Ray Fisher Essentials
Bats: R Throws: R
71 Weight: 180
Born: 10 4, 1887 in Middlebury, VT USA
Died: 11 3 1982 in Ann Arbor, MI USA
Last Game: 10/2/1920
Full Name: Ray Lyle Fisher
Ray Fisher debuted for the New York Highlanders in 1910. Between that year and 1912 he was part time starter, part time reliever and part time minor leaguer, pitching to a 17-22 record and 3.84.
Between 1913 and 1916 he was a regular member of what was now called the Yankees rotation, starting a minimum of 26 starts and having double digit wins each season. His final season in the Bronx was 1917, he won 8 in 18 starts but still sported a fine era. From 1913-1917 his record was 59-56 with a 2.60 ERA
Fisher spent 1918 in military service, when he returned in 1919 he was on a new team, the Cincinnati Reds. Fisher went 14-5 with a 2.17 ERA that season.
In game 3 of the World Series he faced the only starter in the Series who wasn’t part of the scheme to throw it, Honest Dickie Kerr. Kerr, the 4th best starter on the Sox staff behind Black Sox members Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams and the injured Hall of Famer Red Faber, pitched the game of his life, a complete game shutout. Fisher only gave up 3 runs 2 earned but earned the loss in 7 innings pitched.
In 1920 Fisher was 9-11 heading into the next to last day of the season. He started game 1 of the 3rd and final triple header in major league history against Pirates ace Wilbur Cooper. Cooper got roughed up by the Reds and Fisher earned what would be his 100th and final major league win against 94 losses.
Fisher came to camp the next season buthad gotten an interview to be University of Michigan baseball coach. He advised the manager Pat Moran about it and Moran didn’t stop him from leaving. A couple of the Reds pitchers were doing poorly that spring. The Reds owner contacted the NL President dismayed that Fisher turned down a salary increase to leave. Commissioner Landis contacted Moran who told Landis he told him not to leave for the interview and that he gave only 7 days notice rather than the required 10. In June Commissioner Landis sent Fisher a letter saying he was on the permanently ineligible list.
Fisher stayed at Michigan from 1921 to 1958 going 661-292 for a .694 winning percentage. He won 14 Big Ten titles and the NCAA tittle in 1953, winning national coach of the year that year. 20 of his players played in the majors. He managed in the minors as well where he managed Robin Roberts for 2 seasons.
In the 30s he received a lifetime pass from the major leagues which he thought meant he was back in baseball’s good graces and worked as a spring training instructor for 2 teams in the 60s, however he was still technically blacklisted. A University of Michigan professor wrote a detailed analysis of his banishment. Several letters came to the Commissioner’s office including President Gerald Ford who had played freshman football under Fisher. Bowie Kuhn proclaimed Fisher was a “retired player in good standing.”
In the summer of 1982, Fisher attended the old timer’s game at Yankee Stadium. He was the oldest Yankee present, the second oldest was Joe Sewell who debuted in 1920 and debuted with the Yankees in 1931. The Yankees stadium announcer proclaimed him the oldest living Yankee and he got the second biggest ovation to Joe DiMaggio. Fisher died 3 months later. He was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1959, the College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1966, the University of Michigan Hall of Honor in 1979 and Michigan’s baseball stadium is named after him.