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Cubs star was NL MVP in 1945

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Phil Cavarretta, the 1945 National League MVP who led the Chicago Cubs to their last World Series appearance, has died. He was 94.

Mr. Cavarretta died Saturday evening in Lilburn, Ga., of complications from a stroke, according to his grandson, Jeffrey Brown, of Lubbock, Texas.

Brown told the Associated Press in a phone interview that Mr. Cavarretta died in a hospice care center. Brown said Cavarretta had been battling leukemia and suffered the stroke several days ago.

A first baseman and outfielder, Mr. Cavarretta broke into the major leagues in 1934 and spent the first 20 of his 22 seasons with the Cubs before moving across town to play 77 games for the White Sox in 1954-55.

The three-time All-Star led the NL with a .355 batting average and a .449 on-base percentage in 1945, when the Cubs lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. Mr. Cavarretta was one of the last living members of that team. The Cubs have not won a pennant since and their last World Series championship came in 1908.

Mr. Cavarretta finished with a .293 batting average, 95 home runs and 920 RBIs in more than 2,000 big league games.

Brown said Mr. Cavarretta is survived by his wife, Loraine, four daughters and one son, among others. AP

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