Thomas Jerome Ferrick
born Thomas Jerome Feerick
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 220 lb.
- High School Glenclyffe Seminary
- Debut April 19, 1941
- Final Game September 28, 1952
- Born January 6, 1915 in the Bronx, NY USA
- Died October 15, 1996 in Lima, PA USA
Tom Ferrick was born in the South Bronx in 1915, to a young mother. His father died when he was just nine years old. He grew up in an extended Irish family headed by his grandfather, who worked for many years as a doorman at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. He was judged wild and sent to the seminary for high school, and spent time at Glenclyffe Seminary preparing for the priesthood. At one point, in the early 1930s, the New York Yankees showed interest in signing him, but his uncles (some of whom were only 10 years older than him) refused. As he was below the age of 18, he complied with his family's wishes, however, upon turning 18, he signed with the New York Giants.
Ferrick was named the Richmond Colts' "Player of the Year" in 1937 when he went 20-12 and pitched 279 innings. The reward for this honor was that they passed a cigar box around in the stands, and people tossed in coins to reward the player. After all the money was collected, Ferrick sat on the side of the field and counted the money. Though the people in the stands were just as poor as the players, he had collected enough to take a bus home, to New York, to be with his twice-widowed mother. He attended spring training with the Giants in 1939, but was released by the club due to an injured arm.
He made his big league debut with the Athletics in 1941, then was sold to the Cleveland Indians. Ferrick enlisted in the Navy on Christmas day in 1942, and served as a Shipfitter, Third-Class at Naval Station Great Lakes in Lake County, Illinois. While serving in Hawaii in 1944, he played baseball at Kāneʻohe Bay Naval Air Station, and starred in the 1944 Pacific Service World Series between the Navy and U.S. Army. In 1945, Chief Petty Officer Ferrick participated in the Navy’s Western Pacific Tour, playing for the Fifth Fleet team. He was discharged in January 1946.
On June 8, 1950, while a member of the St. Louis Browns, Ferrick was brought into a game against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. At the time, the Red Sox held a 29-3 lead over the Browns. He prevented further scoring by the home team, thus allowing his team to escape the indignity of becoming the first team in the post-1900 era to give up 30 runs in a game. A week later, he was traded to the Yankees. Pitching for the New York Yankees, he won Game 3 of the 1950 World Series with one scoreless inning in relief of Ed Lopat on October 3rd; he won the game when Jerry Coleman hit a game-winning single off Russ Meyer in the bottom of the 9th.
After retiring as a player, he was a long-time coach and scout. He was a Cincinnati Reds coach from 1954 to 1958 before spending 1959 on the Philadelphia Phillies staff. He was then with the Detroit Tigers from 1960 to 1963 and the Kansas City Athletics in 1964 and 1965. He later was a Kansas City Royals scout for over 20 years and was instrumental in the club's decision to draft George Brett.
Ferrick's son, Tom Ferrick, Jr., is a columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer and has occasionally shared reminiscences of his father's playing and coaching career in his column (which is not normally a sports column).