/The great Boo Ferriss has died at 94

The great Boo Ferriss has died at 94

Ferriss was the son of William Douglas Ferriss, a Delta farmer, and Lellie Meadow Ferriss (of Shaw), on December 5, 1921. Young David was pretty much his own nickname. When he was a toddler, he tried to attract Will D’s attention. But he couldn’t say “brother”. He ended up saying “Boo.” His name stuck. Ferriss excelled in baseball at Shaw High School where he graduated 1939. Ferriss was offered contracts by several Major League clubs, but instead signed a Mississippi State baseball scholarship. Dudy Noble, a legendary coach and athletic director, awarded Ferriss the first ever full baseball scholarship. Column: Boo was a great friend and Ferriss became an All-Southeastern Conference hitter. He also played basketball for two years. He was a Kappa Sigma member, was president of his junior class, and was involved in student government affairs. He signed a contract with Boston Red Sox in his junior year. In June 1942, he entered professional baseball as a member of the Greensboro, N.C. Team of the Class A Piedmont League. He led Greensboro to its first league championship at age 20. World War II interrupted Ferriss’s baseball career. He was a member of the Army Air Corps, where he suffered severe asthma and was forced to be medically discharged in February 1945. Ferriss was able to return to baseball and the Red Sox team, and was remarkably promoted quickly to the Major League team. On April 29, 1945, his first Major League game was a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia A’s. His second start at Fenway Park was a 5-0 win over the New York Yankees. His first eight wins, all complete and with four shutouts, set him up as a Major League record. He defeated every American League team in those eight starts. His 21-10 record earned him Rookie of Year honors. Ferriss’ 1946 record was even better with a 25-6 record and a 3.25 earned runs average. He also won 26 complete games to be the American League’s leading pitcher. He set several Major League records including the 13th consecutive win in a home park. He tied Wes Ferrell’s Major League record for winning 46 games in his two first seasons. Ferriss was named to the 1946 American League All-Star Team and pitched a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals during the third game at Fenway Park in the 1946 World Series. As the only Red Sox pitcher to throw a World Series win, he joined Bill Dinneen and Babe Ruth. Ferriss’s promising career as a pitcher ended in 1947 when he suffered a terrible shoulder injury. He finished his Major League career with a record of 65-30. Ferriss was the Red Sox’s pitching coach in 1955 after a series of failed, injury-plagued returns to the minor league levels. Ferriss accepted the role of athletic director at Delta State in 1959. He built one of America’s most successful college baseball teams, which produced many future coaches and championship teams. He coached for 26 years and had a record of 639 wins, 387 losses, and eight tie. His teams won four Gulf South Conference championships, advanced to the Division II World Series three time, finishing second and third once, respectively. Ferriss was the father of several Major League players, 20 All-Americans, and over 60 future baseball coaches. Ferriss was proud that 92 percent of his players earned college degrees. Ferriss is a beloved figure among his former players because he cared for them and their families well beyond their playing days. Ferriss was also a coach and served as the Executive Director of Delta State University Foundation for 19 years. Ferriss Field was the name given to the Delta State baseball diamond after Ferriss retired as a coach. It is the heart of one of the most comprehensive college baseball facilities in the country, with a Boo Ferriss Museum as well as an indoor workout area. A statue of Ferriss was dedicated to the ballpark in his honour in 2015. His achievements include his induction into both the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, in 1964. He is a member in all of seven sports halls, including Mississippi State, Delta State and Gulf South Conference, as well as the American Baseball Coaches Association. In 2003, his Mississippi State jersey was retired. That year also saw the first award of the C Spire Ferriss Trophy. Each season, the Ferriss Trophy goes to the best college baseball player from Mississippi. Ferriss was awarded the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame’s Rube Award in 2012 for his lifetime contributions towards Mississippi sports. Ferriss was a volunteer at many baseball clinics across the country, including those in Mississippi. Ferriss was accompanied by Bobby Doerr, his former teammate, to clinics in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, Okinawa and Japan by the U.S. State Department. Doerr and Ferriss also ran the first ever Guam baseball clinic. Ferriss was active in community, church and civic affairs well into his 90s. He was a charter member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Cleveland. He served as an elder in that church and is long remembered as the father and founder of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Mississippi. His parents, his sister Martha Anne Parker (her husband Henry Lee Parker) and his brother Will D. Ferriss (his wife Toni), preceded Ferriss in death. His beloved wife Miriam Izard Ferriss of 67-years is his survivor. He was also survived by Dr. David Ferriss Jr. (Pam), son of Martha Anne Parker and her husband Henry Lee Parker, and daughter Margaret White (John), of Madison. David Ferriss III, grandson of Nashville, Miriam Pittman (Chase), and three great grandchildren, Mary Chase Pittman Kathryn Pittman, Jane Pittman, as well as numerous nieces/ne and Jane Pittman and Kathryn Pittman, Kathryn Pittman, Kathryn Pittman, Jane Pittman and Kathryn Pittman. Visitation will take place on Tuesday, November 29, from 4-8 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church. A memorial service at Covenant Presbyterian Church will take place at 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 30, with Rev. Tim Starnes will officiate. A brief visitation will be held in the fellowship hall for those who haven’t visited the family. Burial will take place in private. You may make memorials to the Delta State Baseball program, P.O. Box 361-DSU in Cleveland, MS 38733. Fellowship of Christian Athletes P. O. Box 449 Ridgeland MS 39158; Covenant Presbyterian Church P.O. Box 449, Ridgeland, MS 39158; Covenant Presbyterian Church, P.O.