Red Ruffing
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, 1967
Charles Herbert Ruffing
Born: May 3, 1904 at Granville, Ill.
Died: February 17, 1986 at Mayfield Heights, O.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Height: 6.01 Weight: 205

Non-playing roles with Mets
  • Coach 1962

Share your memories of Red Ruffing


December 21, 2002
Red seemed pretty smart for a guy who lost his toes when he ran over his own foot with a lawn mower. After all, he did coach Al Jackson and Roger Craig (though he did coach Craig Anderson and Sherman Jones into oblivion).

February 21, 2005
High-powered coaching staff that was in 1962, what with Hornsby and Ruffing. I'd like to find out more about how the Mets obtained his services -- judging by the times he was a Yankee, he was not a crony of Casey's.

Red was also an excellent-hitting pitcher who was often used as a pinch-hitter.

Bob P
March 3, 2005
To correct a post from a few years ago: Ruffing lost four toes in a mine accident as a boy, not because of a lawn mower.

VIBaseball, I can't say how he got the Mets job either, but I did read that Ruffing was a scout and minor league manager from his retirement in 1947 until 1962.

A few bits of trivia about Red Ruffing:

He started his career with the Red Sox, and on April 19, 1929 he was the starting pitcher for Boston on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. In that game he gave up a home run to a former Red Sox player, Babe Ruth. The memorable thing about this game was that it marked the first time the Yankees wore uniform numbers.

The Yankees acquired Ruffing from Boston in May of 1930 in exchange for Cedric Durst, who was a backup outfielder, and $50,000. At that point, Ruffing's career record was 39-96. In his next 15 years with the Yanks he went 231-124, with 42 shutouts and a 7-2 World Series record.

Ruffing was also one of the best hitting pitchers in history, batting .269 with 36 homers (third among all pitchers) and 273 RBI. He also was used as a pinch- hitter 228 times in his career.

Ruffing was also drafted by the Army in January, 1943 just months short of his 38th birthday, despite missing four toes on his left foot.

Jonathan Stern
July 7, 2005
I admire Red Ruffing for putting together a Hall of Fame career (albeit with the Yanks) despite his childhood injury. But for my purposes, more interesting was his stint as pitching coach for the 1962 Mets. The man coached two 20-game-losers. He would have coached three had Casey Stengel not benched Jay Hook after he lost #19. Casey did not want to experience the indignity of having three 20-game-losers on his team. I'm sure Red did not relish the possibility either. Did he coach again?

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