Wednesday, September 18, 2013

no. 214 - al ferrara

Who is the man: Al Ferrara was entering his last season in the major leagues when this card hit packs. In his last full season, in 1970, he batted .277 in 372 at-bats for the Padres.

Can ya dig it: This is Ferrara's final card from his career.

Right on: Yet another of the first 1971s I ever received. I traded for it on the front porch of my friend as a young teenager.

You see this cat Ferrara is a bad mother: As a member of the Dodgers in the 1960s, Ferrara had show business connections and made TV appearances as an actor in Gilligan's Island and Batman. He also was a classically trained pianist who played Carnegie Hall when he was 16.

Shut your mouth: At the end of his career, Ferrara was traded to the Reds in exchange for backup outfielder Angel Bravo. In his first game with Cincinnati, he misplayed a ball in the outfield and manager Sparky Anderson was waiting for him on the top step when Ferrara returned to the dugout. Ferrara told him, "What do you expect for Angel Bravo, Willie Mays?"

No one understands him but his woman: Ferrara is an answer to a trivia question regarding Tom Seaver's 19-strikeout game in 1970. Ferrara was Seaver's final strikeout victim, allowing him to tie the record for most strikeouts in a game. Ferrara was also Seaver's 10th straight strikeout in the game. (To this day I remember guessing both the team Seaver performed this feat against and the final batter he struck out when a Mets broadcast asked the trivia question way back in the early '80s. I was quite proud of myself).

(A word about the back): All I see are mentions of Ferrara's ancient exploits from minor league days. Give me something from the 1970 season, please!


  1. I believe Al appeared in the last episode of Batman. As a henchman (BAM! POW!)no less.
    Al was part of a Padres squad that is still has the team mark for home runs.

  2. He appeared as a contestant on Match Game. Neither player got any points and it went into overtime. His opponent won that 1-0.

    1. I remember that, he gave his occupation as "freelance camel salesman" for some reason. Panelist Greg Morris ("Mission Impossible") recognized him and joked, "That's why the Dodgers put him out to pasture."

  3. He came to our home in Fremont, CA around 1977 or 1978 to close a sale on wall insulation. Really nice guy; he had some of his own cards in his briefcase and gave me one of his 1969 card. For an 8-year-old baseball fan, that was a brush with greatness.

    Kind of surprising to hear about his musical and acting talents, knowing that he ended up selling insulation in the 70's. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

  4. I just watched the match game show mentioned last night. Funny thing is I knew I had his 1971 baseball card (padres).