Ray Fisher (baseball)

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Ray Fisher
Ray Fisher.jpg
Fisher in 1911
Born: (1887-10-04)October 4, 1887
Middlebury, Vermont
Died: November 3, 1982(1982-11-03) (aged 95)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 2, 1910, for the New York Highlanders
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1920, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Win–loss record100
Earned run average2.82
Career highlights and awards

Ray Lyle Fisher (October 4, 1887 – November 3, 1982) was an American professional baseball pitcher and college coach. He pitched all or part of ten seasons in Major League Baseball. His debut game took place on July 2, 1910. His final game took place on October 2, 1920. During his career he played for the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. He coached the University of Michigan Wolverines baseball team from 1921 through 1958.

Early life[edit]

Nicknamed "Pick" (short for the freshwater fish pickerel),[1] Fisher was an all-around athlete who played football, basketball, baseball, and competed in track events, though his father permitted sports only if the farm work was done. He played on Vermont's 1904 State Championship football team and was offered multiple college scholarships in football, but his real love was baseball and he stayed on in his hometown, attending Middlebury College.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Semi-pro and minor leagues[edit]

After stellar performances on the college mound,[3] he was offered a position pitching with a semi-pro team in Valleyfield, Quebec in the summer of 1907.[4] In 1908 and 1909 he pitched in the minor leagues for Hartford in the Connecticut League, going 12–1 in his first partial season (batting .304) and 25–4 the following year with 243 strikeouts.[5] Fisher jumped at the first major league opportunity to come his way, thinking it might be the only offer he would get, and his contract was sold to the New York Highlanders (Yankees). He soon learned, however, that the New York Giants and Boston Red Sox were also interested in signing him. He reported to the Highlanders in 1910 following his graduation from Middlebury, bringing along—to the amusement of his new teammates—his homemade bat from off the farm.[6]

New York Yankees[edit]

Dubbed the "Vermont Schoolmaster" because he taught Latin at Newton Academy in New Jersey during his first offseason,[7] Fisher pitched for New York from 1910 to 1917,[8][9] spending 1918 in the Army stationed at Fort Slocum off New Rochelle.[10] As a rookie, the newspapers were frequently comparing Fisher to Highlander's spitball pitcher Jack Chesbro,[11] and early in his tenure with the Yankees Fisher was also cited by Ty Cobb and Nap Lajoie as one of the 12 best pitchers in the American League, both players also listing Ed Walsh, Russ Ford, Walter Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood.[12] His ERA ranked fifth in the league in 1915.[13][14] Fisher was known for his stamina as a pitcher, considered a "workhorse" for the Yankees,[15] but the following year, 1916, a bout of pleurisy was to cripple his effectiveness. (Doctors later thought that Fisher had probably had tuberculosis.)[16] From 1911 to 1915, during the offseason, Fisher was also employed as Middlebury College's first "Physical Director".[17][18] In 1915 he was hired as athletic director at Sewanee:The University of the South,[19] in which capacity he coached the baseball and basketball teams and assisted with the football team.[20] However, he soon had to resign due to the prolonged illness of his mother.[21]

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

About the time of his discharge from the Army, Fisher was selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds, thereby taking a $3,100 cut in pay from his $6,700 with the Yankees.[22] The Yankees may have let Fisher go due to the effects of his pleurisy, but his year in the Army had actually given him time to build up his strength.[23] Pat Moran, Fisher's manager at Cincinnati noted that, "Fisher's speed is fine, his curves are all that could be desired. But, beyond all is his headwork. Fisher knows a lot of baseball, far more than the average pitcher."[24] Fisher pitched for the Reds in 1919 and 1920. He went 14–5 in 1919 and pitched Game 3 in the infamous 1919 World Series, a game in which the Reds were shut out by Chicago's Dickie Kerr.[25][26][27] In the spring of 1920 the American and National Leagues agreed to outlaw use of the spitball, though 22 spitball pitchers were exempted from the ban for the season. The following year a permanent ban went into effect, with 17 pitchers "grandfathered" for the remainder of their pitching careers. Though he had largely discontinued use of the spitter by 1914,[28] Fisher was one of those allowed to continue to use the pitch.[29]

"Lifetime" ban[edit]

Fisher is one of the few players to be re-instated into professional baseball after being banned for life.[30] Prior to the 1921 season, the Reds offered him a contract in which his salary was $1,000 less than that of the previous season.[31] After making his objections known in a letter to Reds president August Herrmann, Fisher signed the contract. Before the season began, however, Fisher learned that the position of head baseball coach had again become available at the University of Michigan, a position for which he had belatedly applied the previous year on the recommendation of Branch Rickey.[32] Fisher requested, and was apparently given by manager Pat Moran, permission to go and look into the job.[33]

When he was offered the position at Michigan, the Reds' management tried to induce Fisher to remain with the team by offering to restore the $1,000 cut from the previous year's contract.[34] Fisher thought the Michigan position held greater long-term promise and accepted the job, believing that he would be given his release from Cincinnati or placed on the list of voluntarily retired players (both of which were subsequently reported in the local papers).[35][36]

Part way into Michigan's playing season, other teams began contacting Fisher inquiring as to his availability to pitch and coach during the summer, Rickey's St. Louis Cardinals among them.[37] Fisher contacted the Reds for clarification on his status, noting that he realized they had first call on his services.[38] He learned that he was being placed on the list of those ineligible to play, the Reds citing his having given them only seven days notice, rather than the required ten, prior to leaving the club.[39] Fisher appealed to the commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and the commissioner promised to look into the matter.[40]

After obtaining the Reds' version of the negotiations, the commissioner upheld the Reds' position and banned Fisher for leaving the team after having signed a contract.[41][42] Fisher ended his major league career with a 100–94 record and a 2.82 ERA. His final game was pitched on October 2, 1920, and it was part of the only tripleheader played in the 20th century.[43] Following the determination of his ineligibility, Fisher signed on with one of the "outlaw" teams, pitching briefly for the Frankin, Pennsylvania, Oilers before the team folded.[44]

About 1944, as part of a promotion for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Fisher received in the mail a silver lifetime pass to any major league ballpark in the country.[45] The pass was signed by the presidents of both leagues and was inscribed "To Ray Fisher in appreciation of long and meritorious service", which Fisher interpreted to mean that his "blacklisting" had been lifted. This was his belief for nearly 35 years until he learned late in his life that the blacklisting was still officially on record with the Commissioner's office.[46] In 1951 Fisher was called to Washington, D.C., to testify about his blacklisting in a House Judiciary Committee investigation into the alleged monopoly of power in professional baseball.[47][48]


Fisher from the 1925 Michiganensian

Fisher remained head baseball coach for the University of Michigan's baseball team for 38 seasons. His original agreement with Michigan also assigned him as an assistant basketball coach, a position he held through 1941, and as assistant football coach,[49] in which capacity he served through 1945. (In football, he coached Gerald Ford and Tom Harmon.) While at Michigan, Fisher led his baseball teams to 15 Big Ten championships and the 1953 College World Series championship, after which he was named Coach of the Year.[50] In 1923, Fisher became Michigan's first coach in the 20th century to integrate a varsity sport.[51]

In 1929 and 1932 Fisher's Michigan teams played against teams in Japan at the invitation of Meiji University.[52][53] Fisher was active in the startup of the National Association of College Baseball Coaches and served as its first vice president.[54] During the 1940s he was hailed by sports writers as "the Fielding Yost of the diamond"[55] and by Esquire Magazine as a close second to Jack Barry of Holy Cross as the top college baseball coach in the country.[56] Fisher was generally regarded as one of the nation's premiere instructors of college pitchers.[57] He was known both for his droll sense of humor and his potential for argumentativeness with umpires. The latter may have frequently been strategic;[58] in his later years at Michigan the press sometimes referred to him as "The Old Fox". While coaching summer teams in Vermont's Northern League,[59] Fisher mentored Robin Roberts (1946 and 1947) who sent many accolades in Fisher's direction once he was signed into the major leagues.[60]

Retirement and later life[edit]

By the time he retired in 1958, Fisher had compiled a 636–295–8 record as a coach[61] (.600 or better in 32 of 38 seasons) with only two losing seasons, and he held the record as the University of Michigan's winningest coach for 70 years (1930–2000).[62] For five years during the 1960s Fisher coached pitchers for the farm teams of the Milwaukee Braves and the Detroit Tigers, and into his 80s he was still working with pitchers at the request of subsequent University of Michigan baseball coaches.[63] After a reinvestigation into the circumstances surrounding his leaving the Cincinnati Reds,[64] in 1980 Commissioner of Baseball Bowie Kuhn declared Fisher a "retired player in good standing" with professional baseball, nearly 60 years after Landis's declaration of ineligibility.[65] In a twist of fate, following the 1981 Major League Baseball strike the Cincinnati Reds came to the University of Michigan for workouts at Ray Fisher Stadium where they met the 93-year-old former Reds pitcher.[66]

In the summer of 1982, Fisher was invited to the yearly Old-Timers' Day[67] at Yankee Stadium, his first visit to the famous facility which had been built after he'd left the team. Approaching age 95, he was then the oldest former Yankee, Cincinnati Red and World Series player.[68] He received two standing ovations from the fans, second only to Joe DiMaggio,[69] and threw out the opening pitch for that day's Yankees-Rangers game.[70] He died three months later in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is buried in Washtenong Memorial Park.[71]


Ray Fisher Stadium view from seats behind home plate

Among his honors, Fisher was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame (1959), the American Association of College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame (1966), the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor (1979), the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame (2013), and the Middlebury Athletics Hall of Fame (2014).[72] Fisher's uniform number has been retired by the Michigan Wolverines baseball team and by the Vermont Mountaineers. At least 19 of Fisher's Michigan players signed with a major league team.[73]

On May 23, 1970, twelve years after FIsher's retirement, the baseball stadium at the University of Michigan, until then unnamed, was dedicated as Ray Fisher Stadium.[74] Thirty-eight years later, on May 2, 2008, a renovated Ray Fisher Stadium was incorporated into the university's new Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex, Fred Wilpon having pitched for Michigan under Fisher.[75][76]

On 25 July 2003, through the efforts of the Vermont chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research, the State of Vermont placed an historic site marker near Ray Fisher's birthplace, at the intersection of U.S. Route 7 (Court Street) and Creek Road in Middlebury, Vermont.[77][78]

Fisher's influence on pitchers was still being felt many years after his death. In the 2010 American League Championship Series, Texas Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee gave quite a performance using a cut fastball taught to him by "Ace" Adams, who had learned the pitch from Fisher at Michigan after the latter's retirement.[79]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ray Fisher (baseball) at the SABR Bio Project, by Chip Hart, retrieved 2013-01-26 Fisher's nickname was for years listed in baseball reference books as "Chic", though Fisher himself stated that this had never been his nickname and that "Pick" had been used since his days in college. His given name at birth was simply "Ray".
  2. ^ Simon, Tom ed. Green Mountain Boys of Summer: Vermonters in the Major Leagues, 1882–1993. (2000). pp. 86-87. The New England Press, Shelburne, Vermont. ISBN 1-881535-35-5.
  3. ^ In his starting game as a pitcher with the Middlebury Panthers (Freshman, 1907), Fisher struck out 18 Colgate batters, which still stands as a single-game record at Middlebury. Fisher came to Middlebury as a catcher, but his coach wanted to try him out as a pitcher. http://www.vermontsportshall.com/2013fisher.html See also http://sites.middlebury.edu/pttp/ray-fisher/
  4. ^ Simon. p.87.
  5. ^ The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. (1953) The Story of Minor League Baseball. See pp. 262, 345. The Stoneman Press.
  6. ^ Simon, p. 88. Fisher stated that he had never seen a game of major league baseball until he joined the Highlanders.
  7. ^ Fisher related that he took the position so that he would not have to go home and tell his father he did not have a job. Proctor, Donald J. Ann Arbor Scene Magazine. Summer 1980.
  8. ^ Istorico, Ray (2008) Greatness in Waiting: An Illustrated History of the Early New York Yankees, 1903-1919. pp. 184-188. McFarland & Co.
  9. ^ Jones, David (2008) Deadball Stars of the American League. pp. 272-273. Potomac Books
  10. ^ Simon. p. 91. Fisher was assistant to the athletic director of the Army training camp's athletics program which was run in cooperation with the YMCA.
  11. ^ Jones. p. 722. "He [Fisher] laughs, talks, acts, and pitches with the same motion as the North Adams farmer [Chesbro]. He has a spit ball which, according to Ed Sweeney, is just as dangerous as the one Chesbro exhibited."
  12. ^ As reported in the 18 November 1911 Philadelphia Inquirer, "Tyrus Cobb and Napolean Lajoie, the greatest batsmen in the American League, if not in the country, were recently given twenty four hours to study the work of the American league pitchers and name the best ones as they appear to them. Cobb named as the best 12: Russell Ford, Joe Wood, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Ed Walsh, Eddie Karger, Bob Groom, Dolly Gray, Vean Gregg, Harry Krause, Ray Fisher and Jimmy Scott. Larry's selections were: Ed Walsh, Walter Johnson, Russell Ford, Jack Coombs, Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, Joe Wood, Barney Pelty, George Mullin, Bill Donovan, Ray Fisher and Frank Lange." One reporter's reaction to Fisher being selected by both heavy hitters was, "Fisher is often overlooked when the fans are studying the stars. But he is a star and belongs right in the Ford-Wood-Walsh class. His fastball is a beauty, and he has a curve that few others can boast of." Quoted in Jones, p. 723.
  13. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  14. ^ Fisher's ERA ranked in the top 20 in his league in five of his ten playing seasons, three of those in the top 10: 1914, 1915, 1919. Fisher currently ranks 9th among Yankees in ERA and 20th in Innings Pitched. See "Baseball Almanac". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 2013-09-14. and "Yankee All-Time Leaders". Yankees.com. Retrieved 2014-08-17. For a recent rating of Fisher's performance with the Yankees, see "Pinstripe Alley Top 100 Yankees: #75 Ray Fisher". SBNation, Vox Media. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  15. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  16. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  17. ^ Simon., pp. 90-91
  18. ^ "In 1910, [President] Thomas convinced the board to appoint an athletic director, and he found the man he wanted- Ray Fisher '10, a local farmboy whose strong right arm had made him an outstanding baseball pitcher at Middlebury (and would later see him through ten creditable years in the big leagues)." Stameshkin, David M. The Town's College: Middlebury College, 1800-1915. (1985). Middlebury College Press, Middlebury, Vermont. p.268.
  19. ^ "Ray Fisher In New Position". Middlebury register. September 17, 1915.
  20. ^ "Sewanee Alumni News".
  21. ^ "Of Local Interest". The Sewanee Purple. October 7, 1915. p. 3.
  22. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  23. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  24. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  25. ^ "October 3, 1919 World Series Game, Reds at White Sox". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  26. ^ "1919 World Series Footage White Sox vs Reds". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-02-02., In one segment Kerr (L) and Fisher (R) can be seen shaking hands prior to Game 3.
  27. ^ Proctor, Donald J. Ann Arbor Scene Magazine. Summer 1980, Fall 1980. "Ray L. Fisher: Michigan's Captive Coach". See Summer issue p. 34.
  28. ^ Jones. p. 722. Fisher told umpire and Harper's Weekly columnist Billy Evans in 1914 that he feared the spitball would cause the premature loss of his pitching arm: "I quit the spit-ball before the spit-ball made me quit. When I stopped using that style of delivery, I had not suffered any inconvenience because of its use. I knew a number of other pitchers who had been put out of business by it. I figured that I was only human and that it would get me sooner or later, if I persisted in its use. I made up my mind to try to get by with the old style assortment. I am succeeding pretty well, and I feel positive I have prolonged my career as a pitcher a number of years." Harper's Weekley, 13 June 1914.
  29. ^ See Faber, Charles F. and Faber, Richard B. (2006) Spitballers: The Last Legal Hurlers of the Wet One. pp. 129-136. McFarland & Co.
  30. ^ See Proctor for a detailed study of Fisher's blacklisting
  31. ^ Proctor. Summer 1980. p. 36.
  32. ^ Proctor. Summer 1980. pp. 36-37. See also "Kornacki: Rickey of Michigan (Part II)". m.goblue.com. Retrieved 2016-02-25. Quoting Fred Wilpon, "And when [Rickey] was leaving [University of Michigan], he recommended Ray Fisher, who was the coach for (38) years. [Rickey] liked Ray Fisher a lot, and he was my coach. I liked him a lot, too, and all of our players loved Ray Fisher. Mr. Rickey also had a real affinity for Michigan."
  33. ^ Cincinnati Inquirer, 6 April 1921: "Fisher received a wire this morning from the Athletic Director at Ann Arbor asking him to come up there for a conference in regards to terms. He requested permission from Moran and asked if he could obtain his release from the Cincinnati club. Pat told him that he had no authority to give releases, but would allow him to go to Michigan to look the ground over. Fisher will leave Indianapolis tomorrow night for Ann Arbor and may not return. If the outlook and the terms are satisfactory he probably will decide to take up college work at once and give up professional baseball. He is in the best condition of any of the Red right-handers and has shown the best form in the exhibition games played to date, so his loss will be felt if he decides to leave the team." Fisher's wife, Middlebury native Alice Seeley, had given birth to their only child in 1919, and Alice was urging Ray to settle into a job that would involve less travel away from home. Proctor, Summer 1980, p. 32.
  34. ^ Proctor. Summer 1980. p. 38. Fisher countered the offer, asking for a two or three year contract. He stated years later that he was not really intending to take such an offer but was interested in what Herrmann's response would be. According to Fisher, Herrmann's reply was that surely Fisher would not want a multi-year contract if he were to become too old to pitch. (At the time Fisher was 33.)
  35. ^ The April 8, 1921 Cincinnati Post reported: "Ray Fisher arrived from Ann Arbor today and asked to be released from his contract. He has decided to accept the offer of coach of the baseball team at the University of Michigan. President Herrmann agreed to place him on the voluntary retired list." On April 11, 1921 the Associated Press reported that Fisher had been given an "unconditional release" from his contract. Within two weeks, however, Herrmann wrote to league President John Heydler stating that, "We have not given this player his release, and the question arises whether we should put him on the Voluntary Retired List or place him on the Ineligible List for violation of contract." Proctor, Fall 1980, p. 37.
  36. ^ Proctor. Summer 1980. pp. 37-38.
  37. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. pp. 36-37.
  38. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. p. 37: "You informed me at our last meeting", Fisher wrote, "that you would let me know if you cared for my services for the summer months. I am receiving opportunities to pitch for the summer months... I am desirous of getting located. I realize you have first call and so wish you would advise me at your earliest convenience."
  39. ^ Herrmann's letter to Fisher has not surfaced, but Fisher's response of 26 April 1921 states in part, "Your letter of the 25th at hand. I was somewhat surprised that you had not placed me on the Voluntary Retired List rather than Ineligible but that is entirely up to you. Yes, you may have been hurt at my decision but you forget that I had been hurt by some of the things that were handed me. I did regret not being able to give you 10-day notice instead of seven as I have always tried to operate on the square." Fisher's swift departure from the Reds was due to his being told by the University of Michigan that they needed him as quickly as possible since the Michigan team was then departing for its spring Southern trip, and the current coach, Del Pratt, who had only been at Michigan a few months, would be leaving the team when they reached Atlanta. Fisher, in fact, joined the Michigan team as it passed through Cincinnati on its way south on April 9, the day after his meeting with Herrmann. He took over as head coach five days later in Atlanta when Pratt left to join the Boston Red Sox. Proctor, Fall 1980, p.37.
  40. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. p. 38.
  41. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. pp. 38-39.
  42. ^ A policy that may have had a bearing on the manner in which Fisher's case was handled came between the time he left the Reds and the end of his season at Michigan. The Sporting News reported on 19 April that at a meeting of baseball's major-minor advisory council a decision was made to put in force a rule that was intended to deal more severely with players who were tardy in reporting to their ball clubs. As reported in the News, "...any player who fails to report to the club to which he is under contract or reserve within ten days after the opening of the season for that club shall be placed on the ineligible list. Once on such list he can not secure reinstatement except upon application to Commissioner Landis." Landis' decision was influenced, the Commissioners' files show, by his having heard a rumor that Fisher was carrying on negotiations with an "outlaw" team. Fisher told Landis, however, that this was not true. He had been approached by such a team but had carried out no negotiations with them. It was from this team (Franklin, Pennsylvania), in fact, that Fisher first heard the rumor that he might be blacklisted. See Proctor, Fall 1980, p. 38.
  43. ^ Suehsdorf, A.D. "The Last Tripleheader". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2013-01-26.
  44. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. pp. 37-39.
  45. ^ From the 1945 Baseball Guide and Record Book (covering events of 1944) published by The Sporting News: "Lifetime passes to all parks in both majors have been awarded to 552 long-service men, past and present, of the National and American leagues, 22 in gold to those who were in the majors for 20 years or more and silver to 530 for ten or more years of service. The issuance was first authorized in December 1935... On the bottom are engraved the names of Ford C. Frick, president of the National League, and William Harridge, head of the American League." At the time of writing, 21 of the 22 recipients of gold passes were still living and 444 of the 530 who were awarded silver passes were alive. Fisher had also received a 1936 invitation from the Cincinnati Reds to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club and the 60th anniversary of the league.
  46. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. pp. 43-44.
  47. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. p. 42.
  48. ^ Study of Monopoly of Power: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Study of Monopoly Power of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives (1952). pp. 427-441. United States Government Printing Office.
  49. ^ Proctor. Summer 1980. p. 37., and Ann Arbor News 9 April 1921.
  50. ^ Ray Fisher (baseball) at the SABR Bio Project, by Chip Hart, retrieved 2013-01-26
  51. ^ Rudy Ash, the only African American on Fisher's 1923 undefeated Big Ten championship team, related years later, "[Fisher] often said, 'Anyone can play on my team who has the ability regardless of race, color, or creed.'" See Proctor, Fall 1980, p. 43. Team photo:"1923 University of Michigan Baseball Team". Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
  52. ^ Simon. p.93.
  53. ^ Yoshimura, Valerie Nao. Michigan Today, Summer 1998: "Samurais of Summer".
  54. ^ The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association Baseball Guide, 1958. pp. 28-31.
  55. ^ "Ray Fisher is Baseball's Yost". The Michigan Daily, 17 June 1942: "A prominent sports writer recently referred to Michigan's baseball coach, Ray Fisher, as the Fielding Yost of the diamond."
  56. ^ In 1946 the American Association of College Baseball Coaches, which had been formed the previous year, sponsored an All Star Game between the East and Midwest which was played at Fenway Park. Fisher led the coaching staff for the Midwest and Barry for the East. This game was the precursor of the College World Series games which began the following year. See The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association Baseball Guide, 1958.
  57. ^ "[Fisher] is rated one of the best coaches of pitchers anywhere in the country. In fact, big league teams often recommend to a youngster with major league aspirations that he enroll at Michigan so he can benefit from Fisher's tutoring." The Detroit Times, 26 May 1952. At the 2008 dedication of U of M's Wilpon Complex, Fred Wilpon related that one reason he chose to attend the U of M in 1954 was that Fisher was regarded as the top coach of college pitchers in the eastern U.S.
  58. ^ See e.g. Simon pp. 94-95.
  59. ^ Simon. pp. 93-95.
  60. ^ Baseball Digest, June 1949: "'You know all the time I've been in organized baseball I haven't heard one big leaguer or one minor leaguer give me any better advice than Fisher did,' Robbie says. 'He kept harping on follow-through, proper footing on the rubber, mixing 'em up and hiding the ball. They're the same things they teach in the big leagues and Ray has every one of those instructions at his finger tips.'"; and quoted in Hart's "Ray Fisher": "… don't think I don't appreciate the help I've received from fellows like [George] Earnshaw and [Schoolboy] Rowe. It is just that I feel I owe so much to Fisher." Later in his career, when he felt his pitching was off, Roberts sought out Fisher at the University of Michigan to assist him in getting his pitching back on track, as had pitcher Johnny Gee. See Time, 28 May 1956 (Roberts) and New York Times, 18 January 1941 (Gee).
  61. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  62. ^ Jones. p. 723., and Hart
  63. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. pp. 42-43.
  64. ^ Donald J. Proctor, professor of history at the University of Michigan (Dearborn), researched Fisher's blacklisting and published his findings in Ann Arbor Scene Magazine (Summer and Fall issues 1980) and in an abridged version in Baseball Research Journal (1981). Proctor submitted the original article to the Commissioner's office in 1980. Proctor, April 1986, pp. 26-27.
  65. ^ Simon. p. 96.
  66. ^ Ann Arbor News, 5 August 1981.
  67. ^ "1982 New York Yankees Old Timers Day Game". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  68. ^ Jones. p. 723.
  69. ^ Pinstripes, Vol. 9, No. 4. Yankee Alumni Association.
  70. ^ Jones. p. 723., and Simon. pp. 96-97.
  71. ^ "Ray Lyle Fisher (1887–1982)". Retrieved 2010-05-02.
  72. ^ "Karl Lindholm: Vermont's Schoolmaster is in the Hall of Fame". Addison County Independent. Retrieved 2018-07-24. "Hall of Fame Celebration-Ray Fisher, Class of 1910 on Vimeo". Vimeo, LLC. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  73. ^ Proctor. Fall 1980. p. 43, "Vermont Sports Hall of Fame: Ray Fisher". Vermont Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2014-02-08., and "Hall of Fame Members- Middlebury College Athletics". Department of Athletics, Middlebury College. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  74. ^ Ann Arbor News, 22 May 1970
  75. ^ "Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex: Ray Fisher Stadium". MGOBLUE.COM. Retrieved 2013-01-27.
  76. ^ Wilpon, majority owner of the New York Mets, began at Michigan on a baseball scholarship and injured his arm during his freshman year. Fisher kept him on the baseball team in his sophomore year, though he was unable to play. Fisher then arranged for Wilpon to obtain an academic scholarship so that he could finish his college education. See "NY Mets Owner Fred Wilpon, '58, Looks Back". Michigan Today, 15 April 2013.
  77. ^ Ann Arbor News 26 July 2003
  78. ^ "Roadside Historic Markers List". Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  79. ^ Sielski, Mike (October 18, 2010). "Yankees-Rangers Game 3: Behind Lee's Bread-and-Butter Cutter". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2011-05-15.


  • Farber C, Farber R (2006). Spitballers: The Last Legal Hurlers of the Wet One. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-2347-1.
  • Finch, Robert L, ed., The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. (1953). The Story of Minor League Baseball. Columbus, Ohio: The Stoneman Press.
  • Istorico, Ray. (2008). Greatness in Waiting: An Illustrated History of the Early New York Yankees, 1903–1919. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3211-0.
  • Jones, David, ed. (2006). Deadball Stars of the American League. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books. ISBN 1-933599-01-4.
  • Perry, Will, ed. (1979). Michigan All-Time Athletic Record Book. Ann Arbor: The Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics, The University of Michigan.
  • Proctor, Donald J. "Ray L. Fisher: Michigan's Captive Coach". Ann Arbor Scene Magazine. 1980, Summer, Fall.
  • Proctor, Donald J. "The Blacklisting of Baseball's Ray Fisher". Baseball Research Journal, 1981.
  • Proctor, Donald J. "The Ray Fisher Story". Ann Arbor Magazine. 1986, March, April.
  • Simon, Tom, ed. (2000) Green Mountain Boys of Summer: Vermonters in the Major Leagues, 1882–1993. Shelburne, Vermont: New England Press. ISBN 1-881535-35-5.
  • Stameshkin, David M. (1985). The Town's College: Middlebury College, 1800-1915. Middlebury, Vermont: Middlebury College Press.
  • Study of Monopoly of Power: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Study of Monopoly Power of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives (1952). United States Government Printing Office.

External links[edit]