|Born: January 9, 1936|
Big Cabin, Oklahoma
|August 6, 1956, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 14, 1967, for the New York Mets|
|Earned run average||3.62|
|Career highlights and awards|
Ralph Willard Terry (born January 9, 1936) is an American former right-handed pitcher who played for 12 seasons in Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Cleveland Indians, and New York Mets. He was the MVP of the 1962 World Series, which he won with the New York Yankees. However, he is perhaps best known for giving up a walk-off home run to Bill Mazeroski that won the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Terry played for the Independence Indians in the Ban Johnson League in 1953. The home field for the Independence Indians was Shulthis Stadium in Independence, Kansas. The stadium is the same one that Mickey Mantle started his career at with the Independence Yankees in 1949.
Terry made his major league debut in 1956, going 1-2 in three games played in his rookie season. The following year, he appeared in seven games, making two starts, before being traded to the Kansas City Athletics on June 15.
Terry finished the 1957 season 4-11 in 19 starts for the Athletics. He rebounded somewhat the next season, going 11-13 in 40 games, including 33 starts. In 1959, he started 2-4 with a 5.24 ERA in 9 games. On May 26 of that year, he was traded to the New York Yankees along with Hector Lopez.
Upon his return, Terry went 3-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 24 games, including 16 starts. His career began to take off in 1960, when he posted a 10-8 record and 3.40 ERA. That year, he made his first postseason appearance, in two games of the 1960 World Series. He was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in the two games, one start and one relief appearance, and gave up Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run in Game Seven.
In 1961, Terry posted a 16-3 record with a 3.15 ERA in 31 games (27 starts). In the 1961 World Series, he was 0-1 with a 4.82 ERA in two starts, but won his first championship when the Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games.
For 1962, Terry went 23-12 with a 3.19 ERA. That year, he posted career bests with 23 wins, 39 starts, 298.2 innings pitched, and 176 strikeouts against 57 walks. His 23 victories led the American League. In the 1962 World Series, he went 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 25 innings over three games against the San Francisco Giants. His performance earned him the World Series MVP award that season.
The next year, Terry was 17-15 with a 3.22 ERA in 37 games, including a career-high 18 complete games. He pitched three innings in the 1963 World Series against the Dodgers, finishing with a 3.00 ERA, as the Yankees were swept in four games.
In 1964, Terry went 7-11 with a 4.54 ERA. In the 1964 World Series against the Cardinals, he gave up two hits and struck out three batters as the Yankees lost. On October 21, Terry was traded to the Cleveland Indians as a player to be named later for Pedro Ramos.
Terry started 15 games for the Athletics in 1966, where he went 1-5 with a 3.80 ERA. On August 6, his contract was purchased by the New York Mets.
With the Mets in 1966, Terry went 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA in 11 games, six as a reliever. In 1967, Terry pitched in just two games, and finished one, before being released on May 16. He subsequently retired.
In five World Series (1960-64), Terry posted a record of 2-3, 31 strikeouts and a 2.93 ERA. Both wins came in the 1962 World Series against the San Francisco Giants, including a 1-0 shutout in Game 7 over Giant ace Jack Sanford. That game--and thus the Series--ended with Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson catching Willie McCovey's line drive.
After baseball, Terry became a professional golfer. He won the 1980 Midwest PGA Championship and based on his status as a PGA of America sectional champion, he qualified for and played in four PGA Tour events in 1981 and 1982. In 1986, he started playing on the Senior PGA Tour. His best finish was a tie for 10th at the 1989 Showdown Classic. He often appears at Yankees' Old-Timers' Day.
Terry has for several years, lived in Larned, Kansas, where he was in the insurance business for a number of years and is now retired and still golfs as a hobby.