This Day in Red Wings History: Ferraro the hero despite trade talks

Mike Ferraro. (Photo courtesy of the Rochester Red Wings)

By CHUCKIE MAGGIO

If the Tidewater Tides had their druthers, they would’ve been congratulating Mike Ferraro on his game-winning hit on the bus back to Norfolk, Va.

Instead, they traveled home from Rochester with no new third baseman and no wins in their June 27, 1971 doubleheader.

The night before the Red Wings outscored the Tides 18-9 in a doubleheader sweep capped by Ferraro’s go-ahead seventh-inning single, the Tides pursued Ferraro in a trade. Lacking infield depth, Tidewater offered power-hitting first baseman Ron Allen and an unnamed pitcher in exchange for the four-time All-Star’s services.

Minor league clubs were free to execute transactions back then, long before their parent clubs held all power and focused on farm system development rather than their affiliates’ record. 

Red Wings general manager Carl Steinfeldt Jr. acknowledged the left-handed Allen’s talent and fit for Silver Stadium’s short right field fence, but was reluctant to part with Ferraro.

“We could use Allen, but Ferraro is too high a price to pay,” Steinfeldt told the Democrat and Chronicle. “Mike has never played better baseball than he’s playing right now. He’s been hitting the ball real well lately, has developed into a super team player, and hasn’t made an error all season.”

Ferraro rewarded the Wings for keeping him around, collecting three hits over the two games including the game-winner. 

“Syracuse is starting to skid now, and we definitely have our sights set on winning the pennant,” Steinfeld remarked. “Losing Ferraro would be a step in the wrong direction.”

Ferraro hit safely 111 times and drove in 65 runs for the league champions, recording just one error all season.  

Rochester won 86 games that season, including three victories on the weekend they passed on a potentially season-altering trade with Tidewater.

Game 1

Red Wings 10, Tides 2

Tidewater AB  R H BI   Rochester AB R H BI
Ted Martinez 4 1 2 0   Rich Coggins 2 3 2 1
Curtis Brown 4 0 1 0   Bobby Grich 3 3 3 2
John Milner 3 0 0 0   Don Baylor 3 1 1 0
Leroy Stanton 3 0 1 1   Sam Parilla 4 0 2 1
Ron Allen 3 1 1 0   Mike Ferraro 4 0 1 2
Arsenio Diaz 3 0 0 0   Jim Hutto 3 1 1 0
Jimy Williams 3 0 2 1   Johnny Oates 2 1 0 0
Frank Estrada 3 0 0 0   Donato Fazio 3 0 1 1
Jim Bibby 2 0 1 0   Dave Leonhard 2 1 0 0
                     
Totals 28 2 8 2   Totals 26 10 11 7

Tidewater 001 001 0- 2
Rochester 103 051 x- 10

E- Bibby, Diaz, Brown, Williams, Martinez. DP- Tidewater 3, Rochester 1. LOB- Tidewater 6, Rochester 5. 2B- Ferraro, Bibby, Hutto, Allen. 3B- Baylor. HR- Grich 2 (17), Coggins (6). 

Tidewater IP H R ER BB SO          
Bibby (L, 9-2) 4 8 7 7 2 7          
Jerry Robertson 1 3 2 6 1 0          
Fitzgerald 1 0 1 0 2 0
Rochester IP H R ER BB SO          
Leonhard 7 8 2 2 1 4          
                       
 

Time- 1:55

 

Game 2

Red Wings 8, Tides 7

Tidewater AB R H BI   Rochester AB R H BI
Williams 3 1 1 1   Coggins 4 1 3 4
Brown 4 1 1 2   Grich 4 1 2 0
Milner 4 1 1 2   Baylor 3 1 0 0
Stanton 3 0 1 1   Parilla 4 1 3 1
Allen 3 0 1 0   Ferraro 3 1 2 2
Diaz 3 1 0 0   Hutto 3 1 1 0
Lute Barnes 3 1 1 0   Fazio 3 1 2 1
Estrada 3 0 0 0   George Farson 3 0 0 0
Barry Raziano 0 1 0 0   Johnny Oates 0 1 0 0
Gary Sprague 1 1 1 1   John Montague 1 0 0 0
Bill Scripture 1 0 1 0   Mickey Scott 1 0 0 0

Tidewater 060 100 0- 7
Rochester 141 010 1- 8

E- Diaz, Ferraro. DP- Tidewater 1, Rochester 1. LOB- Tidewater 6, Rochester 6. 2B- Grich, Milner, Barnes. 3B- Ferraro. HR- Coggins (7), Sprague (1). SB- Baylor. SF- Ferraro.

Tidewater IP H R ER BB SO          
Raziano 3 8 6 5 1 2          
Robertson 2 2 1 1 0 1          
Don Koonce (L, 3-2) 1 3 1 1 0 1
Rochester IP H R ER BB SO          
Arnold 1.2 0 3 3 5 0          
Manz 0.2 3 3 2 0 0          
Montague 3.2 4 1 1 0 4          
Scott (3-0)   1.1  1  0  0     1     2

Time- 2:13    Attendance- 4,835

 

Also on this day: Pitcher Chuck Stanhope struck out five and allowed two earned runs in 8.1 innings in his Triple-A debut, earning the victory as the Red Wings defeated Iowa 9-2 at Silver Stadium in 1988… Kevin McGehee pitched 11 innings and 111 pitches, allowing just one earned run in a 3-2 Red Wings victory over Toledo in 1993… Ryan Minor went 3-for-3 with a home run, his 12th of the season, as the Red Wings defeated Richmond 8-7 in 2000… Calvin Pickering launched two home runs to lift Rochester to a 4-2 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2001.

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