25 Nov

ode to boo

In memory of Boo Ferriss, who died on Nov. 24 of last year, here’s a quick review of his major league debut, which started off a little shaky but wound up being brilliant. It was April 29, 1945, a Sunday in Philadelphia, the first game of a twinbill at Shibe Park, one of baseball’s great cathedrals. Ferriss, then 23, got the ball for Boston; he was opposed by Bobo Newsom. After the Red Sox went quietly in the first inning, Ferriss faced Charlie Metro to begin the bottom half. Metro walked. Then Ferriss threw a wild pitch. Then he walked the second batter. He got an out but walked yet another batter to the load the bases. A double play ended the inning. Ferriss walked another batter to start the second but ended that inning with two strikeouts. From there, the tall Shaw native and Mississippi State alum settled in. He yielded two more walks and five hits all told but never allowed an A’s runner to touch home plate. The Red Sox won 2-0; it was the first of Ferriss’ 65 MLB victories in a career that would be cut short by injury just five years later. He is still revered in Red Sox Nation. And he would go on to carve out a whole new legacy as the coach at Delta State, helping to shape the game in his home state.

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