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Dave Ferriss

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David Meadow Ferriss
(Boo)

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[edit] Biographical Information

The Boston Red Sox signed pitcher Dave Ferriss as an amateur free agent before the 1942 season. He was assigned to the Greensboro Red Sox of the class B Piedmont League and the righthander put together a 7-7 record with a 2.22 ERA. Dave served in the Army Air Forces for 26 months from 1942 to 1945. He was discharged from the service shortly before the 1945 season due to an acute asthma condition.

Dave joined the Boston Red Sox to start the 1945 campaign and beat every team in the league, throwing shutouts at the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Athletics the first time around on his way to a 21 and 10 record. Ferriss could also hit, as he was often used as a pinch hitter and had a .267 average that year.

But with the return of the regulars from the war to start the 1946 season, the jury was still out on the righthander from Mississippi. He responded in an even more spectacular fashion, winning 12 games in a row during one stretch, en route to a 25-6 record and an American League-leading .806 winning percentage. On May 26th, he one-hit the Chicago White Sox in the opener of a doubleheader. In the nightcap Emmett O'Neill held Chicago to two hits as Ferris and O'Neill tied a record set in 1934 by Paul and Dizzy Dean of allowing only three hits in a twin bill. Dave capped off 1946 by shutting out the St. Louis Cardinals on six hits in Game 3 of the World Series, but was not involved in the decision as the starter in the seventh and deciding game won by the Cardinals.

Because Dave, or "Boo" as he was sometimes called, had become the first pitcher to win at least 20 games in his first two years since Wes Ferrell of the Cleveland Indians in 1929 and 1930, the future looked good for the Red Sox mound star with a two year mark of 46-16. But after developing a sore arm in 1947 he was just 12-11 that year and would win only seven more games the following season. He made one final trip out of the bullpen in 1950.

His once promising career was over before his 30th birthday at 65-30 and a 3.64 ERA. "Boo" would try it in the minors, spending the next 4 years (1950-1953) with the Birmingham Barons and the Louisville Colonels. Ferris decided he was done after an outing in 1953 and ended his minor league days with a 31-26 record and a 3.96 ERA.

After a few years as a pitching coach for the Red Sox (1955 to 1959), Ferriss, who attended Mississippi State University, was a longtime head coach at Delta State University from 1960 to 1966 and 1970 to 1988, in Cleveland, MS, where the one-time rookie sensation retired.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 2-time AL All-Star (1945 & 1946)
  • AL Winning Percentage Leader (1946)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1945 & 1946)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 2 (1945 & 1946)
  • 25 Wins Seasons: 1 (1946)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 3 (1945-1947)

[edit] Sources

Baseball-Reference.com
Baseball Players of the 1950s
SABR MILB Database:page

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