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RIP Tony Ferrara



By Mike Silva ~ December 4th, 2009. Filed under: NY Baseball Memories.

Sad to note another member of the baseball family has passed away this week. Tony Ferrara who was active on the local baseball front for the Mets, Yankees, St. John’s, and most recently the Newark Bears passed away last night.

Ferrara served in various capacities during his time in baseball, including as a bullpen catcher, scout and batting practice pitcher. Ferrara also coached at the collegiate level, including five seasons as the hitting coach for St. John’s University. He coached internationally and was involved with the Israel Baseball League in 2007 serving as manager of one of the teams.

Another interesting fact about Tony was he was hired as technical advisor for the classic baseball movie The Natural. He worked alongside Robert Redford in many of the baseball scenes, and appeared in the film as the third base coach.

I had a chance to briefly meet Tony at a press conference in Newark last year. Always had him on my list to interview, but unfortunately never got the chance. Our condolences go out to his family.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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28 Responses to RIP Tony Ferrara

  1. a fan of tony's

    Tony was a truly kind gentleman. He was a wonderful son, family member and loyal friend to many. They all know who they are and they all will miss this terrific guy. He set a standard for others to follow. He had rare quality, generousity and talent. He leaves behind a legacy stronger and higher than many who achieved perhaps greater fame.

  2. Tommy Vancheri

    Tony was one of the good guys. Always smiling and a pleasure to have in the Heroes in Pinstripes Baseball Club year after year. He will be missed by both myself and my son Mickey. We will take our memories to heart and he will live on in all the stories told about the camp for years to come.

  3. JOE MANGI

    Dear Tony, You will be missed by so many people. But especially by me. I will miss our talks and miss everything about you. We have been friend for the past 15years and it will never be the same without you. You brought joy to my life as well as to everybody you met. Being part of your life and being part of your baseball family will never be forgotton. I will miss you and will always keep you in my heart. Joe Mangi

  4. Scott Roberts

    Tony No-No,
    Many campers feared the oldest pitcher in Fantasy Camp history. I was lucky to know a true teacher of the game of baseball and life. I’ll treasure
    countless opportunities to listen to a great man like Tony holding court on many subjects!!!!
    God Bless You Tony
    Scott

  5. Michael Rollhaus

    Tony, You were a great person!I won’t forget our chats!
    Michael Rollhaus

  6. Dave Winder

    Tony I will miss seeing and talking with you at the different stadiums. I am glad our lives crossed because of our love of baseball. Dave

  7. rick cerone

    a true friend for many many years,, keep throwing in heaven buddy….

  8. Cat

    Your passion for baseball was imbedded in your soul. Your stories held everyone’s attention. You were a good friend and I can only imagine how happy you must be now catching up with Billy, Mickey and the rest of the gang. Rest in enternal peace.

  9. John Harlin

    Tony was a wonderful man who loved life and lived every one of his 80+ years. I don’t think he ever thought of himself as more than 20. It was a pleasure to know him and many will miss his presence and positive attitude.

  10. anthony morino + family

    tony was a kind and very personable gentlemen my family and i are friends with mike torrez he was the bears pitching coach this pat year and my family and i went to about 15 games this year. i got to know tony a little bit in that time he would always come out of the dugout and thro bubble gum to my girls and other kids. my wife used to make homemade meatball sandwhiches for the team and tony said he enjoyed them very much he seemed the picture of life just two short months ago. i was very saddened to hear of his passing my family and i will miss him. rest in peace tony

  11. warren sherman

    A very special man who will be greatly missed by everyone he has touched—he has a special place in our hearts and I will treasure the many lessons in life and baseball I was fortunate to have learned from him

    Rest in peace my friend,

    Marsha Warren Craig and Melinda

  12. Ani Ramos

    A very special baseball man through and through. You will be missed by all from owners, office personell, managers, coaches but more importantly the players.

  13. Tommo Haubert

    Sorry for your loss to the Ferrara family. Tony, you will be missed. Pitching to our team or showing my players the finer points in hitting plus the dinner with Ralph Terry and some of the team. You were a good man and be missed by many. R.I.P.

  14. Michelle & Pito

    Tony was a very special part of our lives… I will miss seeing him and our talks on the phone, which he always ended with “talk to you soon, I love ya” Tony coached my husband for many years and he was a dear friend. His passion for baseball was incomparable. And his passion for his family and friends was even greater. Until we meet again Tony.. we love ya.

  15. Alan Gardner

    It has been a rough 7 or so weeks since Tony’s hospitalization. He was a trooper and a figher all the way through; he set the supreme example with his indomitable spirit, humor, love of people and of life. After knowing him for 5 minutes, he made it feel like you knew him for 5 years. I will take his patient, kind, humorous, giving ways with me wherever I go and strive to honor him with the same for others. Tony, thank you. You gave everyone who knew you support, laughs, friendship and unconditional love, bro. You will always be the king.
    Love ya and make sure they keep their bats flat up there…
    AG

  16. R.J. Novak

    I was just told today about the passing of Tony Ferrara. “Tony No-No”, I am proud to have pinned that nickname on a great baseball man. I will never forget all the good times spent with Tony down in Florida playing, talking, and living baseball. Those of us who met Tony and got to walk with him in his shoes for a week every January or November should be honored to get a feel of how he lived for years with a life in baseball. You will be truly missed and your memory will be cherished. I know you really enjoyed the pic we took with, “The King” together. You worked very hard to pull that one off.
    Rest in peace, Tony, keep on chuckin, partner…

  17. Michael Ambrosino

    Although I only knew Tony for 3 years it felt like a friend for life. From helping my son get into college, talking on the phone, gifts and bubble gum for my girls Tony was always around, even when time went by and we did not get to seee him. I wish I had more time with him, but I am glad I as able to know him at all. God has a good man with him.
    Love ya!

    The Ambrosino’s

  18. A BIG FAN of Tony's

    I can’t say enough about this gentleman and his love of baseball. I sincerely never met a person that wanted to share his knowledge and wanted all the best for those that he played baseball with. He may have been on your team as a player, he may have been your coach, and after that if you were fortunate you were his friend. A true star has left us, but not in our hearts Tony, we will always remember you as a person who loved and shared baseball with all his heart and soul. We will miss you!!!!!!!!

  19. tHomas Leigh

    Tony was the warmest, considerate and most generous friend to me and my 3 sons! He taught us ALL how to hit and how to deal with many of life’s challenges off the field, as well, People say such kind things after someone passes just to be polite, but with Tony, every single word is accurate and true. He made the most of his God given qualities while putting others before himself. I miss you Tony! My entire family misses you and we all pray that you entered God’s Kingdom as easily as you helped so many here. I love you, brother! Peace. Thomas, Eileen, Thomas Jr, Spencer and Sean

  20. Steve Shillet

    Tony was a class act and a true gentleman. I am glad to have known him for over 20 years and proud to call him friend. He will be missed by everyone who ever met him.

  21. Adam

    Tony, a day hasn’t goin by that I just wanna pick up the phone and talk baseball with ya or maybe just hear your voice mail ” you got the machine, you know the routine or you can fax”… I miss knowing we can plan a day to meet and have lunch and talk about life. I miss that hope and dream u would always keep in the back of my mind to get back on the field and give it one more shot. I wish I came with you to Isreal and have yet another season with you on the field. You opened the door for me to play 6yrs of pro. ball, without you, it was really just a childhood dream, you came into mylife and made it a reality. Always keeping my head up and makin sure I kept it going. We spoke many nights of helping each other and trying to come up with a title for your book, I bet that too would of been as amazing as you were to ALL you came in contact with. I miss you Tony, each and everyday.. I keep your words close to my heart and keep your philosophy of hitting in my cage every night i give a lesson or coach a player on the field. I am so Happy for you that you spent that last few months back on the field, coaching and being apart of what you Loved.. We all miss ya Tony, and you stay throwing up there, I will see you someday and will be ready for early work.. I Love ya Tony, talk wit ya soon..

  22. Vic Alfieri

    Tony coached at my baseball camp in Cooperstown New York. He was a great communicator with the 12 and under boys. I have a great photo of Tony standing in the middle of a group of kids during a night game with a local team and our campers, under the lights. Each kid is looking up to Tony as he imparts his strategy to them at a crucial point in the game. It’s priceless. He knew everybody in the game and many would drop by the camp to visit him, and spend time with the boys. We were walking accross Main Street in Cooperstown one night and there was Reggie Jackson standing in front of the Home Plate Restaurant, they embraced and you could see that Reggie had a great deal of respect for Tony. He always ended our phone conversations with ‘I Luv ya’. I love you Tony and I miss you!

  23. Anonymous

    Today at “Old Timer’s Day” at Yankee Stadium I was shocked to learn the passing of Tony Ferrarra. I had known Tony for over 10 years and he was very helpful teaching our son the game of baseball. He taught him so well that he earned a scholarship to a division 1 baseball program. More important than that Tony made it his business to get to know everyone in the family and never showed up empty handed. I enjoyed reading the other blogs about what a caring person Tony was and how he ended the conversation all the times with “I luv ya” May Tony rest in peace and I wish I did a better job of staying in touch with him. I will keep Tony in my prayers.

  24. Blair B

    Rest In Peace Tony!
    I remember you when you lived on 35th & 3rd during the 1960′s and 70′s right up the street from Soupy Sales and around the corner from Long John Nebel.
    You were a local hero to us kids and we will always remember your kindness and your smile.

  25. James M.

    I became friends with Tony in 1989 after donating 30,000 baseball cards to the Leukemia Society of America for sick kids with Gary Carter at age 23. LSA knew Tony and told me to go to his bar (with partner Art Shamsky) in Manhattan as he wanted to meet me. We immediately became good friends as he was the most likeable guys I’ve ever met in sports and I’ve met many.
    He even invited me to go with him to Billy Martin’s funeral soon after we met. But I was too shy back then at 23, so I politely declined- but REALLY wish I hadn’t.
    He invited my father & myself to watch Game 3 of the 89′ World Series at his bar on their big screen TV. It was only us, Art and Tony- as the bar was closed that day. Then the earthquake hit so of course out of all my lifetime memories, this is one of my most prominent.
    He will be very missed by thousands as he was a gentleman among gentlemen & thanks to him and Gary Carter showing me that there is true class in baseball I never missed making a card donation every year since 1989 (100,000+ cards a year for several years) even though I got Muscular Dystrophy myself in 2001.

  26. Gary Chimeri

    I had the pleasure of meeting Tony in yankee camp 1999.With his help tommy tresh moved me from batting 7 to 3rd. I hit well over 300 that camp. After we kept in touch going to our favorite place Mickeys.He was always a city guy, me from long isand.I had told him my passion for the game,as I had woked at 19 for Big George Zukkerman, another gtreat baseball guy.Delivering uniforms, and other stuff for both NY clubs.I told him I had a future prospect a upcoming short stop, and pitcher.Tony being Tony took him under his wing.We would meet him at the train in Freeport and he would give cmplete dedication to traing Gary Jr..Gary became a superb short stop all the way through Connie mack and Pitched in the connie mack All stars .Because of tony.the most fun was when after asession ,tony would say Hey give the old man a helmet.He loved to throw to me . One day at a park in freeport i hit aball about 325 feet.Isaid Hey ton would that be a triple / He said Yeah for anyone else.He always yelled go the other awy, do not pull the ball any you know what can do that.Because of tony .I brought that way of soft tossing to my players , To punch it go get , pull it. And GO THE OTHER WAY>.PS He wanted everyone to have Joe Ds stance.IHe will live in my mind, every time im on a baseball diamond.Gary chimeri

  27. Dorothy Lange NYC

    This is a”thank you” to all who have taken time to write the kind and thoughtful remembrances of Tony.He and my husband Beau were lifelong friends fom college, and Tony and our family have lived in the same building on 35th St for 47 years..until Tony and Beau passed in the same week.,Joseph Ferrara,Tony’s brother and I have been reading all these interesting comments on Tony’s life.He was all and more than has been expressed.His life on and off the field was one of complete love for everyone,but..Baseball itself, was his”greatest love”..and he sacrificed everything for it!

  28. Shawn DeRosa

    Tony,

    RIP, your a great person and was always there to help the team improve their skills. You were a tireless instructor and a class act.

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