Ray Lyle Fisher
Born: October 4, 1887 - Middlebury, VT
Died: November 3, 1982 - Ann Arbor, MI
MLB Pitching Record: 100–94
New York Highlanders/Yankees AL (October 4, 1887 - November 3, 1982)
Cincinnati Reds NL (1919–1920)
Born in Middlebury, Vermont, and a graduate of Middlebury High School and Middlebury College, Ray Fisher’s impact on baseball would go far beyond the Green Mountain State. From 1910 until 1917, Fisher pitched for the New York Highlanders, who were renamed the Yankees in 1913. He enjoyed his best season in 1915, posting an 18–11 record with an ERA of 2.11.
During the offseason, Fisher returned to Middlebury College as athletic director and Latin professor. His love of the collegiate life would remain a constant. In 1917, Fisher battled pleurisy, missing a month of the season, but the irrepressible spitballer would return and post a 2.19 ERA. He served in the U.S. Army in 1918 and ended his career with a two-year stint in Cincinnati. In 1919, he recorded a 14–5 record with an ERA of 2.17, helping Cincy to a World Championship.
After a 1921 salary dispute put him on baseball’s Permanent Ineligible List, Fisher moved from the Reds to the Maize and Blue. He became the head baseball coach at the University of Michigan, a position he would hold until 1958. Fisher guided the Wolverines to the 1953 NCAA Championship and won over 600 games. He was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, the American Association of College Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, and the University of Michigan Hall of Honor. In 1980, Fisher was finally reinstated into baseball, but it really did not matter. He had already secured his legacy as a reliable pitcher and, more importantly, a leader of men.
– Tom and Ellen Zappala, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players. For more information on their book and/or to order a copy at a special PSA discount, visit http://crackerjackplayers.com/PSA_order.html