Charlie Ferguson (1880s pitcher)

Charles J. Ferguson (April 17, 1863 April 29, 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). When not pitching, he increasingly played in the outfield and in his final season at second base.[1]

Charles Ferguson
Born: (1863-04-17)April 17, 1863
Charlottesville, Virginia, Confederate States of America
Died: April 29, 1888(1888-04-29) (aged 25)
Batted: Both
Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 1, 1884, for the Philadelphia Quakers
Last MLB appearance
October 8, 1887, for the Philadelphia Quakers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record99-64
Earned run average2.67
Career highlights and awards
  • Pitched a no-hitter on August 29, 1885
  • 4 20-win seasons


Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, he played baseball for the University of Virginia in 1882, although he was never a student there.[2] He also played for the Virginia representative in the Eastern League, with his team winning the championship.[3] Ferguson made his major league debut with the Quakers in 1884. Philadelphia finished 6th in the National League that season, and Ferguson had a win/loss record of 21-25.[4] That was the only season in which he produced a losing record, and he had his highest earned run average with 3.54.[1]

The next season, his record improved to 26-20, and his ERA dropped to 2.22,[1] while Philadelphia improved in the standings, finishing third in 1885.[5] On August 29, he pitched a no-hitter against the Providence Grays, a 1-0 victory.[6]

He continued his dominance in the 1886 season, winning 30 games and again lowering his ERA, this time to 1.98,[1] good for second in the NL behind Henry Boyle of the St. Louis Maroons.[7] In 1887, he won 22 games and had a 3.00 ERA. That same season, he played 27 games at second base, and had 264 at bats. Along with his 22 victories, he led the team in runs batted in with 85, and his .337 batting average would have led his team as well had his total plate appearances been enough to qualify for the batting title.[8]


Before the 1888 baseball season, he contracted typhoid fever and subsequently died in Philadelphia.[3] He is interred in Maplewood Cemetery in his hometown of Charlottesville.[1] For the 1888 season, the Quakers, Washington Nationals, New York Giants and Boston Beaneaters wore a black crepe on their left sleeves to commemorate Ferguson.[9] In 1931, Wilbert Robinson rated Ferguson as the fifth-best player to that point in baseball history.[10]

See also


  1. "Charlie Ferguson's Stats". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  2. "Charlie Ferguson". Society for American Baseball Research. July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  3. "Charlie Ferguson's Obit". The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 30, 1888. Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  4. "1884 Philadelphia Quakers team page". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  5. "1885 Philadelphia Quakers team page". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  6. "List of No-Hitters and Perfect Games". Archived from the original on 2002-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  7. "1886 National League leaders". Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  8. "1887 Philadelphia Quakers team page". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  9. "Dressed To The Nines: Misc. Uniform Markings". Archived from the original on 2008-03-24. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  10. "Ever Hear of Charlie Ferguson?". Retrieved 2008-02-15.
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