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Joe Ferguson

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Joseph Vance Ferguson

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher-outfielder Joe Ferguson played 14 seasons in the big leagues, showing good power with 122 career home runs.

He toiled for several seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system before coming up for good in 1973. In his first full major league season, Ferguson slugged 25 home runs.

His production slipped to 16 home runs in 1974 and a broken arm in 1975 began a decline in playing time that he was never able to reverse. Ferguson remained a very productive hitter through 1980, though. He played briefly for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1976 and the Houston Astros in 1977 and 1978 before returning to the Dodgers in mid-1978. He missed the Dodgers' world championship in 1981 as he was released in mid-August, as he had by then become a barely used pinch hitter with a batting average below .150. He did play in two World Series, in 1974 and 1978, both times in losing causes for the Dodgers. Still, he managed to catch on with the California Angels in september of 1981 and finished his career with two more seasons as Bob Boone's back-up, when both men were well into their 30's, playing his last game in June 1983.

Ferguson drew walks well, with a .240 lifetime batting average but a much higher .358 on-base percentage. He added decent power to that ability to get on base. He had 14 seasons in the majors with an Adjusted OPS of 116. Possessing a rifle arm behind the plate, Ferguson would also play right field on occasion (207 games in the majors), especially after Steve Yeager began to assert himself as the Dodgers' catcher.

A dramatic moment came early in Ferguson's career when his ninth inning leadoff homer broke up Luke Walker's no-hitter at Three Rivers Stadium on July 18, 1971.

After his playing career, Ferguson was a Texas Rangers coach in 1986 and 1987 and a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers staff in 1988 and 1989 and again in 1992 and 1993. He managed the 1996 High Desert Mavericks, 1997-1999 Bowie Baysox and 2000-2002 Delmarva Shorebirds. He then managed in the independent Northeast League for two seasons before becoming the San Diego Padres minor league catching instructor in 2005 and a coach for the Eugene Emeralds in 2006. He was back managing in the indy leagues in 2007, with the Camden Riversharks.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1973 & 1979)

[edit] Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1996 High Desert Mavericks California League 76-64 4th Baltimore Orioles Lost in 2nd round
1997 Bowie Baysox Eastern League 75-67 3rd Baltimore Orioles Lost in 1st round
1998 Bowie Baysox Eastern League 71-71 6th Baltimore Orioles
1999 Bowie Baysox Eastern League 70-71 6th Baltimore Orioles
2000 Delmarva Shorebirds South Atlantic League 74-62 3rd Baltimore Orioles League Champs
2001 Delmarva Shorebirds South Atlantic League 61-79 13th Baltimore Orioles
2002 Delmarva Shorebirds South Atlantic League 76-64 4th Baltimore Orioles Lost in 1st round
2003 Quebec Capitales Northeast League 49-40 4th Independent Leagues Lost in 1st round
2004 Quebec Capitales Northeast League 58-34 1st Independent Leagues Lost in 1st round
2007 Camden Riversharks Atlantic League 67-59 4th Independent Leagues
2008 Camden Riversharks Atlantic League 67-73 7th (t) Independent Leagues Lost League Finals
2009 Camden Riversharks Atlantic League -- Independent Leagues replaced by Jeff Scott

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