C-OF Dodgers , Cardinals, Astros, Angels
Ferguson became the Dodgers' regular catcher in 1973 and set a ML catcher record
by committing only three errors (700 or more chances), leading the league's catchers
in fielding average and double plays. He hit .263 and reached career highs with 25
HR, 26 doubles, 88 RBI, 84 runs, and 87 walks (for an on-base percentage of .376),
despite spending three weeks on the DL in the middle of the season. He also played
20 games in the outfield, and would continue to play both catcher and outfield throughout
In 1974 Steve Yeager, better defensively, took over more of the catching
duties. Ferguson hit 16 HR, but gained more attention for his playoff exploits, as
the TV announcers were taken with the idea of a strong-armed catcher playing right
field. Ferguson hit only .231 but drew five walks, scored three runs, and drove in
two in the four-game series. In the'|-h)''@@World Series he hit a two-run homer off
Vida Blue for what proved to be the winning margin in the Dodgers' only victory over
After spending the second half of 1975 on the DL and starting slowly in
1976, Ferguson was traded with two minor players to the Cardinals for Reggie Smith
and was sent on to Houston after the season. As the Astros' primary catcher, Ferguson
had another fine season (16 HR, 61 RBI, 85 walks) before the Dodgers reacquired him
in July 1978 for Jeff Leonard and Rafael Landestoy. Ferguson helped Los Angeles to
another NL pennant. In 1979, again splitting time between catching and the outfield,
he hit 20 HR with 69 RBI in 122 games, but he finished his career as a part-timer.
He ended the 1980s as a coach with the Dodgers.
|FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY|
|» October 13, 1925: Back home for game six before 43,810, the largest crowd of the Series, Pittsburgh's Ray Kremer (17-8) gives up a first-inning home run to Goose Goslin and a run in the 2nd on Roger Peckinpaugh's RBI double. Joe Ferguson is touched for two in 3rd. The tie is broken by 2B Eddie Moore's home run, the 11th in the Series, and Pittsburgh wins 3–2. |
» June 6, 1968: Tim Foli is the top choice in the regular phase of the free-agent draft. The A's take Pete Broberg with the 2nd pick, but he opts to attend Dartmouth instead. Cecil Cooper lasts until the 27th round. The big winners are the Dodgers, who, in the January draft and the regular and secondary June drafts pick 71 players, 14 players of whom end up in the ML. Among them: Davey Lopes, Geoff Zahn, Bill Buckner, Joe Ferguson, Tom Paciorek, Bobby Valentine, Steve Garvey, and Ron Cey.
» July 18, 1971: The Pirates sweep a doubleheader from the Dodgers 3–2 and 7–1 to extend their winning streak to 11 games. In the 2nd game, Luke Walker has a no-hitter until Joe Ferguson homers in the 9th inning for Los Angeles. Pittsburgh is now in front by 11 1/2 games, their largest lead of the year.
» June 19, 1974:
Runners are passed in two different games tonight, depriving Giant Ed Goodson of a home run in a Cardinals–Giants match, and creating confusion in a Pirates–Dodgers match. Goodson clocks a 3rd inning pitch from Bob Gibson, then passes teammate Garry Maddox between 1B and 2B. Instead of a home run, he gets one RBI and a single. In the latter, Joe Ferguson apparently strikes out with the sacks full, and walks away, while Pirate C Manny Sanguillen agrees and rolls the ball to the mound. Lee Lacy, the LA runner on 3rd jogs to the dugout. The runner from 2B, Jimmy Wynn comes around to score but is tagged out. Lacy scurries from the dugout, slides home, and is also tagged out. Lacy, though tagged, is ruled safe according to the rules. The confusion is deemed moot as the Pirates prevail, 7–3.
» October 13, 1974:
Los Angeles, behind Don Sutton, evens the Series with a 3–2 win. The Dodgers score in the 2nd off Vida Blue, and a 2-run home run by Joe Ferguson in the 6th provides the margin.
» June 15, 1976:
The Cardinals send veteran Reggie Smith, an All-Star the past two seasons, to the Dodgers in exchange for C/outfielder Joe Ferguson, and two minor leaguers. Smith, a native Californian, will continue his fine play for the Dodgers, while Ferguson, who spent the 2nd half of 1975 on the DL, will be dealt to Houston at the end of the year. Whether or not it's because they got the short end of the deal, the Cards will not make another trade with the Dodgers for more than a decade.
» July 1, 1978: The Astros trade C Joe Ferguson to the Dodgers for two players to be named later (IF Rafael Landestoy and OF Jeff Leonard).
» October 3, 1980: In Los Angeles, Houston opens a final 3-game series to determine the winner in the NL West. The Dodgers, behind by three games, tie the opening game 2–2 in the 9th, and win it in the 10th on a Joe Ferguson solo home run.