In Memory of Dick Farrell

Turk Farrell, Ex-Pitcher, Killed in Auto Accident
The New York Times
June 13, 1977


(c) Houston Astros
BOSTON, June 12 (UPI) -- Richard "Turk" Farrell, who won 106 games as a pitcher for 13 years in the National League, has been killed in an auto accident. He was 43 years old.

Farrell compiled a 106-111 won-lost record with the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Houston Astros. A Brookline, Mass., native, he had been working recently as an oil rig foreman and living in a small town in England.

A fun-loving pitcher who spent 14 years in the majors, Farrell was killed in an auto accident in Great Yarmouth, England, June 11. He was 43.

A hard-throwing right-handed reliever with the Phillies, Dodgers, and Houston, Farrell was working for a U.S. oil company drilling wells in the North Sea.

He first joined the Phillies in 1956 and the following year had his best season in the majors, winning 10 and losing two.

He was also getting some publicity off the field. He and pitchers Jack Meyer and Jim Owens were dubbed the "Dalton Gang" by Philadelphia writers who claimed the trio had a sincere love for the bright lights.

The players claimed their late-hour exploits were blown out of proportion, but the tales made some light reading.

Farrell was fined $250 by Manager Eddie Sawyer in 1958 for using his fist to break a mirror in a Milwaukee bar.

Farrell had just lost a tough decision. "I was looking in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw," said Farrell. "So I landed a punch."

Farrell and Owens were roommates for four years and Gene Mauch, when he became manager in 1960, decided to break up the pair. He figured he'd expose them to more stable influences.

So Farrell was paired with coach Ken Silvestri and Owens with coach Peanuts Lowery. It was devastating for the coaches.

"Silvestri would go to bed at 10 o'clock," Farrell recalled a few years later. "I'd order a few beers and keep the TV set on until 4 a.m. Owens would do the same thing with Lowery. We kept this up for 10 nights."

At the end of that time Silvestri and Lowery were in a state of exhaustion. Silvestri went to Mauch, complaining, "I can't room with this guy, Gene. He never sleeps."

The next day Farrell and Owens were roommates again.

"When Turk loses a game, his temper is quick and he's sometimes moody,' a teammate once said. "But when he wins, he's the life of the party."

There were 106 victories and 111 losses during his career. But at the time he was with the Phillies and Houston the teams were hardly world beaters.

After five seasons he wore out his welcome with Philadelphia and was traded to the Dodgers during the 1961 campaign.

Houston, then the Colt .45s, bought Farrell from the Dodgers for $125,000 in the expansion draft of 1962. He did well, winning 53 games for the new team.

He went back to Philadelphia during 1967 and closed out his major league career there in 1969.

He was far from finished. He traveled the minor league route until 1971 when he was released in mid-season by a Mexican League team.