Moser, Walter

Primary Position: Starting pitcher
Birthplace: Mount Pleasant

First, Middle Names:  Walter Frederick
Date of Birth:  Feb. 27, 1881  Date and Place of Death: Dec. 10, 1946         Burial: West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

High School: Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute, Mount Pleasant, NC
College: Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, NC

Bats: R Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-9, 170
Debut Year: 1906        Final Year: 1911    Years Played: 2
Teams and Years: Philadelphia Phillies, 1906; Boston Red Sox, 1911; St. Louis Browns, 1911

Career Summary
G          W         L           Sv         ERA             IP          SO        WAR
14        0          7           0           4.58           70.2      30         -3.1

Despite what his numbers suggest, Walter Moser could pitch. Down in the minors, he won more than 120 games during a six-year career. He won 19 straight once, a sure sign that the guy could consistently pitch winning baseball. And there’s this: He had 30 wins in another season, a benchmark that few pitchers at any level ever reach. As with any Dead Ball Era pitcher worth his chewing tobacco, he logged more than 300 innings most years and often started both games of doubleheaders.

Why, then, did this effective minor-league pitcher stink it up in the majors? How did a guy who played well everywhere else accumulate in only 14 big-league games the lowest Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, of any his North Carolina pitching peers? That number implies that Moser’s teams were better off with someone else on the mound, that they lost more than three games over his short career with him out there instead of an average pitcher.

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Wood, Ken

Primary Position: Outfield
Birthplace: Lincolnton

First, Middle Names:  Kenneth Lanier
Date of Birth:  July 1, 1924      Date and Place of Death: Nov. 22, 2007, Myrtle Beach, SC
Burial: Cremated

High School: Paw Creek High School, Paw Creek, NC; Central High School, Charlotte, NC
College: Did Not Attend

Bats: R              Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-0, 200
Debut Year: 1948        Final Year: 1953    Years Played: 6
Teams and Years: St. Louis Browns, 1948-51; Boston Red Sox, 1952; Washington Senators, 1952-53

Career Summary
G           AB           H           R           RBI         HR        BA.       OBP.      SLG.      WAR
342     995       223       110      143        34         .224      .298      .393      -3.3

Ken Wood was a lumbering 200-pound outfielder with a cannon for an arm and a bit of lightning in his bat. Unfortunately, he had hands of stone. He was so dreadful in the field, in fact, that his teams would have been better off without him in the lineup.

Poor defense combine with a lackluster bat to give Wood the lowest Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, of any of the more than 400 North Carolina natives who have played in the major leagues. That’s an advanced statistic that attempts to summarize a player’s total contributions to his team – his hitting, pitching, running, fielding — by estimating how many games a team can be expected to win with the player in the lineup instead of an average player coming off the bench or called up from the minors. The player’s value to his team accumulates over the course of his career, and the resulting number is expressed in plus or minus games, which can be useful yardsticks to compare players of different eras.[1] Wood has a -3.3 lifetime WAR, meaning the teams he played for during a six-year career in the majors lost more than three games with him in the lineup instead of a substitute.

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Shore, Ernie

Primary Position: Starting pitcher
Birthplace: East Bend

First, Middle Names:  Ernest Grady
Date of Birth:  March 24, 1891           Date and Place of Death: Sept. 24, 1980, Winston-Salem, NC
Burial: Forsyth Memorial Park Cemetery, Winston-Salem, NC

High School: East Bend Graded School
College: Guilford College, Guilford College, NC

Bats: R Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-4, 220
Debut Year: 1912        Final Year: 1920          Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: New York Giants, 1912; Boston Red Sox, 1914-17; New York Yankees, 1919-20

Awards/Honors: N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, 1979; Boys of Summer Top 100

Career Summary
G          W        L          Sv        ERA     IP             SO       WAR
160    65      43        5          2.47     979.1     309      +9.3

Ernie Shore settled down at the end of the Boston bench at Fenway Park for what he expected to be a long afternoon of idleness. His Red Sox were playing the Washington Senators in a doubleheader on that Saturday, June 23, 1917, and Shore wasn’t to start either game.

Babe Ruth got the ball for the opener. He was not yet the feared slugger who would change the face of baseball, but the 22-year-old was fast becoming the best lefthanded pitcher in the American League. He was on his way to winning 24 games, one more than the previous season. With that raw talent, though, came an uneven temperament, which gradually evened out as Ruth got older.

His first pitch to leadoff batter Ray Morgan was called a ball by home plate umpire Brick Owens, himself a man not known for his forbearance. He had started umpiring as a child on the sandlots of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had become a professional at age 17. He bore the scars of his various altercations with fans and players, including the one on his head from the thrown brick that inspired his nickname.[1] A man brained by a brick wasn’t intimidated by a kid pitcher, no matter how talented. Ruth complained about the call and stomped around the mound and only got angrier after Owens ruled that his second and third offerings were balls as well. He threatened to punch Owens in the nose; the ump told the kid to shut up and keep pitching. After the fourth ball, Ruth rushed towards home plate but was intercepted by his catcher Pinch Thomas. He flailed at Owens as Thomas held him back and later claimed in his autobiography that he struck the umpire on the side of the head. Shore didn’t remember years later that any punches were thrown. No matter. Owens tossed Ruth out of the game. The enraged Babe had to be escorted off the field by several teammates and a police officer.

Manager Jack Berry summoned Shore to the mound. “Try to get out of the inning,” he instructed.[I]

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Ferrell, Rick

Player Name: Ferrell, Rick
Primary Position: Catcher
Birthplace: Durham

First, Middle Names:  Richard Benjamin
Date of Birth:  Oct. 12, 1905  Date and Place of Death: July 27, 1995, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Burial: New Garden Cemetery, Greensboro, NC

High Schools: Guilford High School, Greensboro, NC; Oak Ridge Military Academy, Oak Ridge, NC
College: Guilford College, Greensboro, NC

Bats: R Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-10, 160
Debut Year: 1929       Final Year: 1947          Years Played: 18
Teams and Years: St. Louis Browns, 1929-1933; Boston Red Sox, 1933-37; Washington Senators, 1937-41; Browns, 1941-43; Senators, 1944-45

Career Summary
G            AB       H         R          RBI      HR       BA.      OBP.    SLG.     WAR
1884  6028   1692 687    734     28       .281     .378     .363     +30.8

Awards/Honors: National Baseball Hall of Fame, 1984; N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, 1965; All Star, 1933-38, 1944; Boys of Summer Top 100

Rick Ferrell, one of seven North Carolina natives in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was an unassuming farm boy from Guilford County who spent much of his time in the big leagues crouching in the shadows of some of the sport’s legendary catchers.[1] While contemporaries like Mickey Cochrane, Ernie Lombardi, Gabby Hartnett, and Bill Dickey dominated the sports pages, Ferrell quietly went about his 18 years in the majors, acquiring a reputation as a durable, defensive catcher and a smart handler of pitchers. Unlike most good-glove catchers, Ferrell could be dangerous with a bat in his hands. He could coax a timely walk and would hit around .300 each season. A seven-time All-Star, he caught the entire inaugural game for the American League in 1933 while the great Dickey sat on the bench. He ended his playing career with more games behind the plate than any other league catcher, a record that stood for almost four decades.

Only two other North Carolina major leaguers played more seasons than Ferrell. Only seven appeared in more games. He was cagey hitter with a deft feel for the strike zone, striking out only 277 times in more than 6,000 at bats. Always among the league leaders in walks, he ended his career with a .378 on-base percentage, higher than all but four other natives with at least 1,000 lifetime at bats. Thirteenth on the list of the  Boys of Summer Top 100, he is still among the leaders in a dozen career offensive categories.[2]

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Chakales, Bob

Primary Position: Relief pitcher
Birthplace: Asheville

First, Middle Names: Robert Edward            Nickname: The Golden Greek
Date of Birth:  Aug. 10, 1927  Date and Place of Death: Feb. 18, 2010, Richmond, VA
Burial: Westhampton Memorial Park, Richmond, VA

High School: Benedictine High School, Richmond, VA
College: Did Not Attend

Bats: R             Throws: R        Height and Weight: 6-1, 185
Debut Year: 1951       Final Year: 1957          Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: Cleveland Indians, 1951-54; Baltimore Orioles, 1954; Chicago White Sox, 1955; Washington Senators, 1956-57; Boston Red Sox, 1957

Career Summary
G         W        L          Sv        ERA     IP         SO       WAR
171     15       25        11        4.54     420.1  187      0.3

Bob Chakales was a serviceable and, at times, effective relief pitcher during his seven years of bouncing around the American League. When he retired, he turned an avocation, golf, into a lucrative second career building courses all over the country.

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