June 11, 1937
The Boston Red Sox and the Washington Senators made a five player trade, five days before the trading deadline. At the time the Red Sox were in desperate need of quality pitching so they traded brothers Wes and Rick Ferrell along with outfielder Mel Almada to the Senators, for pitcher Bobo Newsom and outfielder Ben Chapman.
Of the three players picked up by the Senators only catcher Rick Ferrell played more than two seasons with the team. During his days with the Senators, Rick Ferrell played in 659 games in his three stints “1937-1940, 1944-1945 and 1947″ with the team. During his second go round with the Senators the 38 year-old catcher was asked to do the impossible by catching the Senators’ four knuckleball throwing starting pitchers. During the ’44 season the Senators’ knuckleballers, Dutch Leonard, Roger Wolff, Johnny Niggeling, and Mickey Haefner had a combined record of 40-52 and the Senators ended the ’44 season in last place in the American League with a dismal 64-90 record.
During the 1945 season with Ferrell once again behind the plate, the four knuckle ball pitchers will go on to improve their combined record to 60-43. With the great improvement from their pitchers the surprising Senators will battle the Detroit Tigers for the American League Pennant. The Washington Senators will miss winning their first AL Pennant in twelve years by one and a half games.
Rick Ferrell retired from the Senators after the ’45 season and became a coach for the team for the 1946 season. During the 1947 season the 41 year-old Farrell came out of retirement and played in 37 games for the Senators. The future Hall of Fame catcher played in his last game on September 14, 1947.