Red Sox – Third Base
When Wes Ferrell was a hitting wonder in the 1930s he had competition and that is another Red Sox player who saved from pitching purgatory by being traded to the Yankees. Right-hander Red Ruffing had a 39-96 tab as a pitcher for a series of dismal Red Sox teams before being rescued and going 231-124 with the Yankees.
Ruffing is in the Baseball Hall of Fame and in all probability would have been a 300 game-winner but volunteered for service during World War II costing the hard hitter two seasons. Returning to the hill in 1945 the now 40-year-old won 15 games for New York and Cleveland over the next three seasons, but then there was Ruffing’s bat.
Ruffing was a career .269 hitter and hit the same .269 in seven Boston seasons with five home runs and 50 RBI. For his career Ruffing had 36 home runs and managed a .264 average as a pinch-hitter. In 1930 Ruffing had the third all-time highest slugging percentage for a pitcher in a single season at .582. Ruffing also sits with Wood at hitting the most doubles in a season by a pitcher with 13 in 1928.
When Ruffing retired he continued to be active in baseball as a coach at all levels including pitching coach for the dreadful 1962 expansion Mets. Ruffing also was a player-personnel director for the Indians for ten years before returning to coaching.