Red Sox Pitcher "Boo" Ferriss Says Thanks


As he approaches his 90th birthday, legendary Boston Red Sox hurler Dave “Boo” Ferriss honored me with a page of insights.

I asked about two subjects beyond the stellar stats of the pride of Mississippi. In the days before shoulder surgery, a 1947 torn labrum grounded Ferriss’s skyrocketing career. Fresh off a 25-win season that sent the BoSox to the World Series, Ferriss looked destined for greatness.

He began with a yellow Post-It note attached to my original letter.

“Tom —
Thank you for your nice letter. Glad to answer your questions. Keep enjoying our great game.
Best regards,
Boo Ferriss”

He found it waiting at Delta State University, serving as the school’s baseball coach. When the college creates a museum in your honor, you’ve had a good career!

Before his shoulder injury, Ferriss battled asthma. He wrote:

“It was difficult at times, more so in the late summers. The Red Sox saw that I got all the medical help I needed.”

Ferriss debuted in 1945, fresh from World War II service. Did he have time to think about baseball?

“Practiced on off-duty hours. In no way baseball interfered with our duties.”

More remarkable than two 20-win seasons in Boston is the upbeat way Ferriss remembers his brief time as a major leaguer.

“I’m very grateful for my years as a player and coach on the professional level and the colleged level. I don’t think I can repay baseball for all that it has given me. the endured friendships and associations are priceless.”

So are you, “Boo” Ferriss!

A great taste of Ferriss’s storytelling skills can be found in the fine SABR biography crafted by leading Red Sox researcher Bill Nowlin.

Ferriss shared a review of his biography, Boo: A Life in Baseball, Well-Lived. Does he like the book? Ferriss penned beside the name of Rick Cleveland, (the book’s author) — “Rick Cleveland, top sports columnist in Mississippi.” Find out more at What special connection does the coach share with famed novelist John Grisham? It’s all in Grisham’s foreward!

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