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Rick Ferrell

Catcher
Born: October 12, 1905(1905-10-12)
Durham, North Carolina
Died: July 27, 1995 (aged 89)
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 19, 1929 for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
September 14, 1947 for the Washington Senators
Career statistics
Batting average     .281
Hits     1,692
Runs batted in     735
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1984
Election Method     Veteran's Committee

Richard Benjamin Ferrell (October 12, 1905 – July 27, 1995) was an American League catcher in Major League Baseball, and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Strong and durable, Ferrell was an outstanding catcher for the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators between 1929 and 1947. He retired having caught 1,806 games, an American League record that stood until Carlton Fisk surpassed it in 1988.

Ferrell was born in Durham, North Carolina, and he attended Guilford College. Soon after college, he got his start in professional baseball with the Kinston Eagles of the Virginia League. His brother Wes is considered one of the best-hitting pitchers in baseball history, setting several major league records for hitting by a pitcher; he also hit more career home runs - 38, in 548 games - than Rick would (28, in 1,884 games).

In 1933, the Ferrell brothers were members of the initial American League All-Star team in the first All-Star Game played, in which Rick caught all nine innings. The same year, and for the first time in baseball history, brothers on opposing teams homered in the same game. Later, the Ferrells would be reunited again.

On April 19, 1929, Ferrell played his first major league game with the Browns, posting a .290 batting average in four seasons. After batting .300 in 1931, Ferrell had a very good year in 1932. Demonstrating that catchers could hit and excel defensively, batting from the #7 spot in the St. Louis order, Ferrell hit .315 with 30 doubles and 65 runs batted in, while leading AL catchers with 78 assists. His performance caught the attention of Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, who was trying to rebuild his team. On May 9, 1933, Ferrell was traded to Boston.

Between 1933-36, Ferrell broke Red Sox catchers' records in batting, doubles, home runs and runs batted in. His .302 batting average with Boston is 12th on the club's all-time list. Rick's brother Wes joined him in 1934, and three years later the brothers were packaged in a trade to Washington.

Ferrell returned to St. Louis in 1941 and was sent again to Washington in 1944. In the 1945 season, he set a record hard to match when he regularly caught four knuckleball pitchers. At the age of 41, Ferrell batted .303 in his last season. He had a fine eye and was remarkably selective, receiving 931 walks while fanning only 277 times. Ferrell compiled a .281 batting average, 28 home runs and 734 runs batted in, with 687 runs scored, 324 doubles, 45 triples and 29 stolen bases. In 1884 games played, he achieved an impressive .378 career on base percentage, being selected an All-Star eight times (1933-38, 1944-45; no game played in 1945).

After retiring, Ferrell served as a Senators coach, followed by over 40 years in the Detroit Tigers organization as a coach, scout, general manager, and, at over 80 years of age, executive consultant. Selected by the Veterans Committee, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. Rick Ferrell died in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan at the age of 89.

See also

External links

Bibliography

  • Thompson, Dick (2005). The Ferrell Brothers of Baseball. McFarland & Company, Inc.. ISBN 0-7864-2006-5. 
Preceded by
Bill DeWitt
Detroit Tigers General Manager
19601962
Succeeded by
Jim Campbell
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