Mississippi State Bulldogs: 50 Greatest Athletes in School History

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Oct 25, 2014; Lexington, KY, USA; Mississippi State Bulldog mascot before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

#6 Dave “Boo” Ferris, Mississippi State Pitcher (1939-1941)

David “Boo” Ferriss was the first baseball player in college to receive a full scholarship. He could play just about any sport he wanted, but the passion Ferriss had for baseball was unmistakable. Ferris was a dominant right handed pitcher for the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the early 1940s, but that wasn’t his only contribution to the Bulldogs. He also played first base, and since most first basemen are better off left handed, that was how Boo played the position. One of the most important aspects to Ferris choosing to play at Mississippi State was the economic hardships of the time. America was still suffering from the grip of the Great Depression. When Head Coach Dudy Noble offered to pay all expenses for Ferriss, he jumped at the opportunity. His career at Mississippi State was cut short by World War II. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Ferriss was drafted into the U.S. Army like most young men. It was in the Army and the Army Ball League where Ferriss attracted the attention of Major League Baseball teams. Ferriss was signed by the Boston Red Sox and won his first eight starts of his Major League Career. he won 21 games total in his rookie season. Many consider the first two seasons Ferriss pitched for Boston some of the best the game has ever seen. Unfortunately, Ferriss would tear cartilage in his pitching arm in 1947 and never be the same.

Next: Number 5