David "Boo" Ferriss, a former Red Sox pitcher and pitching coach and member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame, passed away yesterday in Cleveland, MS, at 94 years old.
Ferriss spent his entire nine-year professional playing career in the Red Sox organization (1942, 1945-52). He appeared in 144 major league games and made 103 starts from 1945-50, going 65-30 with a 3.64 ERA (356 ER/880.0 IP), 67 complete games, 12 shutouts, and eight saves.
As a rookie in 1945, Ferriss finished fourth in American League Most Valuable Player voting after going 21-10 with two saves and a 2.96 ERA (87 ER/264.2 IP) in 35 appearances (31 starts). He threw a complete game and earned the win in each of his first seven major league outings, finishing the season as the club's leader in starts, wins, and ERA.
The 1946 season was equally impressive for Ferriss, who went 25-6 with a 3.25 ERA (99 ER/274.0 IP) and earned a selection to the All-Star Game. After recording 26 complete games and six shutouts in the regular season, the right-hander threw a six-hit shutout in Game 3 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He also started Game 7 of the Fall Classic but did not factor into the decision in Boston's 4-3 loss.
An arm injury suffered during the 1947 season shortened Ferriss' career, as he appeared in only four major league games in 1949 and only one in 1950. After pitching for Boston's Triple-A affiliate in Louisville from 1951-52, he returned to the major league club as a pitching coach for five seasons from 1955-59. Ferriss continued his baseball career as head coach of the Delta State University baseball team in his home state of Mississippi, leading the school to 639 wins and three appearances in the Division 2 College World Series from 1960-88.
Ferriss was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2002. He still holds at least a share of several franchise records, including most consecutive wins at home (13 in 1946) and most wins (21), shutouts (5), and complete games (26) in a season as a rookie. He and Cy Young are the only two pitchers in Red Sox history to win at least 10 consecutive games in a season more than once, a feat he accomplished in 1946.
Ferriss is survived by his wife, Miriam; his children, David Jr. and Margaret; his grandchildren, David III and Miriam; and his great grandchildren, Mary, Kathryn, and Jane.