Charles Herbert "Red" Ruffing (May 3, 1905 – February 17, 1986) was an American professional baseball player. A pitcher, he played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1924 through 1947. He played for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. Ruffing is most remembered for his time with the highly successful Yankees teams of the 1930s and 1940s.
Ruffing dropped out of school as a child to work in a coal mine in his native Illinois. He played for the mine's company baseball team as an outfielder and first baseman. After he lost four toes from his left foot in a mining accident, he became unable to run in the field, and switched to pitching. He played in minor league baseball in 1923 and 1924 before making his MLB debut with the Red Sox. After struggling with Boston, pitching to a 36–93 win–loss record, the Red Sox traded Ruffing to the Yankees, where he became successful, pitching as the Yankees' ace through 1946. After one season with the White Sox, Ruffing retired from pitching to work in coaching. He served as a bullpen coach for the White Sox, a pitching coach for the New York Mets, and a scout and minor league instructor for the Cleveland Indians.
Ruffing was a member of six World Series championship teams with the Yankees. He also appeared in six MLB All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. The Yankees dedicated a plaque to Ruffing in Monument Park in 2004.
By Dean Hanley
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