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For other persons named Joseph/Joe Ferguson, see Joseph/Joe Ferguson
Joe Ferguson
Catcher/Outfielder
Born: September 19, 1946 (1946-09-19) (age 63)
San Francisco, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 12, 1970 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
June 17, 1983 for the California Angels
Career statistics
Batting average     .240
Home runs     122
Runs batted in     445
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • Participated in the 1974 & 1978 World Series

Joseph Vance Ferguson (born September 19, 1946 in San Francisco, California) is a former catcher/right fielder in Major League Baseball who played for four different teams from 1970 through 1983. Listed at 6' 2", 200 lbs., he batted and threw right-handed.

A strong-armed catcher, Ferguson reached the majors in 1970 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, playing for them six and a half years before joining the St. Louis Cardinals (1976), Houston Astros (1977-78), again Los Angeles (1978-81), and finished his career with the California Angels (1981-83). He became the Dodgers everyday catcher in 1973 and set a major league record for catchers by committing only three errors, leading the National League catchers in fielding percentage (.996) and double plays (17), while hitting .263 with a .369 on-base percentage. He also reached career-highs in games played (136), home runs (25), RBI (88), runs (84), doubles (26) and walks (87).

When Steve Yeager became a regular in the 1973 midseason, Ferguson shared catching duties and played right field against left-handed pitchers. During Game Two of the 1974 World Series, he hit a two-run homer off Oakland Athletics pitcher Vida Blue to provide the only Dodgers' victory in the Series. He enjoyed another fine season in 1977 with Houston, catching 122 games and hitting 16 home runs with 61 RBI and a .379 OBP. Reacquired by the Dodgers in the 1978 midseason, he helped his team to reach the 1978 World Series.

After retiring, he coached at the major league level with the Texas Rangers (1986-87), working under former Dodger teammate Bobby Valentine, and the Dodgers (1988-94). He also managed in the Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres minor league systems. He currently is in his 2nd season as the manager of the Camden Riversharks Atlantic League baseball team in New Jersey. No longer with the Riversharks, 2010.

In a 14-season career, Ferguson was a .240 hitter with 122 home runs and 445 RBI in 1013 games. In 13 postseason games, he hit .200 (7-for-35) with one home run and four RBI.

The strong-armed Ferguson may be best known for his role in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1974 World Series. After reaching third on an error, Sal Bando tagged up on a Reggie Jackson fly ball to center field, as Jimmy Wynn camped under it. Sprinting from his position in right field, Ferguson cut in front of Wynn to catch the ball and heave it to the plate, where Steve Yeager makes the tag as the throw just beats him.

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Fact

  • On October 3, 1980, his tenth inning leadoff walk-off homer led the Dodgers to the first of three victories against Houston, forcing a one-game playoff against the Astros for the NL West title. During that series, he was responsible for a bench-clearing incident at Dodger stadium after he kneed Astro catcher Alan Ashby at the plate after tagging him out on a throw from Davey Lopes.

Sources

Preceded by
Tim Blackwell
High Desert Mavericks Manager
1996
Succeeded by
Chris Speier
Preceded by
Tim Blackwell
Bowie Baysox Manager
1997-1999
Succeeded by
Andy Etchebarren
Preceded by
Butch Davis
Delmarva Shorebirds Manager
2000-2002
Succeeded by
Stan Hough

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