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David Meadow "Boo" Ferriss, a baseball legend and one of Mississippi's most beloved citizens, died November 24 at home. Ferriss was 94.
At Shaw High School, Ferriss played and excelled in all sports, especially baseball. The legendary coach and athletic director of Mississippi State University, Dudy Noble, awarded Ferriss the first full baseball scholarship in school history. After his junior year, he signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox, remarkably earning rapid promotion to the Major League team. He established several Major League records. Ferriss made the 1946 American League All-Star team.
In late 1959 Ferriss accepted the position of athletic director and head baseball coach at Delta State. There, he built one of the most successful college baseball programs in the U.S., producing many championship teams as well as future baseball coaches.
In all, he coached 26 years, achieving a record of 639 victories. His teams won four Gulf South Conference championships and advanced to the Division II World Series three times. Ferriss produced several Major League players, 20 All-Americans and more than 60 future baseball coaches. He was most proud of the fact 92 percent of players who came through his program earned their college degrees. Ferriss is beloved among his former players for his care and attention to their families long after their playing days.
In addition to coaching duties, Ferriss served 19 years as Executive Director of the Delta State University Foundation. Upon his coaching retirement, the Delta State baseball field was named Ferriss Field. It is the centerpiece of one of the nation's most complete college baseball facilities, including a Boo Ferriss Museum, and an indoor workout facility. In 2015, a statue of Ferriss was dedicated in his honor at the ballpark.