Wes Ferrell

Wesley Cheek "Wes" Ferrell (February 2, 1908 – December 9, 1976) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball from 1927 through 1941. Primarily a starting pitcher, Ferrell played for the Cleveland Indians (1927–33), Boston Red Sox (1934–37), Washington Senators (1937–38), New York Yankees (1938–39), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940) and Boston Braves (1941). He batted and threw right-handed. Ferrell's 37 home runs as a batter remain a career record for a MLB pitcher.

Wes Ferrell
WesFerrellGoudeycard
Pitcher
Born: February 2, 1908
Greensboro, North Carolina
Died: December 9, 1976 (aged 68)
Sarasota, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 1927, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
May 6, 1941, for the Boston Braves
MLB statistics
Win–loss record193–128
Earned run average4.04
Strikeouts985
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Wesley Cheek Ferrell was born on February 2, 1908 in Greensboro, North Carolina to Rufus Benjamin "Lonnie" and Alice Clara Carpenter.[1] His father was employed by the Southern Railroad,[2] and the family lived on a 160-acre dairy farm that was also used to grow crops such as hay and tobacco.[2] Wes was the fifth of seven children, all boys.[3] They each played baseball for the local high school team, and two others went on to enjoy long careers in baseball: Rick, a Hall of Fame catcher, and George, an 18-year minor league veteran.[2][4]

Wesley starred in baseball and basketball while playing for Guilford High School, and later for the Oak Ridge Military Academy in 1926.[2] He was soon noticed by Bill Rapp, a scout for the Cleveland Indians, and in 1927 they, as well as the Detroit Tigers, offered him a contract while he was playing for a semi-professional team in East Douglas, Massachusetts. He chose the Indians, and joined the team for the remainder of the 1927 season. He made his Major League Baseball debut on September 9, 1927, pitching a single inning against the Boston Red Sox, and gave up three earned runs.[5][6] Although, he initially made the Indians' roster in 1928, he was soon demoted to the Terre Haute Tots, of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League. He pitched well for the Tots, winning 20 games against eight losses, and had a 2.74 earned run average. In September, he was re-called to majors, and pitched two games before the season ended. He started both games, completed one of them, and while he pitched well, he received the loss in both.[7]

Major league career

Cleveland Indians

In 1929, he joined the Indians for good, though only a spot-starter at first; he established himself as one of the best pitchers in the American League (AL) by season's end. He was noted to have had an excellent fastball, which he complimented with a good curveball and a deceptive changeup.[2] He posted a 21–10 win–record, with 100 strikeouts and a 3.60 earned run average (ERA).[5] His 21 victories placed second in the league behind George Earnshaw's 24, and he finished in the top ten in strikeouts, earned run average, and saves.[8] In 1930, he began the season as the Indian's number two starting pitcher behind Willis Hudlin, who made the team's opening day start.[9] He quickly established himself as the team's ace by significantly improving his pitching performance. He increased his win total to 25, which finished second in the league, this time behind Lefty Grove's 28, and lowered his ERA to 3.31.[10] His batting skills improved in 1930; his batting average jumped from .237 in 1929 to .297 in 1930.[5]

Ferrell continued his excellence during the 1931 season, although his ERA increased to 3.75, he led the lead in complete games with 27, and collected another 22 wins.[5] On April 29, he pitched a 9-0 no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns, striking out eight, while also hitting a home run, a double, and had four runs batted in (RBIs). His brother Rick, was the Browns' catcher.[11] On May 8, he experienced pain in his right shoulder while warming up for a start against the Red Sox, and for the rest of the season, his fastball became largely ineffective, having to rely upon his other pitches.[2] As stellar as his pitching statistics were, it was his hitting skills that were dramatically improving each season. Through 1930, he had hit just one home run, but in 1931 he hit nine, breaking the previous home run record for pitchers of seven by Jack Stivetts in 1890.[12] On August 31 he hit two home runs against the Chicago White Sox in 13–5 victory at Comiskey Park, the first of five times he would achieve the feat.[12]

Ferrell was an honest and outspoken individual, and his attitude began to sour during this period of his career. It was suspected that he had anxiety in regard to his shoulder injury, which caused him to angrily react to perceived bad calls by umpires, and teammates who made errors that negatively affected the game. On one occasion, Ferrell refused to be pulled from a game by his manager, and was suspended ten days without pay for insubordination.[2] Because of his volatile temperament he was fined and suspended several times for refusing to leave a game, or for leaving it without permission.[2] After being driven from the mound in one game, he punched himself in the face and began to slam his head into the wall. He had to be restrained by his team to stop him from continuing to hurt himself.[2] Despite the pain in his shoulder, and worsening behavioral issues, he continued to be a durable and effective pitcher. In 1932, Ferrell posted his fourth consecutive 20-win season, with a record of 23-13, struck out 105, and had a 3.66 ERA.[5]

The 1933 season began well for Ferrell, he had a 5-4 win-loss record and a 2.12 ERA on June 1,[13] and was named to the inaugural Major League Baseball All-Star Game representing the American League.[14] He was not called upon to play in the game, but his brother Rick was also selected to the team, and played the entire game.[14] As the season progressed, however, his performance began to diminish. From July until the end of the season, he was largely inneffective as a pitcher, and his availability became infrequent.[13] In response, his manager, Roger Peckinpaugh, tried playing him in left field. The experiment was deemed a failure due to Ferrell's lack of fielding skills.[2] He had another great year as a batter, however, hitting seven home runs, and he compiled 26 RBIs and a .271 batting average.[5] After a disappointing 11-12 record for the year, the Indians offered him what Ferrell regarded as an unacceptable contract offer, and he refused to sign. He also refused to join the team unless his contract demands were met.[2] On May 25, 1934, the Indians traded him, along with Dick Porter, to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Bob Weiland, Bob Seeds and $25,000 cash.[5]

Boston Red Sox

By joining the Red Sox, Ferrell united with his brother Rick, who was their starting catcher.[15] He made his debut for Boston on May 30 in relief, as were his next two appearances. He entered the starting rotation on June 10.[16] On August 12, in front of a record crowd of 46,766 fans (with about 20,000 turned away), Babe Ruth made his farewell appearance as a New York Yankee in Boston. He singled and doubled against Ferrell, but Boston prevailed against Ruth and the New York Yankees by a score of 6 runs to 4.[17] From that point until the end of the season, he was consistently effective, lowering his ERA from 4.64 on July 25, to a season-ending 3.63.[16] He completed the 1934 season with a 14-5 record, and twice hit two home runs in a game.[5] The first occurred against the St. Louis Browns on July 13, and the other on August 22 against the Chicago White Sox when he hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning, then hit the game-winning, walk-off home run in tenth inning.[12] Never known as a control pitcher, Ferrell's base on balls totals were usually high, including leading the league with 130 in 1931, but in 1934, his bases on balls per 9 innings pitched was the best in AL.[18]

In 1935, Ferrell continued the success he had in the latter part of 1934, and arguably had his greatest season. He compiled league-leading totals with victories with 25, as well as innings pitched, games started, and games completed. He also finished within the leaders in shutouts, bases on balls per nine innings, and strikeouts.[19] As a batter, he had a .347 batting average, and hit seven home runs, the third, and last, time he reached this plateau.[5] On July 21, with the Red Sox trailing the Detroit Tigers 4–6 in the bottom of the ninth inning and two runners on the bases. Ferrell was sent in as a pinch hitter and hit a three-run walk-off home run, defeating the Tigers by the score of 7–6.[12] The following day, Ferrell once again hit a walk-off home run, this time in a tied-game against the St. Louis Browns.[12] His achievements during the 1935 season resulted in his second-place finish in the Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting, finishing behind Hank Greenberg.[20]

Ferrell had another effective season in 1936, with a 20-15 record, while leading the league in games started, complete games, and inning pitched.[5] His best games that season were two-hit shoutouts; one occurred on May 3 against the Tigers, and the other on June 21 against the Browns.[21] This was his sixth and last time he achieved the 20-win mark during his major league career. His 1937 season began slow and he was unable to turn it around, by June 11, he had just three victories against six losses, and his ERA was a lofty 7.61.[22] On June 11, the Ferrell brothers and Mel Almada were traded to the Washington Senators in exchange for Ben Chapman and Bobo Newsom.[5]

Later career

Shortly after being traded to Washington, Wes won four of his first five starts, and was named to his second All-Star team.[23] Joining him on the team was his brother Rick,[24] and the game was played on July 7, although neither of the Ferrell brothers played.[25] Although he had lackluster pitching record of 14-19, he led the AL in innings and complete games for the third consecutive season.[5] Ferrell remained with Washington in 1938, and leading the team with 13 victories, but due to his behavior and personality conflict with owner Clark Griffith, he was released from the team on August 12.[2] Ferrell was quickly signed by the Yankees, and appeared in five games before the season ended. Over the following winter, he underwent arm surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow,[2] but was unable to fully recover. He was released by the Yankees in May 1939, and went unsigned until January 1940, when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. He made just one relief appearance for the Dodgers before being released in May. He signed with the Boston Braves in February 1941, but was released after four games.[5]

Ferrell finished his major-league career with a win-loss record of 193-128, 4.04 ERA, and 985 strikeouts in 2623 innings pitched. In 374 games pitched, he started 323, completed 227, and tossed 17 shutouts. In addition to his talents as a pitcher, he was also one of the best-hitting pitchers in major league history, setting records for pitchers; his nine home runs in 1931, and his career-total of 37 still stand. In total, he collected 329 hits, 57 doubles, 12 triples, delivered 208 RBIs, scored 175 runs, a .446 slugging percentage, and a .280 batting average.[5]

Post-major league career

Even after the end of his major league career, Ferrell continued to play minor league ball. During these later years, he mainly played the outfield. After his release by the Braves in May 1941, he signed with the Leaksville-Draper-Spray Triplets of the class-D Bi-State League, where he batted .332 with 20 home runs in just 74 games. The following season, he joined the class-C Lynchburg Senators of the Virginia League, where he hit .361 with 31 homers in 123 games. He continued to play sporadically in the minors for several years before finally retiring for good after the 1949 season.

Later life and legacy

Wes Ferrell died at the age of 68 on December 9, 1976 in Sarasota, Florida, and is interred at New Garden Cemetery in Greensboro, North Carolina.[5]

Arguments in favor of inducting Ferrell into the Baseball Hall of Fame include the factors which affected his numbers and lack of post-season success. In addition to the era in which he played, he didn't play for many good teams, and he pitched in hitter-friendly parks.[26] In his book, The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James, noted that Ferrell's high career ERA of 4.04 is not surprising due the heavy-hitting era in which he played. The average AL ERA during his playing time was lofty 4.54. However, when Ferrell's ERA is adjusted with what he produced as a hitter, he was effectively 22% better than the league average. In this regard, he is comparable to other high-ERA pitchers that helped themselves by being a good batter such as Ted Lyons, a Hall of Fame member, and Carl Mays.[27]

Although he, unlike his brother, has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, in celebration of his being not just a star pitcher but the best-hitting pitcher of all time—noting that Babe Ruth did most of his hitting when he was no longer a regular pitcher.

In February 2008, Ferrell was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. He is the only pitcher since 1900 to win 20 games in his first four full major league seasons. He retired with the seventh highest winning percentage (.601) among pitchers with at least 300 AL decisions (for teams that never won the pennant) and also with the fourth highest fielding percentage (.975) in AL history.

"I didn't see any big deal in being a good hitter as well as a good pitcher", said Ferrell, a two-time minor league batting champion as an outfielder after his major league days were over. When he went on to be a manager, Ferrell was slapped with suspensions for belting an umpire, and for removing his team from the field. He was a fiery competitor and a brilliant player with natural talent, whose achievements may have been obscured by his irascibility.

See also

References

  1. ^ Thompson, Dick (2005). The Ferrell Brothers of Baseball. McFarland & Company. pp. 17–18. ISBN 0786420065.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Smith, Mark. "The Baseball Biography Project: Wes Ferrell". sabr.org. Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  3. ^ Thompson, p. 20
  4. ^ "George Ferrell (minors)". Baseball-Reference.com.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Wes Ferrell". Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "Boston Red Sox 6, Cleveland Indians 1". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  7. ^ "The 1928 CLE A Regular Season Pitching Log for Wes Ferrell". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  8. ^ "1929 American League Pitching Leaders". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  9. ^ "The 1930 Cleveland Indians Regular Season Game Log". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  10. ^ "1930 American League Pitching Leaders". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Cleveland Indians 9, St. Louis Browns 0". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Wes Ferrell Home Run Log". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "The 1933 CLE A Regular Season Pitching Log for Wes Ferrell". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "American League 4, National League 2". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  15. ^ "The 1934 Boston Red Sox Regular Season Roster". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  16. ^ a b "The 1934 BOS A Regular Season Pitching Log for Wes Ferrell". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  17. ^ "Boston Red Sox 6, New York Yankees 4 (1)". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  18. ^ "1934 American League Pitching Leaders". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  19. ^ "1935 American League Pitching Leaders". baseball-reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  20. ^ "Baseball Awards Voting for 1935". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  21. ^ "The 1936 BOS A Regular Season Pitching Log for Wes Ferrell". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  22. ^ "The 1937 BOS A Regular Season Pitching Log for Wes Ferrell". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  23. ^ "The 1937 WAS A Regular Season Pitching Log for Wes Ferrell". retrosheet.org. Retrosheet, Inc. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  24. ^ "1937 MLB All-Star Game". espn.go.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  25. ^ "1937 MLB All-Star Game Box Score and Play-By-Play". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
  26. ^ Cohen, Robert W. Baseball's Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?. Cardoza Publishing. ISBN 1580425720.
  27. ^ James, Bill (2010). The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster. p. 872. ISBN 1439106932.

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Carl Hubbell
No-hitter pitcher
April 29, 1931
Succeeded by
Bobby Burke
1929 Cleveland Indians season

The 1929 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished third in the American League with a record of 81–71, 24 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

1930 Cleveland Indians season

The 1930 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 81–73, 21 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

1931 Cleveland Indians season

The 1931 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record 78–76, 30 games behind the Philadelphia Athletics.

1932 Cleveland Indians season

The 1932 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 87–65, 19 games behind the New York Yankees.

1933 Cleveland Indians season

The 1933 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the American League with a record of 75–76, 23½ games behind the Washington Senators.

1934 Boston Red Sox season

The 1934 Boston Red Sox season was the 34th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 76 losses.

1935 Boston Red Sox season

The 1935 Boston Red Sox season was the 35th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fourth in the American League (AL) with a record of 78 wins and 75 losses. This was the Red Sox' first season with more wins than losses since 1918.

1936 Boston Red Sox season

The 1936 Boston Red Sox season was the 36th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished sixth in the American League (AL) with a record of 74 wins and 80 losses.

1937 Boston Red Sox season

The 1937 Boston Red Sox season was the 37th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished fifth in the American League (AL) with a record of 80 wins and 72 losses.

1938 New York Yankees season

The 1938 New York Yankees season was their 36th season. The team finished with a record of 99–53, winning their 10th pennant, finishing 9.5 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the 1938 World Series, they beat the Chicago Cubs in 4 games. This marked the first time any team had won three consecutive World Series.

1938 Washington Senators season

The 1938 Washington Senators won 75 games, lost 76, and finished in fifth place in the American League. They were managed by Bucky Harris and played home games at Griffith Stadium.

1940 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1940 Brooklyn Dodgers finished the season in second place. It was their best finish in 16 years.

Earl Wilson (baseball)

Robert Earl Wilson (born Earl Lawrence Wilson) (October 2, 1934 – April 23, 2005) was a professional baseball pitcher. He played all or part of eleven seasons in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox (1959–60, 1962–66), Detroit Tigers (1966–70) and San Diego Padres (1970), primarily as a starting pitcher. Wilson batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.

In an eleven-season career, Wilson posted a 121-109 record with 1,452 strikeouts and a 3.69 ERA in 2,051.2 innings pitched.

Ken Chase

Kendall Fay Chase (October 6, 1913 – January 16, 1985) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for three teams between 1936 and 1943. Listed at 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) and 210 pounds (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb), Chase batted and threw left-handed. He was born in Oneonta, New York.

A hard-throwing pitcher, Chase entered the majors in 1936 with the Washington Senators, playing six years for them before joining the Boston Red Sox (1942–43) and New York Giants (1943). While in Washington, he was part of a rotation that included Dutch Leonard, Wes Ferrell and Sid Hudson. On April 29, 1939, Ken Chase gave up hit number 2,721 of Lou Gehrig's career. Lou Gehrig never recorded another hit as he willingly pulled himself out of the lineup the next day. He never played another game.

Chase's most productive season came in 1940 with the Senators, when he set career-numbers with 15 wins, a 3.23 ERA, and 129 strikeouts. He struggled with poor control during the season, allowing 143 walks and 12 wild pitches to lead the American League.

In an eight-season career, Chase posted a 53–84 record with 582 strikeouts and a 4.27 ERA in 188 games pitched, including 160 starts 62 complete games, four shutouts, and 1165 innings.

Following his playing retirement, Chase remained active to run his family dairy farm near Cooperstown. He died in his hometown of Oneonta at age of 71.

List of Boston Red Sox Opening Day starting pitchers

The Boston Red Sox are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Boston, Massachusetts. They have played in the American League since it was founded in 1901, and the American League East since divisions were introduced in 1969. The first game of each baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, for which being named the starting pitcher is an honor. That honor is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, although there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day.

List of Cleveland Indians no-hitters

The Cleveland Indians are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Cleveland, Ohio. They play in the American League Central division. Also known in their early years as the "Cleveland Blues" (1901), "Cleveland Broncos" (1902), and "Cleveland Naps" (1903–14), pitchers for the Indians have thrown 14 no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a no-hit game, a batter may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference." No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. No-hitters are rare, but only one team in Major League Baseball has never had a pitcher accomplish the feat. Two perfect games, a special subcategory of no-hitter, have been thrown in Indians history. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game." These feats were achieved by Addie Joss on October 2, 1908 and by Len Barker on May 15, 1981.

Bob Rhoads threw the first no-hitter in Indians history on September 18, 1908; the most recent no-hitter was thrown by Barker on May 15, 1981. No left-handed pitchers have thrown no-hitters in franchise history while all were by right-handers. Nine no-hitters were thrown at home and five on the road. They threw four in April, two in May, two in June, three in July, two in September, and one in October. The longest interval between no-hitters in franchise history was between the games pitched by Barker and incumbent pitcher, encompassing over 36 years from May 15, 1981 till present. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Rhoads and Joss, encompassing merely 14 days from September 18, 1908 till October 2, 1908. They no-hit the Chicago White Sox the most, which occurred thrice, which were no-hit by Joss (in 1908 and 1910) and Bob Feller (in 1940). There is one no-hitter which the team allowed at least a run, which was done by Rhoads in 1908. The most baserunners allowed in a no-hitter were by Feller (in 1940) and Don Black (in 1947), who each allowed six. Of the 14 no-hitters, five have been won by a score of 1–0, more common than any other results. The largest margin of victory in a no-hitter was a 9–0 win by Wes Ferrell in 1931. The smallest margin of victory was a 1–0 wins by Joss in 1908 and 1910, Feller in 1940 and 1946, and Dennis Eckersley in 1977; and 2–1 win by Rhoads in 1908.

The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted Ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a Ball, or whether a runner is safe or out… [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate (sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. 11 different umpires presided over each of the franchise's 14 no-hitters.

The manager is another integral part of any no-hitter. The tasks of the manager is to determine the starting rotation as well as batting order and defensive lineup every game. Managers choosing the right pitcher and right defensive lineup at a right game at a right place at a right time would lead to a no-hitter. 11 different managers have led to the franchise's 14 no-hitters.

List of Major League Baseball all-time leaders in home runs by pitchers

In baseball, a home run (HR) is typically a fair hit that passes over an outfield fence or into the stands at a distance from home base of 250 feet or more, which entitles the batter to legally touch all bases and score without liability. Atypically, a batter who hits a fair ball and touches each base in succession from 1st to home, without an error being charged to a defensive player, is credited with an inside-the-park home run. If, during a play, defensive or fan interference is called, and the awarded bases allow the batter to cross home plate, the batter is credited with a home run.Wes Ferrell holds the all-time Major League Baseball record for home runs hit while playing the position of pitcher. He hit 37 as a pitcher. Baseball Hall of Famers Bob Lemon and Warren Spahn are tied for second with 35 career home runs apiece. Red Ruffing, Earl Wilson, and Don Drysdale are the only other pitchers to hit at least 25 home runs. Jack Stivetts hit a total of 35 home runs in his playing career, 21 as a pitcher.As of the 2019 season, Madison Bumgarner, with 18 home runs, holds the lead among all active pitchers. Bumgarner also has hit the second most home runs by a pitcher since the American League adopted the designated hitter rule in 1973 (behind Carlos Zambrano). Bumgarner has played his whole career thus far for the San Francisco Giants of the National League.

Ferrell also holds the single-season record for home runs by a pitcher, with nine, a mark that he reached in 1931. The record had previously been held by Stivetts, who had hit seven in 1890. Since 1931, six different pitchers have hit seven home runs in a season: Ferrell, Lemon, Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale (twice), Wilson, and Mike Hampton.Babe Ruth started his major league career as a pitcher before moving to the outfield. Only 14 of his 714 career home runs were hit as a pitcher, however. The first pitcher to officially hit a home run was Jack Manning, who accomplished the feat on August 3, 1876. The most home runs by a pitcher in a single game is three, achieved by Jim Tobin on May 13, 1942.

Mel Almada

Baldomero "Mel" Almada Quirós (February 7, 1913 – August 13, 1988) was a center fielder in Major League Baseball who played from 1933 through 1939 for the Boston Red Sox (1933–37), Washington Senators (1937–38), St. Louis Browns (1938–39) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1939). He batted and threw left-handed.

A native of Huatabampo, Sonora, Mexico, Almada made history by becoming the first Mexican baseball player to play in the Major Leagues.

Raised and educated in California, Almada attended Los Angeles High School and was a teammate of another future major leaguer, Bud Bates, on that team. Almada was a fine outfielder with strength and accuracy in his throws. Basically a line-drive hitter with an outstanding speed, he was a respected leadoff hitter for his great ability to see a significant number of pitches, being also able to successfully execute in a bunt situation at any time in the game.

Almada was signed by the Boston Red Sox out of the Pacific Coast League. He made his Major League debut with the Red Sox on September 8, 1933, batting .344 in 14 game appearances. On October 1 of that season, Almada batted the last hit Babe Ruth gave up as a pitcher. Overall, he had three hits and two walks off Ruth.Almada then became an everyday player in 1935, appearing in 151 games and finishing with a .290 average and 20 stolen bases.

In the 1937 midseason, Almada was traded by Boston along with the brothers Rick and Wes Ferrell to the Washington Senators in exchange for Ben Chapman and Bobo Newsom. At the time of the deal, Almada was hitting just .236, but he hit .309 the rest of the way, ending with a .296 average, 91 runs and 27 doubles. On July 25, during the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns, Almada scored five runs to tie a Major League record. When he added four runs in the second game, he set an 18-inning Major League record with nine runs scored in a double-header.

After a poor .244 start in 1938, Almada was sent by Washington to the Browns in exchange for All-Star outfielder Sam West. Almada hit .342 with St. Louis, ending with .311, 101 runs, 197 hits and 29 doubles, all career-high numbers. That season, he also had a phenomenal stretch in which he had a base hit in 54-out-of-56 games from June 21 through Aug 19 (second game), meaning he fell just two hitless games short of Joe DiMaggio's record 56-game hitting streak. But he slumped to .239 in 1939 and was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers. With Brooklyn, he was used as a backup outfielder and pinch-hitting specialist. He made his last Major League appearance on October 1, 1939.

In a seven-season career, Almada posted a .284 batting average with 15 home runs and 197 RBI in 646 games.

Almada returned to the Pacific Coast League for one season with the Sacramento Solons in 1940. He later managed in the Mexican League. In 1972, he was inducted to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.

Mel Almada died in his home state of Sonora, Mexico, at age 75.

Rick Ferrell

Richard Benjamin Ferrell (October 12, 1905 – July 27, 1995) was an American professional baseball player, coach, scout, and executive. He played for 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher for the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox, and Washington Senators, from 1929 through 1947. His brother, Wes Ferrell, was a major league pitcher for 15 seasons, and they were teammates from 1933 through part of 1938 on the Red Sox and Senators. Following his three seasons in minor league baseball, he appealed to the Commissioner of Baseball to become a free agent, claiming that he was being held in the minors though he deserved promotion. The Commissioner agreed, and he was granted free agency; he signed with the St. Louis Browns.

Ferrell was regarded as one of the best catchers in baseball during the 1930s and early 1940s. While playing for the Red Sox in 1933, he and his brother Wes were selected to play for the American League (AL) team in the inaugural 1933 Major League Baseball All-Star Game held on July 6, 1933. His 1,806 games played as a catcher set an AL longevity record which stood for more than 40 years. A seven-time All-Star, Ferrell was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984 by the Veterans Committee. After his playing career, he became a coach with the Senators, and later a scout and general manager with the Detroit Tigers. He died in July 1995.

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