Open main menu

Clifford Raymond Garrison (August 13, 1906 – February 9, 1994) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Boston Red Sox during the 1928 and 1929 seasons. Drafted in the second round of the 1928 Major League Baseball Draft and listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 180 lb., Garrison batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Garrison attended North Baltimore High School, where he set a school record 57 touchdowns in his three years, a record that remains unbroken today. While attending Ohio State University, he was initiated as a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Initially, Garrison went to Ohio State on a football scholarship, where he was preparing to pursue a degree in engineering. However, before his first semester, under the influence of Boston Red Sox manager Lee Fohl, he was advised to play on a summer professional baseball team under a false name, Clifford Lewis, despite the fact that it could jeopardize his collegiate sports eligibility.

Professionally, Garrison posted a 2.08 ERA with ninety-four strikeouts and 112.0 innings of work in sixteen appearances. His record was 11–2 with three no decisions. Due to an unfortunate car accident in 1929, rendering him unable to pitch, Garrison's career was cut short midway through his second season in Boston. Nonetheless, Garrison continued his involvement in the game of baseball by founding the C. R. Garrison Fellowship Fund, raising money for economically disadvantaged athletes who aspired to play at the collegiate level. With such outstanding success in the field of philanthropy, Garrison became just the fifth man to be awarded the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1959 given annually to a Major League Baseball player who, both on and off the field, best exemplifies the character and integrity of Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig.

Cliff Garrison died of natural causes at the age of 87 in Palm Beach, Florida with support from his wife of sixty-seven years, Denise, two sons Harry & Robert, grandkids, Rick, Rod, Randy, and the favorite of all, Melissa.