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Charles "Red" Ruffing

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  • Charles "Red" Ruffing

    Red Ruffing is my favorate player, and is also the basis for my user name, I wrote a little biography on him, and I wanted to share it with you all...hope you like it.


    Charlie “Red” Ruffing was born May 3, 1904 in Granville Illinois. Ironically, he was born on the same day, 13 years after future Hall of Fame pitcher Eppa Rixey. Not long after being born, Reds family moved to Nokomis, Illinois. At the age of 15, Red started to work in the mines with his father. Reds father managed the company baseball team that Red played the Outfield for. Red had a strong arm, and good contact and bat power. It seemed as if Red was going to become the best Outfielder to play since Ty Cobb. Though, one day, while working in the mines, Red got into a gruesome accident. His left foot got caught between two mining cars, which crushed the foot, and cost him four toes. This accident brought an immediate end to Red baseball playing days, and it seemed he would never play again. Though it was only one year later he returned. Yet, he couldn’t play the Outfield like he used to, so he made a transition, he went to the pitchers mound, it didn’t take him long to become very good, and he found a job pitching. He was signed by a local semi-pro team, and was paid $75 to pitch 3 games. About a year later, in 1923, Red singed his first professional contract with Danville of the 3-I League.
    3-I was a very successful league and baseball hall of famers Lou Boudreau, Mordecai Brown, Red Faber, Hank Greenberg, Burleigh Grimes, and Carl Hubbell all played in it.
    In 1924, Red played for the Dover team of the Eastern Shore League. He played on the same team as future Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane, who, at the time, went by the name Frank King to protect his college eligibility. Future Red Sox Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx also played in the Eastern Shore league, on a team managed by Yankee Hall of Famer Frank “Home Run” Baker.
    Even though Red had a losing record on Danville and Dover, he was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1924.
    Red played his first game on May 31st, 1924, a 12-0 loss to the Washington Senators. His first start was on June 23rd, a 6-3 loss to the Athletics. The Sox got their first win when Red pitched on September 21st, as his Sox defeated the Indians 11-5, even though the win wasn’t recorded to Red himself.
    The next 6 seasons (1925-1930) would be long ones as Reds struggles started in 1925, as he went 9-18 with an ERA of 5.01. He followed with 6-15; 5-13 records the next two seasons before recording his first double digit win season in 1928. Only part bad about his first 10 win season, was it was also a 25 loss season, as he went 10-25, in what seemed to be the end of his career. This is because in 1929, Red went 9-22, and it was known something needed to be done.
    Red started 1930 off 0-3, which took his career record to 36-96. On May 6, 1930, 2 days after celebrating his 26th birthday, Red was traded. He was sent to the New York Yankees for Cedric Durst and $5,000. His first game for the Yankees was 5 days later, where they won 7-6 at Yankee Stadium. Les than 10 after being traded to the Yankees, Red got to face his old team the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Yankees won that game 3-2, and Red improved to 2-3 on the year 2-0 for the Yankees. Red got to play the Red Sox 2 more times that season, and won both games. Red surprised many as he went 15-8, 15-5 for the Yankees.
    Red Started 1931 off vs. the Red Sox and defeated them 6-3, a season in which Red went 16-14, and the Yankees finished second in the AL.
    1932 was Red finally got his first taste of post season as the Yankees finished atop the AL, and faced the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Red pitched game one of the series, and won it pitching a complete game and only allowing 3 ER. The Yankees went onto sweep that series and win their first of many Championships with Red Ruffing.
    The Yankee finished in 2nd 3 times from 1933-1935, and Red was 44-36 in that time.
    Reds true value showed as he had a remarkable stretch from 1936-1939 where he won over 20 games in each season. In all four of those seasons, the Yankees won the World Series, and he had one of the most remarkable performances in the 1938 Series, a season where he lead the league with 21 Wins. He pitched 2 games in the Series both complete games, on only allowed 3 total runs in both combined. He finished the Series 2-0 18 IP and a 1.5 ERA.
    The Yankees took a one-year break from the World Series in 1940, as Red went only 15-12. But in 1941, the Yankees were right back in it.
    They made it to the World Series again in 1941, and Red was 1-0 in that series as the Yankees won it all that year. Yet that ended up being Reds final WS victory.
    They made it to the World Series in 1942, and Red Started the Yankees off with a game one win. But the Cardinals proceeded to win the next 3 games, and the Yankees relied on Red to try and win game 5, and give the Yankees hope to win the series. Red pitched 8 great innings before allowing 2 runs to score in the top of the ninth, and the Cardinals to win 4-2.
    In his World Series career, Red was 7-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 6 Yankees Championships.
    Even though the Yankees won the World Series in 1943, Red wasn’t thee to be a part of it. Despite his disability, Red was drafting into the Army, where he served for 3 years before returning to the Yankees in 1945.
    Reds dreams of being a 300 game winner were crushed when he broke his kneecap in 1946, only 30 wins away, and was released by the Yankees. He was picked up in 1947 by the Chicago White Sox, where he posted a 3-5 record, then retired.
    Charlie Ruffing finished his career 273-225, modern day 31st on the all-time wins list, 7 more wins that previously mentioned Red Sox Hall of Famer Eppa Rixey.
    It was 20 years after he retired for him, in 1967, to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
    Sadly, in 1973, Red suffered a stroke, that forced him to be hospitalized and need to sit in a wheelchair for a while. Red died February 17, 1986, ironically, 1,986 was the same number of strikeouts Red finished his career with.

  • #2
    Unfortunately, Ruffing seems to be underappreciated these days.


    • #3
      Yea, its a shame, I've sent several letters to the YES network about his yankeeography, and I'm also in the works of writing a letter to Billy Chrystal about possibaly making a Red Ruffing movie, it won't work but its worth a try, I also own about 50 Red Ruffing things including very rare items like his deploma and his 1930s Canadian Gourdy card.

      ^^All things from before 1950


      • #4
        Wow that collection looks amazing. Red Ruffing's diploma!!! That's pretty intense.


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