Chuck Diering, Willy Miranda & Don Ferrarese Did Have A Good Reason To Celebrate… We Just Had To Figure Out What It Was.
Orioles shortstop Willy Miranda is so tired that he required his teammates dry his hair off with a towel.
Actually its a celebration of sorts taking place in the locker room thanking Mr. Miranda.
When I first came upon this photograph it had no identifying features except the names of Chuck Diering, Miranda and a badly misspelled Don Ferrarese. No year, no place, no story – nada.
Figuring out what is going on in this photograph took a bit of research.
The uniform provides the big clue. First this is the Orioles road uniform. Second, the black armband was worn in 1956 for Orioles treasurer Howard Jones who dies that April before the season started.
Then looking at road games where all three had a pivotal role, it became clear this photograph was taken May 12 at Yankee Stadium.
A week earlier on May 5, the five foot nine lefty, Don Ferrarese started his first major league game against Cleveland. Ferrarese gave up six hits and fanned 13 Indians in a heartbreaking 2-1 ninth inning loss against Bob Lemon. Previously Ferrarese had pitched only 14 innings all in relief.
So in his next start on May 12 what did 26-year-old Ferraese do? He no-hit the Yankees until the bottom of the ninth inning. Yanks third baseman Andy Carey hit a Baltimore chop (ironically) that caromed off of home plate and went 60 feet in the air. Ferrarese waited the ball’s return to earth and threw a one hopper to first that Carey beat out. Hank Bauer later added a single, but Ferarese held on for a 1-0, two hit victory.
How did the Orioles score their one run? In the seventh Diering walked and Miranda slashed a double down the right field line. But Ferrarese was due as the next hitter. In a move that would never be duplicated today, manager Paul Richards let pitcher Ferrarese bat. He singled in Diering for what would be the winning run. Incredibly it would be his only hit of the season in 28 at bats, ending up with a pathetic .036 batting average.
The Orioles had few bright spots worth celebrating in what wound up being a 69-85, sixth place finish.
Ferrarese had a so-so rest if the year going 4-10. He concluded his eight year career in 1962 with a 19-36 record. Don Ferrarese turns 91 on June 19, 2020.
Chuck Diering passed away in 2012 at age 89 and Willy Miranda died in 1996 at age 70.