Ferrell Remembered for Pitching, Hitting Skill

Former All-Star one of 10 finalists on Pre-Integration Committee Hall of Fame ballot

November 19, 2012
2013 Pre-Integration Committee candidate Wes Ferrell. (NBHOF Library)

On the rubber or at the plate, Wes Ferrell was a star.

Ferrell, recognized as one of the 20th Century’s top hitting pitchers and known for his fierce competition and passion, is one of 10 finalists on this year’s Pre-Integration Committee ballot at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Pre-Integration Committee will vote on Dec. 2 at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and the results of the vote will be announced Dec. 3.

The 10 candidates on the Pre-Integration Committee ballot are: Sam Breadon, Bill Dahlen, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Hank O’Day, Alfred Reach, Jacob Ruppert, Bucky Walters, Deacon White and Ferrell. Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of all ballots cast will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2013.

Born Feb. 2, 1908, Ferrell played for the Cleveland Indians (1927-1933), Boston Red Sox (1934-1937), Washington Senators (1937-1938), New York Yankees (1938-1939), Brooklyn Dodgers (1940) and Boston Braves (1941). He pitched 15 seasons in the majors and earned a 193-128 record with a 4.04 ERA and a .601 winning percentage in 374 games. His career won-loss percentage was 86 points higher than that of his teams.  Ferrell never pitched in a postseason game, but was named to two All-Star teams, including the first one in 1933.

A durable right-hander, Ferrell had eight seasons of 200-plus innings, topping the 300 plateau twice and leading the league three times.

Ferrell also had six seasons of 20 or more wins including each of his first four full seasons, the only 20th Century pitcher to accomplish the feat. He led his teams in wins seven times and averaged 19 wins per season over 10 full seasons in the majors.

In 1936, Ferrell won 20 games for a ’36 Red Sox team that won only 74 times on the year, and Ferrell won 20 games twice after suffering a severe arm injury.

As a hitter, Ferrell hit .280 lifetime and set pitcher records for home runs in a season (9) and a career (38). Ferrell collected 329 hits, 57 doubles, 13 triples, 208 RBI, 175 runs and a .446 slugging percentage. He even drew in 129 walks, resulting in a .351 career on-base percentage.  

Ferrell passed away on Dec. 9, 1976.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum