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Buddy Kerr; Braves' shortstop set record for errorless games

NEW YORK -- John "Buddy" Kerr, an All-Star shortstop who in the 1940s played 68 consecutive games without an error, died Tuesday after a short illness at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital. He was 84.

Mr. Kerr played most of his career for the New York Giants, beginning as a 20-year-old who homered in his first at bat in September of 1943.

He started his errorless streak in 1946 and it carried over to the next season, with Mr. Kerr handling 383 chances in all without an error. Both the number of games played and chances without an error were records at the time.

He held the record for 42 years until Kevin Elster of the New York Mets broke it with 88.

Mr. Kerr represented the Giants on the All-Star team in 1948.

After the 1949 season, Mr. Kerr was part of a blockbuster trade that brought him, Sid Gordon, Willard Marshall, and Red Webb to the Boston Braves for Alvin Dark and Eddie Stanky.

He retired after the 1951 season. For his career, he hit .249 in 1,067 games.

Mr. Kerr worked for the New York Mets from 1975 to 1996 as a special-assignment scout.

"Buddy's loyalty and dedication to the Mets were unmatched. He was a true gentleman," Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon said in a statement.

Mr. Kerr leaves his wife, Kathleen; two sons, John and Gregory; two daughters, Patricia and Kathleen; and five sisters.

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