Ray Rippelmeyer (TRADING CARD DB)

Ray Rippelmeyer

This article was written by Thomas Van Hyning

Ray Rippelmeyer (TRADING CARD DB)Ray Rippelmeyer pitched 39 1/3 innings in 18 games for the 1962 Washington Senators. Over 11 minor-league seasons, the right-hander compiled a .579 winning percentage with a record of 114 wins and 83 losses in 330 games. He also played winter ball in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. After his playing days, Rippelmeyer’s work ethic, baseball smarts, and positive attitude propelled him to successful careers as a coach, farmer, and roving instructor.

His proudest moment in professional baseball came as the pitching coach for the 1972 Philadelphia Phillies. The team lost 97 games, but after Rippelmeyer convinced Steve Carlton in spring training in 1972 to “throw his slider, which he hadn’t used with St. Louis,” the future Hall of Famer went 27-10 and won the National League Cy Young Award. “I had seen him throw it in Tulsa in 1966 when I was traveling with the Phillies,” Rippelmeyer said. “It was the pitch that made him famous.”1

Raymond (Ray) Roy Rippelmeyer was born in Valmeyer, Illinois, on July 9, 1933.2 He was the youngest of four children of Raymond Fred Rippelmeyer, of Valmeyer, and Selma Kate Rippelmeyer, of Mayestown, Illinois. Both of his parents farmed their entire lives. Their son Russell was born in 1919, followed by Robert, in 1926, and Margaret (1928). Margaret (Maggie) pursued a career as a math teacher in Pocahontas, Illinois. She became a principal, farmed part-time, and was beloved by her students.3 Both of Ray’s brothers farmed. Robert was civic-minded and active in his church and local Chamber of Commerce. He passed away at 89, on January 9, 2016.4

Ray spent many childhood hours doing chores on his father’s 2,500-acre farm, milking cows and tending to pigs, for example.5 In his free time, he enjoyed playing basketball and baseball and listening to St. Louis Cardinals games on the radio, particularly from 1942 to 1946, when they won four pennants and three World Series. Virtually all households in Southern Illinois followed the Cardinals—a minority were Chicago Cubs fans. Rippelmeyer’s hero was Stan Musial, whom he got to “know later on.”6 Other favorites included Mort Cooper, Walker Cooper, and Red Schoendienst.

Rippelmeyer, whose nickname was Bud, preferred basketball over baseball at Valmeyer High School, where he played both sports for the Pirates from grades 10 through 12. His 1951 graduating class had 30 students. From 1951 to 1953, he attended Southern Illinois University (SIU)-Carbondale, 85 miles southeast of Valmeyer. “More on a basketball scholarship,” he said, adding, “I was a basketball star.”7 The SIU Salukis were members of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). In 1951-52, they went 13-11. Rippelmeyer played in 23 games and averaged 8.2 points and 9.1 rebounds.8

In 1952, the Salukis baseball squad went 18-5 overall and won the seven-team IIAC with a 9-1 record under coach Glenn “Abe” Martin. Rippelmeyer worked 15 innings in four pitching appearances and went 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA. At the plate, he was 3-for-16, with one homer and two stolen bases.9

The basketball Salukis finished 13-11 again in 1952-53. Rippelmeyer, a 6-foot-3 forward, led SIU with 15.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.10 He stayed busy with the baseball Salukis, posting a 3-2 (2.06 ERA) record in 1953 in 13 outings as a starter and a reliever. In 56 2/3 innings, he fanned 52 and walked 33. The Salukis wound up one game behind conference champion Eastern Illinois.11 Late in the season, Rippelmeyer hurled a 3-0 shutout versus Northern Illinois.

“My coach got me a chance to go to Canada to play in a semipro League, summer of 1953,” he recalled. “I started off 8-0, finished 11-5, signed with the [Milwaukee] Braves early 1954, with a $4,000 bonus.”12

He was signed by Dewey Griggs, the same scout who had landed Johnny Logan (1947), Hank Aaron (1952), Wes Covington (1952), and others for the Braves.13 Griggs (1899-1968) scouted for the 1947-1952 Boston Braves, 1953-1959 Milwaukee Braves, and 1960-1966 Philadelphia Phillies.

Rippelmeyer could continue playing National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) sports other than baseball.14 In 1953-54, he joined the Southeast Missouri (SEMO) Indians basketball team in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, just to play basketball, and set a single-game school record with 30 points.15

In 1954, he reported to spring training with the Toledo Sox, the Braves’ Class AAA American Association affiliate, managed by George Selkirk.

Other than a single appearance for Toledo, however, Rippelmeyer spent the 1954 season with the Evansville (Indiana) Braves in the Class B Three-I League. He recalled pitching to Keokuk’s Roger Maris, “one of the best hitters in the league and a great fielder,” and opined that Waterloo’s Earl Batey was the loop’s “top catcher.”16 Rippelmeyer led the circuit in winning percentage (.762) and ERA (2.91). He completed 16 of 26 starts in going 16-5 for the first-place Braves (81-54). “I had a 3-5 record on my 21st birthday (July 9) and then won 13 in a row,” he said. “Then won the first game of the [semifinal] playoffs versus Peoria but lost the last game on a bad-hop single over our shortstop’s head.”17

That fall, Rippelmeyer, Class of 1955, returned to SEMO for his senior year. In lieu of majoring in agriculture—a program SEMO did not have—they let him do an “independent study” format whereby he studied on his own, and then an administrator oversaw his testing.18 In basketball, he set a team single-season scoring record of 330 points. He was named All-Conference for the second-straight year and was an Honorable Mention, NAIA All-America.19

Rippelmeyer started the 1955 minor-league season with Toledo after a strong spring. “I got one start, didn’t perform well, and got sent down to Atlanta,” noted Rippelmeyer.”20 With the Atlanta Crackers, he was 9-11 with a 4.35 ERA in the Class AA Southern Association, appearing in 39 games, 27 of them as a starter.

On September 25, 1955, Rippelmeyer married Glenda Faye Jones, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.21 Four children were born from this union: Tara Lynn (1956), Tamara Rae (1957), Lorri Ann (1962), and Brad Raymond (1970). As of 2022, Lorri Ann, a CPA, does tax work for pro and college athletes, coaches, and entertainers.22 Tara Lynn worked in a bank and later stayed home to raise her family. Tamara owned her own company, a St. Louis interior design firm.23 Brad, a former minor-league catcher in the Atlanta Braves organization, does financial planning for an investment firm. He also works with pro baseball player agents but is not an agent himself.24

Two days after Rippelmeyer’s wedding, Uncle Sam intervened. Rippelmeyer did his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in the fall of 1955, and remained there until his honorable discharge from the US Army on June 25, 1957.25 Shortly before being drafted, “I was contacted by the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association and asked to report to their preseason training camp. I politely declined the opportunity but got to play a lot with pro players in the Army.”26

On June 27, 1957, Rippelmeyer reported to the Wichita Braves, who had become Milwaukee’s American Association farm club. In 25 outings (two starts), he was 2-3 with a 3.45 ERA for Wichita’s first-place (93-61) team. The St. Paul Saints eliminated the Braves in the semifinals. Rippelmeyer had some issues with his Wichita manager. “Ben Geraghty was a good manager and handled a pitching staff well,” stated Rippelmeyer. “I felt he never, ever really liked me and ridiculed me at times. We butted heads in 1957. I was sent back to AA in 1958.”27

But first, Rippelmeyer and other Braves pitching prospects–including Claude Raymond, Carl Willey, Phil Paine, and Norman Rehm–were sent to the Dominican Republic in the winter of 1957-58 to get more seasoning. Their manager with the San Pedro de Macorís-based Estrellas Orientales–aka the “Green” team–was Geraghty. In eight Dominican League (LIDOM) starts, Rippelmeyer fanned 34 and walked 17 in 45 2/3 innings, but his record was just 1-7 (4.14).28

In 2022, Rippelmeyer’s son Brad remembered how his father loved his time there. “He told me about facing Juan Marichal of the Escogido Lions (Red team) and getting a hit off him. Dad got to first base and Marichal yelled at him: ‘You can’t hit my curveball like that.’ Dad shrugged and said, ‘I just did.’ Good stuff!”

In December 1957, Rippelmeyer was traded to the San Juan Senators of the Puerto Rican Winter League (PRWL) for reliever Don McMahon. The idea was to place McMahon with a team that didn’t need as much relief help, so he wouldn’t get overworked.29 Rippelmeyer welcomed the deal. “I was told by Ben [Geraghty] that I was going to San Juan—best thing that ever happened to me. San Juan was almost like living in the States, like a second home. I pitched some great baseball. And I hit a two-run homer off Juan Pizarro to beat [archrival] Santurce one Sunday afternoon.”30 Rippelmeyer was 3-2 in 48 innings with a 2.25 ERA, striking out 25 and walking 13.31

In 1958, Rippelmeyer lost two decisions for Wichita to start the season. Before April was over, he was demoted to Atlanta for three months, where he finished 11-8, with a 2.93 ERA in 19 starts. He then rejoined Wichita and went 4-1 down the stretch, but the club succumbed to Minneapolis in the best-of-seven semifinals. Meanwhile, the parent Milwaukee Braves won their second-straight NL pennant.

A successful winter season with San Juan—11-5 and 1.66 ERA—followed.32 Rippelmeyer was second in wins to Santurce’s Rubén Gómez (12-3) and second in ERA to Caguas’s Lloyd Merritt (1.62).33 Between April 1958 and January 1959, Rippelmeyer’s overall professional workload was a heavy 336 2/3 innings. He loved living in San Juan’s Darlington Hotel, near Sixto Escobar Stadium, home to the Senators and Santurce Crabbers. San Juan skipper Luis Olmo was special to Rippelmeyer. “So personal and let you pitch your game,” he said. “He handled the Natives well and he was always in your corner. I really enjoyed playing for him.”34

After first-place San Juan (38-24) was eliminated by Caguas in the PRWL semifinals, four games to one, Rippelmeyer and teammates Luis Arroyo and Nino Escalera were contracted by the LIDOM’s Águilas Cibaeñas to reinforce their roster for their semifinal series versus the Licey Tigers. (This was, and still is, a frequent practice in Caribbean Winter Ball.) Rippelmeyer went 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his seven-inning outing, but Licey took the series.35

Geraghty, now the Louisville Colonels manager, continued to be a roadblock for Rippelmeyer in 1959—he was critical of the latter. With Milwaukee’s new American Association affiliate, the Louisville Colonels, Rippelmeyer was 3-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 11 outings before he was sent, once again, to Class AA Atlanta. There, he completed 19 of his 23 starts, finishing with a record of 11-12, with a 3.21 ERA, and made the Southern Association All-Star team.36

He also took pride in his offense, pinch-hitting frequently for the Crackers and compiling a .273 batting average with five homers and 17 RBIs in 132 at-bats. Rippelmeyer had some “pop” at the plate throughout his pro baseball career. In a twin bill on the last day of the season, Rippelmeyer’s two-run homer defeated first-place Birmingham, 4-3, in the opener. He also delivered the game-winning hit to help Atlanta take the second game, 3-2.37

Rippelmeyer’s third winter campaign with San Juan resulted in an 8-3 (3.49) record in 1959-60. Phil Rizzuto did the San Juan broadcasts in English for radio station WHOA, owned by Bob Leith. Luis Olmo, Rippelmeyer’s former San Juan manager, did the Spanish broadcasts. This was the first time in Puerto Rico’s history that a radio station carried PRWL games in both languages.38

San Juan’s star player was 25-year-old Roberto Clemente. “He [Clemente] was a real joy to be around and the best I ever had a chance to play with,” recalled Rippelmeyer. “What a high-class person and super, super player. What a tragedy that we lost him so early!”39

On November 30, 1959, the Cincinnati Reds selected Rippelmeyer in the minor-league draft. Before he returned from Latin America, he posted San Juan’s only win in their best-of-nine finals. The Caguas Criollos, the circuit’s champions, invited him to join their roster for the Caribbean Series in Panamá. Orlando Cepeda, Juan Pizarro, and José “Pantalones” Santiago, from Santurce, were other reinforcements.40

Rippelmeyer was used once in relief by Caguas player-manager Vic Power versus Panamá’s Marlboro Smokers on February 13, 1960.41 He pitched superbly in 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with seven strikeouts and one walk.42 Caguas (2-4) finished third, behind both Marlboro (3-3) and Cuba’s Cienfuegos (6-0), and ahead of Venezuela’s Rapiños (1-5). Rippelmeyer pitched well in the PRWL as evidenced by his 22-10 record, 2.47 ERA, 302 innings, 125 strikeouts, and 71 walks.43

In 1960, Rippelmeyer, in 33 games, went 16-13 with a 2.71 ERA for the Seattle Rainiers, Cincinnati’s Triple-A Pacific Coast League (PCL) club. He was named to the PCL All-Star Team, along with Tacoma’s Juan Marichal.44 “I lost, 1-0, to Marichal, that season, and also won, 1-0, the next time we faced each other,” affirmed Rippelmeyer. “I pitched 16 innings against San Diego [Padres] and lost, 3-2, on an error in the 16th. Cincy bought my contract in September but didn’t take me up.”45

Rippelmeyer continued his winning ways with the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association in 1961, going 13-8 in 27 starts, despite missing the first two weeks of the season due to an injured knee. He called Indianapolis manager Cot Deal “one of the best I ever played for—had me pinch-hit regularly.”46 Rippelmeyer won Indianapolis’s only post-season game versus the Houston Buffs, in the semis, after his club captured the regular-season title.

On November 27, 1961, the Washington Senators chose Rippelmeyer in the Rule 5 major-league draft. He made his big-league debut at Cleveland on April 14, 1962, relieving Claude Osteen and hurling 5 2/3 scoreless frames. Four more relief appearances in April preceded a memorable home outing against Boston on Thursday, May 3.

Rippelmeyer pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief but did not figure in the decision. Red Sox starter Bill Monbouquette won it; Dick Radatz got the save.

“I warmed up 7 times in the bullpen and finally got in the game. I was sure I wouldn’t be called upon to pitch…entered the game with the bases loaded and 2 outs, losing,3-0. I got the “Yaz” (Carl Yastrzemski) out to save the runs. I hit a HR in my 1st at-bat; then, hit a single in my 2nd AB. I got the steal sign and was running, and Jim King hit a single to make it 3-2. My arm was completely done, but they sent me back out and I gave up a double to Frank Malzone…walked someone intentionally to get to the pitcher [Monbouquette]…had nothing left and walked him to load the bases. I was so disgusted and gave up a 2-run hit to Pete Runnels, and then threw a pitch and popped something in my shoulder. I was never the same after that—pitched in pain the rest of the year.”47

On June 1, Rippelmeyer earned his first (and only) big-league victory in relief at Minnesota. He noted, “It was great, but my arm and shoulder were so stiff and sore; had two hitless innings, 10th, and 11th . . . couldn’t throw a curve or slider.”48 His final appearance—and his only start for Washington—came one month later, at home versus the same Twins. He allowed six hits and four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings, and Camilo Pascual blanked the Senators, 9-0. When Washington returned Rippelmeyer to the Cincinnati Reds on July 11, his final big-league ledger was 1-2, with a 5.49 ERA, with 17 strikeouts and 17 walks. Rippelmeyer became the first Southern Illinois Carbondale Saluki to play in the majors.49

Rippelmeyer spent the rest of the 1962 season with the PCL’s San Diego Padres, and he remained with that club through early 1965. He loved the San Diego weather, the team’s fans, and GM Eddie Leishman—who became the major-league Padres’ first GM in 1969. Rippelmeyer was 29-17 in four San Diego seasons and is proud of being named the team MVP in 1963 and 1964, when he was 11-2 and 14-7, respectively. He started 48 of his 97 games with the Padres, completing 18 of them.

A trio of his 1964 teammates had kind words for Rippelmeyer, including Ted Davidson, Jim Dickson, and Tony Pérez. Davidson and Dickson both noted that “Rippelmeyer was a de facto pitching coach with San Diego” who encouraged them to “get more experience in winter ball.”50 Pérez appreciated Rippelmeyer’s thoughts on winter baseball’s importance.51

Leishman found an opening for Rippelmeyer to manage the Aberdeen Pheasants—a Baltimore Orioles’ farm team in the Class A Northern League—in 1965. “Eddie called me in and said I could stay in San Diego, but he had an opportunity for me to manage,” said Rippelmeyer. “My arm was killing me, so I took the job!” 52 Rippelmeyer’s minor-league pitching totals included a 114-83 record, 3.42 ERA, 1,732 innings pitched, 732 strikeouts, and 524 walks.

Aberdeen (27-39) finished last in the four-team circuit in what proved to be Rippelmeyer’s only managing experience. Leishman offered him a contract to be San Diego’s pitching coach for 1966 and 1967, when they were affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies. Left-hander Grant Jackson, who went on to an 18-season major-league career, opined that Rippelmeyer had the “proper approach” as the Padres 1966 pitching coach, and added, “Rippelmeyer encouraged me to pitch in winter ball.”53 The 1967 Padres went 85-63 to win the East Division, and bested West champion Spokane in the playoffs, four games to two, to claim the PCL title. Rippelmeyer became the Phillies minor-league pitching coordinator in 1968 and 1969, before being promoted to Philadelphia’s pitching coach.

Rippelmeyer helped Bob Boone make the transition to catcher with the Phillies. “I was with Bob Boone when we made him into a catcher from third baseman,” he said. “He had the arm and good hands and was willing to work. I got him down low, and we talked a lot about calling games.”54

From 1970 to 1978, Rippelmeyer served as the Phillies’ pitching coach. He contributed to the club’s improvement, culminating in three straight NL East Division titles from 1976 to 1978. Steve Carlton benefited the most from Rippelmeyer. With 310 strikeouts in 1972, Carlton became the sixth and last MLB pitcher since 1900 with at least 25 wins and 300 strikeouts in a season.55

During one off-season in the 1970s, Carlton visited Rippelmeyer at the latter’s Valmeyer farm. Ray’s son Brad recalled the special friendship between his father and Carlton: “My dad’s Bloody Marys are considered by friends and family as the best they’ve ever had. So, I asked him recently where he got the recipe? He thought for a minute and said: ‘Steve Carlton. We had him down to the farm one off-season and he made them for us.’”56 Brad recalled fun summer vacations, mid-to-late 1970s, when he, his older siblings, and his mom traveled to Philadelphia.57

In 1973, Ken Brett improved under Rippelmeyer’s guidance to 13-9 (3.44) with the Phillies, following his 7-12 (4.53) showing for the 1972 Milwaukee Brewers. Brett was prouder of hitting homers in four straight games, an MLB record for a pitcher. “Ray Rippelmeyer’s demeanor was a plus that season,” said Brett. “He did not tinker with my mechanics but reminded (me) he once hit a few homers.”58

Rippelmeyer had no set rules on how things had to be done, stating: “Every pitcher has to figure out how he can get people out. You have to adapt and make changes that can help you. I tried to figure what each guy had to do to become better.”59

From mid-October 1978 through 1988, Rippelmeyer took a decade-long “sabbatical” from baseball to work full-time on his family farm. “Grandpa Ray passed away in 1977,” said Brad Rippelmeyer. “Our family needed extra help on the farm, and dad stepped in to farm seven days a week on those 2,500 acres.”60

Cincinnati signed Rippelmeyer as pitching coach for their Class AAA farm club in 1989 and 1990, the Nashville Sounds. Home games were played a five-hour drive from St. Louis, and Brad—then a college baseball player at Kansas State—visited his father those two summers. By 1991, Ray was Cincinnati’s minor-league pitching coordinator, and Brad was a member of the Idaho Falls Braves, Atlanta’s rookie-level Pioneer League team. When Idaho Falls played the Reds’ Billings Mustangs affiliate, Brad recalled that his mom sat with the Braves fans, with his dad positioned in the Mustangs’ dugout.61

In 1992 and 1993, Rippelmeyer was the pitching coach for the Martinsville Phillies in the rookie-level Appalachian League. Brad caught for the Durham Bulls in 1992 and noted, “Dad was close enough to me [geographically] that we would get together on off-days.62 Late in the 1993 season, Brad—then catching for the Greenville (South Carolina) Braves—and Ray were separately monitoring a devastating Mississippi River flood via television news. When the levee broke, it took back grass and Valmeyer was washed away. “Our farmhouse was 7-8 feet under water, with some houses, 15 feet under,” said Brad. “We secured a federal buyout via FEMA, took the market value of the house, and moved to the top of the bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River.”63

Rippelmeyer’s 1994-2003 duties included roles as a pitching coach with New York Mets affiliates including the one in Columbia, South Carolina—the Capital City Bombers, the 1997-1998 Norfolk Tides (managed by Rick Dempsey), and the Kingsport Mets. Rippelmeyer was still an effective pitching coach at age 65.

Brian Maxcy pitched well in relief (3-0, 2.74 ERA) for the 1998 Tides, but found himself out of baseball the following season. He appreciated Rippelmeyer’s empathy and human qualities and the way his pitching coach handled players and situations. Maxcy, a native of Amory, Mississippi, said “Coach Rippelmeyer was positive and promoted good chemistry.”64

On his 70th birthday Rippelmeyer received 70 golf balls from the Mets. From 2004-2007, he did special assignment work for the Mets. They sent him to observe pitchers, meet with the pitching coach, or watch a potential draft pick at a college game.65

On January 26, 2015, Rippelmeyer became a widower with Glenda Fae’s passing.

Rippelmeyer has been inducted into four Sports/Athletics Halls of Fame, including SEMO, Valmeyer High School, Belleville-News Democrat (a Southern Illinois newspaper), and San Diego Padres minor-league Hall of Fame. Valmeyer’s honors were the most special, since Ray and Brad were inducted in the same ceremony, on February 3, 2016.66 As of 2022, Ray resides in Waterloo, Illinois, eight and a half miles south of Brad, who resides in Columbia with his wife and three daughters. Ray has three other grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

A February 1, 2012, Bleacher Report blog, “The 50 Best MLB Pitching Coaches of All-Time,” ranked Rippelmeyer number 41 and stated this:

“When former pitcher Ray Rippelmeyer took over as pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies, he inherited a pitching staff that for years had been inept. By the time he was finished in 1978, he had it transformed into one of the best in baseball. Over his nine years as coach, Rippelmeyer presided over the development of Dick Ruthven, Ken Brett, Larry Christenson and Steve Carlton, and the Phillies had won three straight NL East Division titles in Rippelmeyer’s last three years. It was Rippelmeyer who suggested to Carlton that he use his famous slider more often after his trade from the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlton rode that pitch to two Cy Young awards under Rippelmeyer’s watch.”67

Rippelmeyer died on September 9, 2022 in Waterloo, Illinois. He was 89 years old. He was buried at St. John Cemetery in Valmeyer.

Last revised: January 7, 2024 (zp)



Grateful acknowledgment to Ray Rippelmeyer for his June-August 2019 correspondence and responses. Brad Rippelmeyer furnished additional facts via phone interviews, e-mail, texts, and Twitter during March-April 2022. Thanks to Ken Brett, Ted Davidson, Jim Dickson, Grant Jackson, Brian Maxcy, and Tony Pérez, for insights on Rippelmeyer as a teammate or pitching coach.

The author received his master’s degree from SIU-Carbondale.

This biography was reviewed by Malcolm Allen and Howard Rosenberg and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin.


Photo Credit

Trading Card Database



In addition to sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted www.baseball-reference.com.



1 Written correspondence, Ray Rippelmeyer to Tom Van Hyning, June 20, 2019. (Hereafter, R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.)

2 Valmeyer, a Mississippi River town, is 25 miles directly south of St. Louis, Missouri. In 1930, it had 528 residents. Its population was 591 in 1940 and 656 in 1950, based on U.S. census data when Ray Rippelmeyer was in high school.

3 “Margaret M. “Maggie” Louer,” Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home, accessed April 15, 2022, https://www.spengel-boulanger.com/obituaries/Margaret-Louer/. Maggie Louer (1928-2021) was held in high regard by her students. One of them, Mae L. Jacober, called her the “finest principal we ever had and a diamond who will be sadly missed.”

4 Beans, corn, soybeans, and wheat were grown.

5 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview, April 11, 2022. (Hereafter, Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview.) The farm had 2,000 to 3,000 pigs.

6 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

7 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

8 “Cumulative Basketball Statistics Summary,” NCAA, accessed April 22, 2022, http://web1.ncaa.org/app_data/statsPDFArchive/MBB2/F/Men’s%20Basketball_Men’s_College%20Division_1952_659_Southern%20Illinois%20University%20at%20Carbondale.pdf. Rippelmeyer tied for fourth on the Salukis in points/game and was second in rebounds/game. A Saluki is an Egyptian hunting dog. Southern Illinois was known as “Little Egypt” since the 1830s when its crops helped feed residents from the Chicago area and other parts of the state due to a severe famine.

9 “Records & History Section,” 2010 Baseball Media Guide, Southern Illinois University Athletics, accessed April 22, 2022, 92, https://s3.amazonaws.com/sidearm.sites/siusalukis.com/documents/2016/6/13/RecordsSection.pdf. Rippelmeyer has been a steadfast financial supporter of the Saluki baseball and basketball programs.

10 “Cumulative Basketball Statistics Summary,” NCAA, accessed April 22, 2022, http://web1.ncaa.org/app_data/statsPDFArchive/MBB2/F/Men’s%20Basketball_Men’s_College%20Division_1953_659_Southern%20Illinois%20University%20at%20Carbondale.pdf

11 “Records & History,” Baseball Saluki, Southern Illinois University Athletics, 2010, accessed April 22, 2022,


12 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence. Rippelmeyer indicated that anything above $4,000 would require the big-league team to keep a player on its roster for two years.

13 “Dewey Griggs,” Bullpen Front Page, Baseball Reference, accessed April 25, 2022, https://www.baseball-reference.com/bpv/index.php?title=Dewey_Griggs&oldid=169543.

14 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview, April 11, 2022.

15 “Southeast Missouri Athletics Hall of Fame,” accessed April 22, 2022, https://semoredhawks.com/honors/southeast-missouri-athletics-hall-of-fame/ray-rippelmeyer/56. SEMO did not have a baseball team from 1953-1955.

16 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

17 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

18 Brad Rippelmeyer text message to Tom Van Hyning, April 25, 2022.

19 “Southeast Missouri Athletics Hall of Fame,” accessed April 25, 2022, https://semoredhawks.com/honors/southeast-missouri-athletics-hall-of-fame/ray-rippelmeyer/56.

20 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

21 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

22 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview.

23 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

24 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview.

25 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

26 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning correspondence.

27 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

28 The link is to a subscription site focusing on Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) stats, Winterballdata, accessed April 25, 2022, https://stats.winterballdata.com/players?key=3592.

29 John Vorperian, “Don McMahon SABR Bio,” SABR, accessed April 25, 2022, https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/don-mcmahon/.

30 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

31 Roberto Inclán, Senadores de San Juan, 1938-39 al 1982-83. (San Juan, Puerto Rico: San Juan Baseball Club, 1983), 24. The LIDOM was not part of the Caribbean Confederation at the time. Trades between LIDOM and PRWL clubs were easier to make, compared to trades between Confederation members from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

32 Inclán, 25.

33 José Crescioni Benítez, El Béisbol Profesional Boricua (San Juan, Puerto Rico: First Book Publishing), 1997, 98.

34 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence. The word “Natives” is capitalized since it is a form of respect to players from a given island or country, including Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Venezuela.

35The link is to a subscription site focusing on Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) stats, Winterballdata, accessed April 25, 2022, https://stats.winterballdata.com/players?key=3592. LIDOM team owners replaced departed hurlers with new pitchers from the PRWL or Venezuelan Winter League. Rippelmeyer may have received $1,000 USD for one week with the Águilas Cibaeñas. Tommie Sisk alerted the author he was offered $1,500 to pitch one week in the LIDOM post-season circa early February1965 but declined due to being tired.

36 Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolfe, Editors, Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007), 503.

37 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

38 Miguel J. Frau, “31,736 Fans See 5 Lidlifters; Giggie Fires 4-Hit Blank, The Sporting News, October 21, 1959: 26. Bob Leith became the owner of the 1960-61 San Juan Senators baseball team.

39 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence. Rippelmeyer had faced Clemente in the 1957-58 semifinal series, won by Caguas over San Juan, three games to one. Clemente was traded to San Juan, prior to the 1959-60 season.

40 Thomas E. Van Hyning, The Santurce Crabbers (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 1999), 85.

41 Leo J. Eberenz, “Cuba Caribbean Kings for Fifth Year in a Row,” The Sporting News, February 24, 1960: 24.

42 Jorge S. Figueredo, Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961, (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2003), 470.

43 Thomas E. Van Hyning, Puerto Rico’s Winter League (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 1995), 254.

44 “Spokane Will Host All-Stars,” Centralia (Illinois) Daily Chronicle, July 5, 1960: 8.

45 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

46 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence. Cot Deal was a folk hero in Puerto Rico, having starred for the San Juan Senators, early-to-mid-1950s.

47 Written correspondence, Ray Rippelmeyer to Tom Van Hyning, June 20, 2019. Rippelmeyer’s long third-inning homer off Bill Monbouquette and fifth-inning single, plus the sixth-inning rally by Boston are documented at https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WS2/WS2196205030.shtml, accessed April 26, 2022.

48 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

49 “Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Carbondale, IL) Baseball Players,” accessed May 18, 2022, https://www.baseball-reference.com/schools/?key_school=b356a174. Tom Timmermann became the second former Saluki to play in the majors, with the 1969 Detroit Tigers. Colin Holderman was the 31st ex-Saluki, with the 2022 New York Mets.

50 Separate Ted Davidson and Jim Dickson phone interviews, October 1997, when the author was doing research for a book on the Santurce Crabbers.

51 In-person interview with Tony Pérez, Plant City, Florida, March 1993. Pérez noted the importance of his first PRWL season with the 1964-65 Santurce Crabbers and encouraged Ted Davidson to play for 1966-67 Santurce. Rippelmeyer’s positive experiences in winter ball were shared with some 1964 Padres teammates.

52 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

53 In-person interview with Grant Jackson, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 2018. Jackson pitched multiple seasons for the Caguas Criollos, the team Rippelmeyer reinforced in the 1960 Caribbean Series.

54 Tom Owens, “Phils Coach Ray Rippelmeyer’s Pet Project: Steve Carlton,” June 17, 2010, accessed April 8, 2022, https://www.baseballbytheletters.com/category/ray-rippelmeyer/.

55 Thomas E. Van Hyning, “Six MLB Pitchers with 25+ wins and 300+ strikeouts in the same season (1900-2021),” Beisbol 101, accessed April 26, 2022,

https://beisbol101.com/six-mlb-pitchers-with-25-wins-and-300-strikeouts-in-the-same-season-1900-2021/. The other five pitchers are: Sandy Koufax (3 times), Walter Johnson (2 times), Bob Feller, Mickey Lolich, and Rube Waddell.

56 Brad Rippelmeyer tweet, March 6, 2022.

57 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview.

58 Ken Brett phone interview, November 1993. Brett pitched for 1970-71 San Juan Senators, managed by Roberto Clemente, Rippelmeyer’s ex-San Juan teammate. Brett was a DH for the 1977-78 Bayamón Cowboys.

59 R. Rippelmeyer-Van Hyning written correspondence.

60 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview.

61 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview. Ray Rippelmeyer was “itching” to get back into baseball by 1989.

62 Brad Rippelmeyer e-mail to Tom Van Hyning, April 29, 2022.

63 Brad Rippelmeyer phone interview.

64 Brian Maxcy phone interview, March 2004. Maxcy also played winter ball with Santurce, 1996-98.

65 Brad Rippelmeyer text message, April 30, 2022.

66 Brad Rippelmeyer text message, April 25, 2022.

67 Doug Mead, “The 50 Best MLB Pitching Coaches of All-Time,” Bleacher Report, February 1, 2012, accessed April 26, 2022, https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1047146-the-50-best-mlb-pitching-coaches-of-all-time.

Full Name

Raymond Roy Rippelmeyer


July 9, 1933 at Valmeyer, IL (USA)

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