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12/18/10 11:10 PM EST

Former NL MVP Cavarretta dies at 94

Three-time All-Star led Cubs to 1945 World Series appearance

Former Major Leaguer Phil Cavarretta, who won the 1945 National League Most Valuable Player Award while leading the Cubs to their last World Series appearance, died on Friday. He was 94.

Cavarretta died in Lilburn, Ga., of complications from a stroke, his grandson, Jeffrey Brown, told The Associated Press. He told the AP in a phone interview that Cavaretta, who had been battling leukemia and suffered the stroke several days ago, died in a hospice care center.

Cavarretta played in the Majors for 22 seasons from 1934-55 with 20 of those years coming with the Cubs before playing for the cross-town White Sox in his final two seasons.

A three-time All-Star, his best season came in '45 when he led the NL with a .355 batting average and a .449 on-base percentage. He also helped lead the Cubs to the World Series that season but they lost to the Tigers in seven games.

Cavarretta, a first baseman and outfielder, finished his career with a .293 batting average, 95 home runs and 920 RBIs in 2,030 games.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.