I must confess, I had no idea who Dick Farrell was. Now that I do know a little bit about him, I feel like a better fan for it.
Dick Farrell only spent one season in Dodger Blue, but enjoyed a 14-year Major League career. He originally came our way via a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies during the early part of the 1961 season, but was left unprotected during the subsequent expansion draft. He was picked up by the Houston Colt .45's later in the year.
Farrell's money pitch was a blazing fastball that was considered the fastest in the game. In fact, Walter Alston is said to have compared his fastball to that of Dodgers hurler Don Drysdale. Below is a great story about him from his SABR biography written by David Skelton:
Farrell was the master of a “blazing fastball [that] frightened batters … [wherein] a foul ball … was considered a big achievement,” and no less a personage than the great Ted Williams would lament Boston’s decision not to sign the youngster when he participated in a Red Sox tryout at Fenway Park in the early 1950s.As a Dodger, he came out of the 'pen to be their closer. Unfortunately, Turk Farrell's time in Blue was not a success. He finished 28 games; saving 10 of them, but recorded a ERA of 5.06 and 6 losses. The Dodgers would end up 4 games out of the 1st to end the season.
For Farrell, his success on the mound started right after he left Los Angeles. In fact, you can say that he is a classic example of a pitcher whose win-loss numbers do not appropriately correlate with how good he was for that period. From 1962 to 1965, as primarily a starter for the upstart Houston franchise, he would have a 3.20 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, ERA+ of 108, 16.7 WAR, while winning just 46 games and losing 54. In 1962, he would lose 20 games while representing Houston in the All-Star game.
Below are complete scans of every page from Dick "Turk" Farrell's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet. Click any pic to embiggen. BTW, if you want to find out more about Farrell I suggest reading his SABR biography. It is excellent. Go here for that. Oh... BTW, Farrell's nickname, "Turk", was passed down to him from his father. His dad was a well regarded athlete of large size in his day, so he was henceforth dubbed "Big Turk". Therefore, his son was called Turk - not "Little Turk" since he too could hardly be thought of as small in stature.
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