March 3, 2018: Roger Smith (class of 1976), Ferroni (class of 1970) and the 1977 Giants baseball team were inducted into the Redwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame during a banquet hosted by Bay Area radio legend (and Redwood alumni) Bruce MacGowan.
Roger Smith played baseball and basketball at the varsity level from his sophomore through his senior years at Redwood. In 1970, he appeared in 14 MCAL games as a pitcher and led the team to a 13-1 MCAL record with a 2.25 ERA. He earned first team MCAL honors in both basketball and baseball his senior year.
Frank Ferroni made first team MCAL in both his junior and senior years as a pitcher for the Giants. Ferroni put up astounding numbers his senior year, records that will most likely never be broken. He was 17-1 with a .91 ERA and had 194 strikeouts in 95 innings. Ferroni was drafted by the Giants and the Twins but took a scholarship to Pepperdine to play for Augie Garrido and sustained an injury that prevented him from playing. He was later drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, unfortunately, his career was shorted due to his injury.
The 1977 Mythical National Champion baseball team was inducted in the ‘Special Merit-Team Award’ category and nearly the entire team was in attendance to accept the award. Captain Jim Connor took the podium first and recanted the historic game against Taiwan and the championship game, an epic come-from behind victory against Hayward. Buddy Biancalana followed Jim and described the impact that head coach Al Endriss had him as a player and credited Endriss for opening doors for him to play after high school, “Texas was willing to give me a scholorship and never saw me play…just on Al’s word…that shows how well respected he was.”
Head Coach Al Endriss said, “This may be the best team that not only the MCAL but Northern California has ever seen, and will ever see…I was willing to play our team against any team, anywhere, and I knew we would win.”
With 33 wins and 4 losses, they were named High School National Champions by the Easton Bat Company and the ’70’s National High School Team of the Decade by Sporting News. They had five High School All-Americans (Buddy Biancalana, Jim Connor, Jimmy Jones, Mickey Meister, and Greg Zunino). Twelve players went on to play at the collegiate level. Four players were drafted and played at the professional level (Steve Travers, Biancalana, Meister, Zunino). Biancalana was the first round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals (drafted before Cal Ripken), and nearly won the 1984 World Series MVP and made appearances on the Late Night with David Letterman.
The players on the team were: Buddy Biancalana, Brett Parker, Scott Sutton, Steve Travers, Mickey Meister, John Jones, John Caito, Len Tallerico, Jim Connor, Bill Scott, Gary Ferrari, Greg Zunino, David Hoffmeister, Mike Long, Jim Jones, Steve Hoffmire, Bryon Myles, Howard Gibian, Cam Garrett, Kevin Wiltz, David Lui, and Lindsay Gordon.
Smith, Ferroni, and the ’77 Team join fellow Redwood Baseball Inductees John Boro-’70, Buddy Biancalana-78, Pete Carroll-’69, Richard “Butch” Brear-’61, Jim Connor-’77, Mike Connor-’73, Ken Johnson-’68, Chad Kreuter-’82, Mickey Meister-’79, Jim Peters-’69, Jerry Piro-’70, Cory Shakarian-’90, Russell Smith-’66, Kevin Wilson-’67, Greg Zunino-’77, Dick Hart-Basketball Coach & Frosh Baseball Coach and Al Endriss-Baseball Coach-’58-93.