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Paul Ferrie



The Sioux Falls man was perhaps the state’s greatest fastpitch pitcher. He started pitching in 1939 at age 12, playing on a team with his brother Buster and neighborhood friends.

Over a 26-year career, Ferrie was a feared power hitter, but it was on the mound where he would really make a name for himself. He has been regarded as the greatest pitcher to ever toe the softball rubber in South Dakota. He was at one time rated one of the top five pitchers in the country. The 6-foot, 175-pound right-hander won four straight state titles from 1950-1953 with Pitts (’50), Empress Bar (’51-52) and Hilltop Tavern (’53). Brother Buster played with him on all four and brother Roger, himself a S.D. Sports Hall of Famer, played on the ’52 and ’53 teams. Paul won the state title again in 1956 with Bullpen Bar. During the 1956 state tournament, he pitched five consecutive shutouts while striking out 65 batters. From 1946 to 1954, his record was 497-31. In 1952, he threw three straight no-hitters in the state tournament. Ferrie earned the name Iron Man of Softball by pitching eight games in one day. In one 15-inning game, he struck out 30 batters. He also struck out 21 batters in a seven-inning game, allowing just one hit.

In 1957, he moved to Fargo, N.D., to pitch with Nassif Rug. He would return to Sioux Falls later in the summer to win a tournament where he beat longtime rival LeRoy Carlson. He pitched 38 straight scoreless innings that summer, including three no-hitters and back-to-back perfect games. He would win the North Dakota state title the following year.

After two years in Fargo, Ferrie moved back to Sioux Falls to pitch with Lyle’s Mobil. He also coached the Lyle’s Junior team to a state title in 1962.

In 1963, he moved to Wahpeton, N.D., and started a softball team where he won state titles as a player in 1965 and as a manager in 1967.

Over his career Ferrie won over 800 games, pitched 80 no-hitters, 11 perfect games and averaged 14 strikeouts a game.

He pitched an exhibition against Chicago’s famous Hottentots in 1953 in Sioux Falls, striking out every batter in the four innings he pitched.
































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