Farm boy pitched his way to forgotten fame

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Texas History

The long baseball career of Fred “Firpo” Marberry, the major league’s first relief pitcher, ended on May 9, 1941 with his unconditional release by the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League.

Even though Fred Marberry was the tenth child born to a Mississippi couple, who resettled in north central Texas, there were only four siblings waiting to welcome him in 1898. The other five were already dead and gone.

Growing up on a farm near Streetman south of Dallas, Fred had no time for extracurricular activities. After school, weekends and in the summer, there were always plenty of chores to do. Except for an occasional game with the local amateur team, he played very little baseball in his teens.



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