Donald Hugh "Midget" Ferrarese (born June 19, 1929 in Oakland, California) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1955 to 1962 with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals. A left-handed thrower, he batted right-handed. An attendant of St. Mary's College of California, he was fairly small at 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m), 170 pounds. He apparently got his nickname from his small size.
He was used both as a starter and reliever in his career. He started his career as a reliever on April 11, 1955 at the age of 26-in the first big league year of his career, he showed some promise, posting a 3.00 ERA in 6 games (9 innings of work). He never quite lived up to that promise, though. Perhaps his best year when he was mostly a starter was 1959. He went 5 and 3 with a 3.20 ERA in 76 innings of work. Although he walked 51 and struck out only 45, he still gave up only 58 hits that season.
His finest season as a reliever was his last season. Spending time with the Phillies and Cardinals, Ferrarese posted a 3.27 ERA (it was only 2.70 with the Cardinals) in 63+ innings of work. Although he went only 1 and 5, his ERA was considerable lower than the league average of 4.21.
He played his final big-league game on September 22, 1962. Overall, he was 19 and 36 with a 4.00 ERA in just over 506 innings of work. He struck out 350 and walked 295 batters.
His career batting average was .156 (20 for 128). The highlights of his hitting career came on May 26, 1959 and June 22, 1962. On May 26, 1959, he collected three hits in three at-bats, all of them being doubles. He drove in two of the three runs the Indians scored, to help beat the Chicago White Sox 3 to 0. The pitchers he victimized in that game were Dick Donovan and Gerry Staley. On June 22, 1962, he made the final hit of his career a good one. Facing pitcher Jim Owens, Ferrarese hit a two-run home run in the third inning. That wasn't enough though, as the Phillies-his former team-beat the Cardinals 11 to 3. But, for every success there seems to be a failure—like his entire 1956 season. He collected one hit in 28 at-bats that year, for a .036 average. Although he was not a good hitter, he did not strikeout too much. Adam Dunn, for example, has struck out in 32.7% of all his at-bats. Ferrarese, for example, struck out in only 20.3% of his at-bats.
As a fielder, he posted a .952 fielding percentage. Overall, his career statistics are most similar to those of Bryan Clark. He spent four seasons with Ray Moore and Minnie Miñoso—longer than any other teammates.
After his career ended, he moved to Apple Valley, California to work for his parents deli, Hugo’s. After inheriting the business and moving it to Victorville, he grew tired of the industry and got into real estate. Ferrarese now manages Apple Valley Land Company, which deals in commercial real estate. One of his greatest achievements to date and a culmination of his charitable efforts is the Don Ferrarese Charitable Foundation.
- ^ a b c d e f g Pitching Splits, Batter Matchups, Daily pitching logs at Retrosheet and daily pitching gamelogs at Baseball-Reference.com.
- ^ Baseball Reference Bullpen
By Dean Hanley
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