Fred Webb

From BR Bullpen

Frederick J. Webb

  • Height 5' 11", Weight 140 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Fred Webb pitched for Team USA and in the minors.

Webb battled rheumatic fever at age 12, missing a year of school. He also developed a heart murmur and was forbidden from playing sports by his doctors. While watching his friends play baseball at age 14, he was hit in the face by a foul ball and broke his nose. He said he was going to get hurt watching baseball, he might as well be playing hit. He became his school's ace pitcher.

He tried out for Billy Southworth, who said he would sign him for the Rochester Red Wings if not for his 140-lb. weight. That same year (1939), there was a celebration at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY for baseball's alleged 100th anniversary. Each minor league was to send a representative; when the Texas League fell through, Southworth recommended Webb as a replacement for the TL's spot. He got a 3-inning save, allowing one hit and no runs while also driving in a pair.

That earned him a spot at the tryouts for the US squad for the 1939 Amateur World Series; he impressed at the tryouts as well and was one of the four pitchers they took to Cuba. He was a bright spot on a winless US team, blanking Nicaragua for six innings one game and going 0-1 with a team-best 4.42 ERA. He was 5th in the event in ERA, between future major leaguer Connie Marrero and José Meléndez.

He turned pro with the Auburn Colts in 1940 but struggled at 2-7, 7.31 with 164 hits in 101 innings. In '41, he had a 1-3, 6.33 record for the Gloversville-Johnstown Glovers. He tried to enlist in the US military ten times but was rejected for his heart murmur; he tried to join every single branch. During the war, with few minor leagues running, he went into the insurance industry and got married.

Rochester offered him a contract in 1946 but he turned them down to focus on his family. He retired from insurance sales in 1981. In 1989, the Hall of Fame had an exhibition honoring the 1939 US team. He was later inducted into the Fulton County Baseball and Sports Hall of Fame.