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Remembering Red Ruffing:  Sports Profile

"Run, run, run."   

Pain was a constant for Charles Herbert Ruffing as a result of the loss of four toes on his left foot from a mine accident. But he looked past the pain and pitched his way to the top in the 1930s becoming one of the great hurlers in Yankee history.
Born May 3, 1905 in Granville, Illinois the kid they called "Red" was already playing for the Nokomis mining company team piloted by his father at age 15. Four years later Ruffing was on the Red Sox.

With Boston, Ruffing twice led the league in losses. In l930, the Yankees acquired him for $50,000 and Cedric Durst. It was another case of a player coming to the Yankees and shining. Ruffing won 22 games in his first New York season.

Utilizing a moving fast ball with a sharp breaking curve, the powerfully built Ruffing  went 23l-l24 in l5 Yankee seasons. He had four consecutive 20-victory seasons and won seven of nine World Series decisions for the Yankees. His three main rules of training were "Run, run, run."

A superb all around athlete, Ruffing was one of  the best fielding and hitting pitchers ever. Eight times he batted over .300. 

Number 15 was so good with the bat (he hit .29l with 5 home runs in l932) that McCarthy liked to use him as a pinch hitter. He had more than 200 career pinch hit at bats.  The all time leader among Yankee pitchers in home runs, RBIs' and batting average for a season, eight times Ruffing batted over .300.

Ruffing played on seven championship teams. First among all Yankee pitchers in complete games, Ruffing is second in innings pitched, wins, third in strikeouts and games pitched, and ninth in winning percentage. 

Bill Dickey said of him: "If I were asked to choose the best pitcher I've ever caught, I would have to say Ruffing."


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You can reach Harvey Frommer at:   

Email:  harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU 

About the Author:

Harvey Frommer is in his  38th year of writing books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to acclaim in 2011.  The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One. 

His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath, The Sporting News, among other publications.

FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
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Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch. 
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Harvey Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz  Frommer are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth  College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. 

This Article is Copyright 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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