lazor signing with the organization.
He moved on to minor league baseball in 1937 and received his shot with the Boston Red Sox in 1943, hitting .226 in 83 games.
The Red Sox appeared in the World Series in 1946, but Lazor did not appear in any of the games.
An article that appeared in the South County Journal following Lazor's death pointed to a rift between Lazor and Boston manager Joe Cronin.
"He punished me in the 1946 season for going to an exhibition game after the 1945 season," Lazor is reported to have written in a letter to a fan. "I only got up to bat 29 times in 1946 after ending the 1945 season batting .310."
Lazor finished his career with the Portland Beavers from 1947-49.
Sources: Total Baseball, South County Journal "Lazor had a ball to the end", 12-13-2002