Dick "Turk" Farrell: Ya gotta be pretty good to lose 20

Old Colt Stadium, where the young Colt .45's so often betrayed Mr. Farrell

After making a name for himself with the Phillies, even representing them in the 1958 All-Star game, Farrell was selected off the Dodgers' roster during the 1961 expansion draft. The first-year Colt .45's, desperately in need of starting pitching, as all expansion teams are, instantly turned the crack reliever (they called 'em "firemen" then) into a starter. Farrell rewarded the team with ten wins and a 3.02 ERA to go with his 203 strikeouts. The Colts rewarded Farrell with 20 losses. The rest of the league understood the situation, however, and Farrell actually pitched in the All-Star game the year he lost 20!

In 1963 he matched his '62 ERA, and got the wins up to 14. In 1964, he was solid as well, going 11-10 with a 3.27 ERA. Interestingly, the opening of the Astrodome, a building which has helped so many pitchers, coincided with a downturn in Farrell's career. In 1965, he won 11 again, but his ERA was up to 3.50, and in 1966 his ERA was an inflated 4.59 with only 101 strikeouts, and he failed to win in double digits for the first time in a Houston uniform. 1967 was his last season as an Astro. Some 34 years later, Farrell's name is nearly erased from the Astros' top ten lists (although his 41 complete games are still good for sixth all-time), but Farrell, like Bob Bruce, Ken Johnson, and Dave Giusti, deserves to be remembered as a top quality pitcher for a team whose birthing pains sometimes cost him runs and victories.

Nine of Farrell's cards as a Colt/Astro

1962 Topps
# 304

1963 Topps
# 277

1963 Fleer
# 38

1963 Jello
# 192

1963 Post
# 192

1963 Pepsi

1964 Topps
# 560

1964 Topps Standup

1965 Topps

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