Alex Ferson (BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM)

Alex Ferson

This article was written by Bill Lamb


Alex Ferson (BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM)During the 1889 season, rookie right-hander Alex Ferson parlayed pitching intelligence and an excellent curveball into a commendable record for a last-place team, the National League’s Washington Senators. He was 17-17 (.500) for a club that was hapless otherwise (24-56, .300).

But a promising start went unfulfilled. It soon became apparent that the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Ferson lacked an indispensable prerequisite for becoming a top-echelon pitcher in the late 19th century: a rubber arm. Crippled by the innings burden laid on hurlers at the time and beset by recurring throwing arm miseries, Ferson won only one more major league game. Repeated minor league comeback attempts failed, and Alex was done as a performer when he should have been in his prime. He spent the remaining six-plus decades of a long life in the dry goods and lunch counter trade, maintaining a keen interest in the game until the end. The paragraphs below recall the life and baseball times of this now forgotten “might have been” hurler.

Alexander Ferson was born in Philadelphia on July 14, 1866, one of eight children descended from carpet weaver William Ferson (1827-1888) and his wife Isabella (née Mitchell, 1831-1920), both Irish immigrants.1 Census records and Philadelphia city directories suggest that Alex’s parents separated while he was still a boy. Notwithstanding that, he managed to attain the elementary school education customarily afforded the children of the working class. He then entered the local labor force.2

Like a legion of contemporaries, Ferson learned the game on the sandlots of Philadelphia, advancing in time to amateur teams, most notably Nicetown, a fast area club.3 Ferson entered the professional ranks in 1886, joining Wilkes-Barre of the independent Pennsylvania State Association. After going 1-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 35 innings pitched, the 20-year-old was released.4 He then signed with a PSA rival, the Altoona Mountain Cities.5 In four complete games pitched for Altoona, Ferson went 2-2, with a 1.80 ERA.

In spring 1887, Ferson contracted with the Manchester (New Hampshire) Farmers of the established minor New England League.6 He would thereafter form a lifelong bond with the bustling manufacturing hub located about 50 miles northwest of Boston. With Manchester, Alex formed a battery with catcher George Dunn, his future brother-in-law, and quickly became the club ace, going 20-18 for the fourth-place (55-46) Farmers. But his 311 innings pitched taxed the youngster’s arm, and by season’s end he was exhibiting the first signs of what would become chronic arm trouble.

Ferson then aggravated the situation by joining the National League’s Philadelphia Quakers for a post-season exhibition game tour.7 He pitched poorly, particularly in San Francisco, where he lacked control and was hit hard. Still, an intrigued Jim Hart, field manager of the Milwaukee Brewers of the Western Association, engaged the prospect for the following season.8 The acquisition was promptly panned by a West Coast newspaper, which scorned Ferson as “a very rank twirler, as wild as an Apache, no judgment, and sure death to his catcher.”9

Ferson’s performance in Milwaukee seemed to validate the criticism. Still suffering the lingering effects of a sore arm, he was awful. Alex lost his only two starts for the Brewers, giving up 25 base hits and five walks in only 14 innings pitched.10 In late May, he was released at his own request.11

But once back home, Ferson decided to give pitching another try, signing with the Lynn (Massachusetts) Lions of the New England League.12 That decision revived his career. By July, it was reported that “Ferson is doing by far the best hurling of all New England League pitchers.”13 Behind its newly acquired staff standout (13-5, with a sparkling 1.34 ERA in 167 1/3 innings-pitched), the Lions roared to the top of NEL standings. But the club did not fare as well financially; on July 25, it disbanded. On or about the same date, Ferson was dispatched to league rival Manchester “for a slight consideration.”14

This change had no effect on Ferson. He continued his winning ways, going 12-2, with a 1.66 ERA in 125 innings pitched for his old club. The big thing that changed was the young pitcher’s marital status. Late that August, he and 20-year-old Katherine “Katie” Dunn were wed in a Roman Catholic ceremony in the bride’s hometown of Manchester.15 Their union would endure a remarkable 69 years and produce five children.16 Meanwhile, by season’s end Ferson was the NEL leader in wins, winning percentage, and ERA.17 And with the recovery of his arm apparently evidenced in over 300 innings pitched combined, Alex was now a genuine major league prospect.

During the off-season, Ferson was snapped up by the Washington Senators, the doormats of the National League.18 The Washington brain trust was cobbling together a new pitching corps. Ferson joined a motley mix of newcomers (himself and George Haddock), returning mediocrities (George Keefe and Hank O’Day), and castoffs (Egyptian Healy and others).

Once the 1889 season began, Ferson quickly emerged as staff ace. He made an impressive major league debut on May 4 against Boston, but dropped a well-pitched 3-2 decision to future Hall of Famer John Clarkson. An observer for the Boston Herald subsequently reported that “Ferson pitched a surprisingly strong game, and baffled the heaviest of the Boston men. He had excellent control of the ball, fine curves and great speed which he kept up throughout the game. He astonished the spectators with his excellent work.”19

Thereafter, Ferson’s early work included gems like a three-hit, 3-0 shutout of Philadelphia on May 10, his first major league win. Following a four-hit, 6-1 triumph over Pittsburgh two weeks later, the Washington Post declared: “Ferson is a great pitcher. He will be even better when the warm weather comes.”20 Much of Ferson’s success may be attributed to closely heeding the pitching instructions of his wily catcher, Connie Mack. Mack biographer Norman Macht related that “before each of his starts, Mack went over the lineup with Ferson, pointing out how to pitch to each batter.”21 The result of these tutorials: four Ferson victories in his first five starts.

Eventually, a lack of offensive support and periodic bouts of wildness caught up with the young hurler. More ominously, late-season arm trouble kept him out of Washington’s final 13 games. Still, Alex Ferson compiled creditable numbers pitching for a lousy club (41-83, .331). In 36 games, he went 17-17 (.500), with a decent 3.90 ERA in 288 1/3 innings pitched. But his base hits allowed (319) and walks (105) needed improvement, and he struck out only 85 opposing batsmen. Still, Alex had made a good start on what promised to be a long and successful career. Sadly, unbeknownst to him and his contemporaries, Ferson’s best days in baseball were now behind him.

The close of the 1889 season coincided with the arrival of an entirely new major league, the ballplayer-driven Players League. Like most of his Washington teammates, Ferson was a Brotherhood man. Indeed, following a meeting in Boston with union operative Arthur Irwin, Alex and Senators first baseman Jack Carney reportedly subscribed to $500 worth of Players League stock.22 Still, Washington club owner Walter Hewitt had not given up hope of re-signing his hurling mainstay. In the end, however, Ferson declined the $2,500 contract offered by Hewitt and joined battery mate Mack and virtually the entire Senators pitching staff in casting his lot with the PL Buffalo Bisons.23 It would prove a disastrous move.

For reasons unclear, Buffalo playing manager Jack Rowe recruited a roster loaded with refugees from a bad Washington team and other National League dregs. The predictable result was a non-competitive Buffalo club, easily the worst in the Players League. From the start, a major problem confronting skipper Rowe was the fragile state of Alex Ferson’s pitching arm.24 On April 21, 1890, the Bisons’ designated ace staggered to a 15-8 victory over Cleveland on a wintry day. It would be his last as a major leaguer. From there on, Ferson lost seven straight decisions before Buffalo shut him down in late July, sending him home to Manchester “to get his arm in shape.”25 He never returned, finishing the 1890 season with a 1-7 log and a bloated 5.45 ERA in 71 innings pitched. Meanwhile, Buffalo finished in the cellar at 36-96 (.273), some 46½ games behind the pennant-winning Boston Reds.

When the Players League folded over the succeeding winter, Ferson joined the multitude of ballplayers now available for new employment. He appeared to be without prospects, but J.L. Bacon, incoming manager of the Buffalo entry in the new minor league Eastern Association, offered his endorsement. In Bacon’s estimation, “Alex Ferson [was] one of the most promising twirlers in the profession, one who has his head in the game all the time, a gentleman on and off the field, and any club that secures him will have a man who, besides being a first-class pitcher, will not keep his manager guessing nights as to the condition he will be in the next day.”26

Shortly thereafter, interest began to emerge. First, it was reported that Ferson would be given a tryout with the newly formed Washington Senators of the major league American Association.27 Later, he was said to be negotiating with the New Haven Nutmegs of the Eastern Association.28 In the end, however, Ferson came to terms with another EA club, the Syracuse Stars.29

Once back in harness, Ferson rebounded nicely, taking a regular turn in the box and posting eye-catching numbers. In 23 appearances, he went 15-6, with a scintillating 1.18 ERA in over 180 innings pitched. By early August, however, the Syracuse club was in financial distress and having difficulty meeting its player payroll. Rather than chance working without a reliable paycheck, Ferson abandoned the Stars and spent the remainder of the summer pitching for a semipro club in Northampton, Vermont.30 His numbers in Syracuse had once again made him a candidate for a major league roster. But his desertion of the Stars had landed him on the ineligible list, rendering him unemployable in Organized Baseball for the remainder of the 1891 season.31

Ferson was restored to eligibility when the Eastern Association went out of business over the winter. The following March, his name was placed in the hat when those attempting to revive the defunct Western League met in Chicago for a player dispersal draft, among the innovations designed by Cincinnati Reds club owner John T. Brush, the guiding force of the new venture.32 In a prototype of the baseball trust scheme that he would attempt to foist on the National League eight years later, Brush organized the Western League as a cooperative, mutually held enterprise, with playing talent assigned to league entrants via a lottery. Initially, Ferson was drawn by the Columbus (Ohio) Reds.33 But in order to equalize the talent distribution, he was promptly transferred to the roster of the Milwaukee Brewers.34

Given his disappointing performance there four years earlier, the Ferson transfer was not particularly well received in the Milwaukee press.35 Yet once the 1892 season began, the pitcher set about changing local opinion. He performed ably, and by early July was the Milwaukee team leader in wins (11), ERA (2.05), and strikeouts (67). By then, however, the Brewers were foundering financially; the club disbanded on July 7. A week later, the entire Western League collapsed.

Minor league baseball was not the only place where circuits were shrinking. The previous winter had seen the demise of the American Association. Thus, within two seasons, the number of ball clubs accorded major league status had fallen from 24 across three circuits to 12, all now members of an overstuffed National League. Perhaps the tight job market accounted for Ferson’s agreement to join yet another dismal club, the last-place Baltimore Orioles.36 Like his two previous big league teams, the Orioles were losers, but this time Ferson had mostly himself to blame for his failure. In his July 19 debut against Cleveland, a shaky four-run first inning led to a six-inning, 6-3 defeat.37 He was even worse his next time out, surrendering seven runs during a three-inning relief stint a week later. Shortly thereafter, Baltimore skipper Ned Hanlon gave Ferson notice of his release.38

Although he would continue pitching for several more seasons, Alex Ferson’s major league days had ended. In 48 games spread over parts of three seasons, he had gone 18-25 (.419), with a 4.37 ERA in 368 1/3 innings pitched. Over that span, he had been generous with baserunners, surrendering 424 base hits and 151 walks, while striking out only 106. Nor had he helped himself much with the bat, posting an anemic .133 batting average, with but four extra-base hits and five RBIs in 150 at-bats.39 On the plus side, Ferson had never been a problem for his managers and was considered a good teammate.

His next stop was the Providence Clamdiggers of the Eastern League. He lasted less than a month, going 1-3 in four starts, with a respectable 2.83 ERA despite 48 base hits and 15 walks permitted in only 35 innings pitched. Following his release by Providence,40 Ferson finished the 1892 season back in the New England League, pitching for the Salem (Massachusetts) club.41

He remained in the NEL the following year, becoming a member of the Lewiston (Maine) ball club.42 Ferson started well for his new team, being one of the circuit’s few hurlers who adjusted well to recent rule changes that eliminated the pitcher’s box and elongated the pitching distance to the modern 60 feet, six inches.43 As midseason neared, Alex was winning regularly — until he was again sidelined by an aching arm. He returned to pitch a handful of games late in the season, and finished with a handsome 13-5 (.722) record and a 2.06 ERA in 162 innings pitched for second-place (56-39, .602) Lewiston.

As the 1894 season approached, Ferson was only 27 and coming off a successful, albeit abbreviated, campaign. He therefore had reason to hope that he still might get another major league chance — provided he could demonstrate that his arm was healthy and up to the rigors of late-19th century pitching. To that end, he girded for a return engagement with Lewiston by taking on the duties of preseason baseball coach and trainer for Bates College in the same town.44 Once the pro season began, Ferson got off well; by early June, one NEL newspaper was calling him “the best pitcher in the league.”45 As a consequence, manager Frank Selee of the National League’s Boston Beaneaters began to inquire about Ferson’s availability.46 But before any move was made, it all went sour for the Lewiston ace.

First, he had to leave the club to attend to his wife, seriously ill back home in Manchester.47 He returned once Katie Ferson recovered, but seemed to be a changed man. Previously among the most agreeable of players, Ferson became surly and difficult. In mid-August, he was suspended for insubordination by Lewiston manager Jack Leighton.48 Ferson responded by bolting the club, a move that prompted an angry blast from the hometown paper. “No player was ever used better in any city than Ferson has been used in Lewiston,” declared the Lewiston Evening Journal. “He drew his pay last year for a long time when he couldn’t even eat with his right arm.”49 Shortly thereafter, the missing hurler resurfaced at home in Manchester, claiming that he had contracted diphtheria.50 But reports soon unveiled the lie, showing Ferson with a semipro club in Milford, New Hampshire.51 Thereafter, Lewiston formally placed him on the club’s suspended list.52

The following year, Ferson was somehow permitted to sign with another New England club, the Fall River (Massachusetts) Indians.53 There the previous season, minus the histrionics, essentially repeated itself. Ferson pitched decently for the Indians until his arm gave out in early July.54 He then went home.

Remarkably, Ferson was taken back into the Lewiston fold the following spring. But he had nothing left. In a May 15 start against Brockton, he was thoroughly battered and failed to make it out of the first inning.55 A few weeks later, he was dropped from the Lewiston roster.56 Ferson’s last professional hurrah came the next season when he managed to post a victory for the Philadelphia Athletics of the Atlantic League in his lone appearance for the club.

After sitting out the 1898 season, Ferson (by then 33) made his final minor league appearance in July 1899, taking the ball for his original New England League club. “Alex Ferson, an old-time pitcher, was in the box for Manchester,” reported the Boston Herald, “but was hit hard and retired in the fifth.”57 And with that, our subject’s pitching career came to its end.

Although no longer a player, Ferson, by then a Manchester saloonkeeper, took an active part in the game. He constantly sought to promote the interests of his adopted hometown. In March 1900, it was reported that he and other local businessmen were trying to start an amateur baseball league in Manchester.58 The following spring, he was among the Manchester delegation attending a meeting in Boston called to revive the New England League.59 In 1902, Ferson served as a part-time umpire for a rejuvenated NEL.60 In late 1903, he sold the shares that he held in the established Manchester club.61 He spent the following year trying to organize a Manchester nine for a fledgling rival New England baseball association that never got off the drawing board.62

By 1908, Ferson had moved on to semipro baseball, managing a club based in Manchester.63 But in 1912, he became involved again in New England League affairs, spearheading an ultimately fruitless attempt to have the circuit’s Fall River franchise transferred to Manchester.64

Away from the game, Ferson shifted from saloonkeeper to dry goods merchant. Once their five children were grown, Alex and Katie relocated to Worcester, where they operated a lunch counter. By 1930, they had moved again, transferring the lunch counter business to Boston, where Ferson occasionally took part in old-timers games and other ballpark festivities.65 Eventually, the Fersons retired and took up residence with married daughter Kathleen and her family in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood.

Alexander Ferson lived to be 91, dying in Boston on December 5, 1957. Following a Funeral Mass at St. Anne Church in Dorchester, his remains were interred at Old St. Joseph Cemetery, Manchester.66 Survivors included widow Katie, daughters Isabel Foley and Kathleen Downey, sons William and James, and numerous grandchildren.

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Norman Macht and checked for accuracy by SABR’s fact-checking team.

 

Sources

Sources for the biographical info recited above include the Alex Ferson entry in Major League Player Profiles: 1871-1900, Vol. 1, David Nemec, ed. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011); US Census and other governmental records accessed via Ancestry.com; and certain of the newspaper articles cited below. Unless otherwise noted, stats have been taken from Baseball-Reference.

 

Notes

1 Siblings included sister Margaret (born 1850), brothers William (1855), Henry (1860), George (1868), and James (1872), and two others whose identities are now lost.

2 As reflected decades later in the 1940 US Census.

3 “Local Jottings,” Sporting Life, April 13, 1887: 4.

4 “Pennsylvania State Assn.,” Sporting Life, August 18, 1886: 1.

5 As subsequently reported in “Washington’s New Pitcher,” a wire dispatch profile of Ferson published in the St. Paul Globe, December 9, 1888: 7: Helena (Montana) Herald, January 12, 1889: 7; and elsewhere. This profile contains the first known newsprint use of the nickname Colonel for Ferson. This nickname was re-published occasionally thereafter, but its origin and import went undiscovered by the writer.

6 “Local Jottings,” Sporting Life, April 13, 1887: 4.

7 “Local Jottings,” Sporting Life, November 2, 1887: 2.

8 Hart in a letter to the editor published in Sporting Life, December 14, 1887: 4. See also, “Out at First,” Boston Herald, November 3, 1887: 5, noting Ferson’s signing with Milwaukee.

9 “Base Ball Posts,” Boston Herald, December 6, 1887: 8, re-printing commentary published in the San Francisco Call.

10 Ferson suffered lopsided losses (18-2 to Kansas City and 13-5 to Minneapolis) in his two Milwaukee outings.

11 “Notes and Comments,” Sporting Life, May 30, 1888: 9.

12 Ibid. Lynn’s signing of Ferson was sanctioned by NEL rival Manchester which waived a reserve clause-type hold that the club had on the hurler’s services.

13 “Notes and Comments,” Sporting Life, July 11, 1888: 2.

14 “A Crisis in Lynn,” Portland (Maine) Press, July 25, 1888: 2. See also, “This Morning’s News,” Boston Herald, July 25, 1888: 1.

15 New Hampshire marriage records accessible on-line. Whether Ferson was Catholic from birth or joined the Church for or after his marriage to Katie Dunn was not discovered by the writer.

16 The Ferson children were Isabel (born 1889), William (1891), Alexander (1898), James (1900), and Kathleen (1907).

17 The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, eds. (Durham North Carolina: Baseball America, Inc., 2d ed. 1997), 113.

18 “Notes and Comments,” Sporting Life, November 14, 1888: 2. The acquisition of Ferson was facilitated by the temporary dissolution of the New England League at the close of the 1888 season.

19 “The League Struggle,” Boston Herald, May 5, 1889: 2.

20 “Behind the Bat,” Washington Post, May 24, 1889: 7.

21 Norman Macht, Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007), 70.

22 “Baseman Carney’s Opinion,” Boston Herald, November 3, 1889: 7.

23 “How Mr. Hewitt Lost Ferson,” Boston Herald, January 21, 1890: 8, and “Hewitt’s Opinion,” Pittsburg Dispatch, January 21, 1890: 7. Joining Ferson and Mack in making the jump to Buffalo were Washington pitchers George Haddock, George Keefe, Hank O’Day, Egyptian Healy, and Gus Krock. With his roster stripped of playing talent, Hewitt thereupon dissolved the Washington club. Meanwhile, Ferson signed with Buffalo for the same $2,500 offered by Hewitt, a $1,000 raise over his salary for the 1889 season. See “Ferson Signs with the Players,” Boston Herald, January 17, 1890: 8.

24 It was also widely reported that Ferson was seriously ill with typhoid fever. See e.g., “Scraps of Sport,” St. Paul Globe, April 18, 1890: 4; “Sporting Notes,” (Lincoln) Nebraska State Journal, April 19, 1890: 1; “Sporting Notes,” Chicago Inter-Ocean, April 20, 1890: 7.

25 “Base Ball,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 29, 1890: 6. The move coincided with catcher Jay Faatz taking charge of the Bisons.

26 “A Manager’s Endorsement,” Sporting Life, January 31, 1891: 5.

27 “Sports of the Week,” Washington Sunday Herald, February 22, 1891: 9, and “Personal News and Gossip,” Sporting Life, February 28, 1891: 5.

28 “Manchester Mention,” Sporting Life, March 14, 1891: 4.

29 “From League Headquarters,” Sporting Life, April 4, 1891: 4.

30 “Hot Times in Vermont,” Sporting Life, August 29, 1891: 4. The other Syracuse players remained true to the club, and ended up being shortchanged on their contracts when the Stars disbanded on August 25.

31 “Contract Jumpers,” Sporting Life, September 12, 1891: 2. His ineligibility stymied ensuing negotiations between Ferson and the National League Cleveland Spiders.

32 Brush’s intentions were outlined to Milwaukee club boss Jim Hart in a letter re-printed in an unidentified January 30, 1892 newspaper article contained in the Brush file at the Giamatti Research Center, Cooperstown. Unmentioned in his letter to Hart was Brush’s intention to utilize his Western League club in Indianapolis as a quasi-farm team for the Brush-owned National League Reds.

33 “Teams Being Picked Out,” Milwaukee Journal, March 17, 1892: 1; “The Western League,” Pittsburg Dispatch, March 18, 1892: 9.

34 “The Sporting World,” Cleveland Leader, March 20, 1892: 3; “The New Ball Team,” Indianapolis Journal, March 20, 1892: 2; “Players Changed,” Omaha World-Herald, March 20, 1892: 2, and elsewhere.

35 “Who the New Players Are,” Milwaukee Journal, March 18, 1892: 2.

36 Ferson’s signing with Baltimore was noted in “Timber for New Clubs,” Cleveland Leader, July 8, 1892: 6; “Baseball Very Dead,” Milwaukee Journal, July 8, 1892: 6; “Sporting Gossip,” Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Patriot, July 11, 1892: 5; and elsewhere.

37 As arranged beforehand, the game was called after six frames so that Cleveland could catch a train out of Baltimore.

38 “Abbey Pounded Hard,” Washington Evening Star, July 29, 1892: 8. See also, “Baseball Notes,” Canton (Ohio) Repository, August 7, 1892: 5, and Wichita (Kansas) Eagle, August 14, 1892: 8.

39 To the extent that he could be considered a hitter, Ferson batted from the right side.

40 “In Shoots,” Boston Herald, August 30, 1892: 7.

41 “Salems 11, Brocktons 2,” Boston Herald, September 7, 1892: 7.

42 “Base Ball Tips,” Boston Herald, April 30, 1893: 2.

43 According to one unidentified observer, “Ferson and [Ezra] Lincoln [of Fall River] seem to be the only pitchers that are successful in coping with the new handicap,” per “Present Prospects of the League,” Portland Press, June 7, 1893: 3.

44 “College Notes,” Sporting Life, February 17, 1894: 2, and April 7, 1894: 6.

45 “Base Ball Notes,” Portland Press, June 4, 1894: 3.

46 Portland Press, above, and “Spokes in the Hub,” Sporting Life, June 6, 1894: 7.

47 “Base Ball Notes,” Portland Press, July 6, 1894: 3.

48 “Base Ball Notes,” Portland Press, August 16, 1894: 3.

49 Lewiston Evening Journal, re-printed in “Base Ball Notes,” Portland Press, August 14, 1894: 3.

50 “Caught Out at First,” Boston Herald, August 17, 1894: 2.

51 “Milfords 18, Nashuas 15,” Boston Herald, August 22, 1894: 2.

52 “New England League Gossip,” Sporting Life, September 15, 1894: 6. Baseball-Reference provides no stats for Ferson’s 1894 season, but the writer’s review of locally published box and line scores places his Lewiston season record in the neighborhood of 10-9.

53 “Fall River Facts,” Sporting Life, March 16, 1895: 8.

54 In 11 games, Ferson went 6-5 for Fall River, per the 1896 Spalding Base Ball Guide, 157. His last 1895 playing appearance came on July 11.

55 “Ferson Was A Failure,” Portland Press, May 16, 1896: 3. Ferson was yanked after surrendering four walks and five-consecutive base-hits in a seven-run Brockton first.

56 “News and Comment,” Sporting Life, June 13, 1896: 5.

57 “Newport 10, Manchester 9,” Boston Herald, July 2, 1899: 9.

58 Jacob C. Morse, “Spokes in the Hub,” Sporting Life, March 31, 1900: 7.

59 “A New England League,” Boston Herald, March 22, 1901: 8, and “New England League,” Sporting Life, March 30, 1901: 1. The NEL had not played the 1900 season.

60 “Boston Briefs,” Sporting Life, April 19, 1902: 4, and reflected in NEL box scores published throughout the 1902 season.

61 “Indoor Club,” Boston Herald, December 13, 1903: 43, and “Condensed Dispatches,” Sporting Life, December 19, 1903: 7.

62 “New England League News,” Sporting Life, September 17, 1904: 13.

63 “New England League Events,” Sporting Life, May 16, 1908: 23.

64 “Latest News by Telegraph Briefly Told,” Sporting Life, December 21, 1912: 6.

65 Ralph Wheeler, “Boston Celebrates 60th N.L. Birthday with Parade of Old-Timers,” Boston Herald, June 26, 1936: 39.

66 “Alexander Ferson Services Monday in Dorchester,” Boston Herald, December 7, 1957: 6.

Full Name

Alexander Ferson

Born

July 14, 1866 at Philadelphia, PA (USA)

Died

December 5, 1957 at Boston, MA (USA)

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