Richard Joseph "Turk" Farrell (April 8, 1934 – June 10, 1977) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who had a 14-year career from 1956 to 1969.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Colt .45s and Astros, all of the National League.
Before the 1953 season, Farrell was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent. The 19-year-old was assigned to the class A Schenectady Blue Jays, where over a two-year span (1953–54), he would build an 18–18 record and a 3.30 ERA. He spent 1955 in the IL with the Syracuse Chiefs, going 12–12 with a 3.94 ERA, and in 1956 he played for the Miami Marlins, going 12–6 with a 2.50 ERA.
Farrell would get a late-season look in 1956 by the Phillies and would lose his only decision, but set the groundwork for a 14-year run in the major leagues. Farrell was one of the young Phillies pitchers of the late 1950s, along with Jack Meyer and Jim Owens, dubbed the "Dalton Gang" for their fun-loving late-hour escapades. It was once said of Farrell by a teammate, "When he loses, he loses his temper, but when he wins he's the life of the party." After one tough defeat he broke a mirror with his fist in a Milwaukee bar explaining, "I looked in the mirror and didn't like what I saw so I threw a punch."
Phillies fans liked what they saw of the 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) hard-throwing rookie right-hander in 1957 when he was 10–2 plus 10 saves and a 2.38 ERA in 52 appearances out of the bullpen. On September 3, 1957, Farrell was the winning pitcher for the Phils in the last of fifteen home games the Dodgers played at the Jersey City Roosevelt Stadium, 3–2 in twelve innings. After four more seasons of relief work with the Phils, Farrell was traded to the Dodgers early in 1961.
Farrell was selected in the 1961 MLB expansion draft by the Houston Colt .45s. In 1962, Farrell finished with the seventh best ERA at 3.02, but with a poor 10–20 record.
A starter in Houston, Farrell was used almost exclusively in relief with Philadelphia and Los Angeles. His career totals include 590 games pitched (134 starts), a won-loss record of 106–111, 83 saves, and an ERA of 3.45.
He was selected to the National League All-Star team 4 times (1958, 1962, 1964 and 1965) in his career.
Farrell last pitched in the major leagues on September 19, 1969 for the Phillies against the Expos in a game the Phillies lost 10–6. Farrell went 1 2⁄3 innings in the first game of a doubleheader at Parc Jarry, allowing one hit and striking out one. He would never pitch in the majors again, and would leave the US shortly thereafter for good. Farrell moved to England, where he lived and worked on an offshore oil rig just off Great Britain in the North Sea.
He was killed on June 10, 1977, in an auto accident in Great Yarmouth, England, at age 43.
By Dean Hanley
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