Charles J. Ferguson

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Charlie Ferguson, starred for the Philadelphia Quakers of the National League from 1884 through 1887.

Charles J. "Charlie" Ferguson (1863-1888) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire four-year career for the Philadelphia Quakers (who were later renamed the Phillies).

At the height of the Civil War, Charles J. Ferguson was born on April 17, 1863, to G. M. and Teresa Ferguson at No. 275 West Main Street in what was then the Random Row or Vinegar Hill area of Charlottesville (now the site of Rapture Restaurant). G. M. Ferguson was a neighborhood baker who built small wooden additions on either side of the family home and rented them to other Random Row merchants who operated “grocery” stores.

During the Quakers’ spring preparation for the 1888 season, he contracted typhoid fever and subsequently died in Philadelphia on April 29, 1888, at 10:30 p.m., less than two weeks after his 25th birthday. The next day his remains were returned to his hometown of Charlottesville and interred in Maplewood Cemetery after a funeral attended by the entire Quakers organization and players on the Princeton College team, which Ferguson had coached in the off-seasons. (Princeton College is now Princeton University.) In baseball history, he may have been the most prominent active major leaguer to die during his playing career. To honor Ferguson, the Quakers along with the Washington Nationals, New York Giants, and Boston Beaneaters wore black crepe on their left sleeves during the season.

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