Rick Ferrell, Knuckleball Catcher: A Hall of Famer's Life Behind the Plate and in the Front Office

Rick Ferrell, Knuckleball Catcher: A Hall of Famer's Life Behind the Plate and in the Front Office


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Rick Ferrell, Knuckleball Catcher: A Hall of Famer's Life Behind the Plate and in the Front Office by Kerrie Ferrell, William M. Anderson

In 1947, after 18 major league seasons with the Browns, Senators, and Red Sox, Rick Ferrell retired as the longest playing catcher in the American League. His record 1,806 games would stand for more than 40 years, surpassed finally by another Hall of Famer, Carlton Fisk. A stout defender and choosy batter, Ferrell was an eight-time All-Star who caught a rotation of four knuckleball pitchers for the 1945 Washington Senators team that lost the American League pennant in the final week of the season. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons he went on to work for the Detroit Tigers for 43 years, serving as coach, scout, and front-office executive. This biography includes highlights of Ferrell’s career, letters written as Detroit’s general manager, 15 interviews with Ferrell’s friends and peers, as well as thirty-four photographs, some never before published.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786447961
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Series: Sport & Leisure/Baseball/People
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Kerrie Ferrell, daughter of Rick Ferrell, grew up in a family of professional baseball players. After realizing she would not become the first female big leaguer, she became an English instructor and writer. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Baseball historian William M. Anderson has authored several books on baseball and lives in Ludington, Michigan.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Preface 1

Foreword by Donald Honig 5

Part I: Behind the Plate

1. 1905–1928: Early Life in North Carolina and the Minors 9

2. 1929–1932: Rookie Years with the St. Louis Browns 23

3. 1933–1934: The Red Sox, First All-Star Game, and Wes 41

4. 1935–1937: Beantown’s Brother Battery 61

5. 1937–1941: Ferrells Traded to Washington Senators 85

6. 1941–1943: Back to St. Louis as World War II Heats Up 114

7. 1944–1945: Catching Four Knuckleballers 127

8. 1946–1949: From Catcher to Coach 145

Part II: Front Office

9. 1950–1958: The Detroit Tigers’ Coach and Scout 157

10. 1959 –1965: The Tigers’ Front Office/General Manager 177

11. 1966 –1973: The Winning Years 197

12. 1974 –1983: Rebuilding with Ralph Houk and Sparky Anderson 213

13. 1984 –1992: The 1984 World Series, Baseball Hall of Fame, and Changing Times 235

14. 1993 –1995: Farewell and Epilogue 262

Appendix A. Hall of Fame Memberships 269

Appendix B. Career Statistics 270

Appendix C. 1929–1947: Catching Highlights 272

Appendix D. 1950–1992: Executive Highlights 274

Chapter Notes 275

Bibliography 279

Index 283

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