Charlie Fisher (

Charlie Fisher

This article was written by Vincent T. Ciaramella

Charlie Fisher ( G. “Charlie” Fisher played just 11 games in the majors, and that’s based on the status of the Union Association of 1884 as a top-level circuit. Yet the infielder still has a unique distinction.

Alaska is known as the “Last Frontier” for good reasons. With an abundance of unsettled land and a sparse human population, Alaska is a remote place even in the 21st century. Go back a hundred years or further and it was even more detached from the rest of the world than it is today. In February 1917, Charlie Fisher died in Eagle, Alaska, a town on the south bank of the Yukon River near the Canada-United States border.1 Over a century later, he remains the only major leaguer buried in Alaskan soil. This may lead one to ask how a baseball player from the East Coast ended up in such a far-off corner of the Alaskan wilderness. The information available cannot thoroughly answer all the questions posed, yet there is still enough to shine a light on this forgotten figure of early baseball.

On March 10, 1852, Charles G. Fisher was born in Boxford, Massachusetts. According to the 1855 Massachusetts State Census, his surname, at birth, was “Fish.”2 It is unclear why it was changed or why it oscillates in the historical record between Fish, Fischer, and Fisher. (However, some baseball players anglicized or changed their name when they played baseball – for example, Andy Bruckmiller used the spelling “Brookmiller.”)3  

His father, Augustus J. Fish (named Naum Augustus in one source) was born sometime around 1823/1824 in Massachusetts.4 The elder Fisher’s occupation is listed as “Farmer” in both the 1870 and 1880 census.5 Fisher’s mother, Almina (or Almira, née Perkins or Peskins) was born in Ireland in 1831, though her place of birth in the 1855 State Census is given as Massachusetts.6 Fisher’s parents were married on February 2, 1848, in Bradford, Massachusetts. According to the 1855 census, they had three children: Eliza, Charles G., and Stephan O. The family resided in Andover, Massachusetts at that time.

The 1870 census showed that they had moved to Danvers, Massachusetts.7 By then, William H., Mary E., Edward A., Annie M., Walter H., and Arthur G. had been added to the brood. It is noteworthy that Charles is absent from that census, taken at his father’s place of residence. Francis E. rounded out the family in the 1880 census.8

Augustus Fisher passed away on November 19, 1900. There is some evidence that Ann Fisher (as she was commonly known) may have remarried. However, the 1900 census gives her age as 69 and lists her new husband as 47; it also shows the couple as married for 30 years, which cannot be the case based on older documentation and her marriage to Augustus.9 She died on February 11, 1907.10 This is the extent of information found on Fisher’s family and childhood.

Between the years 1870 and 1884, Fisher’s story is hard to pin down. It appears that he moved out of his parents’ home by 1870 (based on his absence in that census), but his exact whereabouts are unknown. There are some clues in his obituary, though, regarding where he was and what he was up to. According to his obituary published in the Nome Nugget on May 22, 1917, “In 1876 he served in [General George] Crook’s command.”11 If this statement is to be believed, it would mean that Fisher served in the Indian Wars. He was likely stationed somewhere in Wyoming, possibly Fort Fetterman, before marching into Montana and taking part in the Battle of Rosebud Creek.12 However, at this time no military record can be found to corroborate this statement. There was a Charles O. Fisher who served. However, that Fisher died in West Point, New York in 1898.13 Again, there is no definitive proof that our subject did serve, but neither is there any information that would cast doubt on his service to this nation.

The obituary also stated that Fisher was a scout and “a companion of Buffalo Bill.”14 Again, there is no documentation to place him and Buffalo Bill Cody together. Cody was a civilian scout during the Indian Wars,15 and he may have had contact with Fisher because the two were in the same part of the country, which was thinly populated. However, this is all pure speculation, especially in view of the vastness of the territory.

The only concrete evidence of Fisher’s whereabouts during this time comes from his marriage certificate and the 1880 census. He married Sarah (née Hiller) on July 15, 1877, and was living in Bristol, Massachusetts in 1880 with her and their two children, Charles E. and Nellie L. His occupation is listed as “Shoemaker.”16 With his early life seemingly taken up by military service, one must wonder when he began his career on the baseball diamond. This question is just as hard to answer.

It may be impossible to trace and prove Fisher’s early whereabouts in baseball with such a common surname. Indeed, confusion in the records arose. In his book The Rank and File of 19th Century Major League Baseball: Biographies of 1,084 Players, Owners, Managers and Umpires, author David Nemec wrote, For years Charlie Fisher’s career stats were combined with Fisher, a pitcher in 1884 whose first name is unknown, and George Fisher, also an 1884 player. How he came to play one game with Chicago – and in Boston at that – is a mystery, as is why he was dropped after going 2-for-3. There is a possibility that the game belongs to yet another Fisher. Charles G. Fisher is believed to have played one more year of pro ball – in the 1885 Eastern New England League – and to have died in 1917 in Eagle, AK.”17

Regardless, on June 7, 1884, Fisher could be found playing shortstop for the Cowboys.18 Batting left and throwing right, Fisher stood 5-feet-8 and weighed 143 pounds. There are no contemporary pictures of him as a baseball player. The only known photograph shows a man with a dark moustache, dark hair, a hat, and possibly glasses. The exact year when this photograph was taken is unknown.

On June 10, in a game against the Chicago Browns, Fisher was moved to third base and scored one run. However, Chicago won, 10-3.19 Fisher’s brief time with Kansas City was rapidly ending. On June 24, he took to the field for the last time with the Cowboys against the Washington Nationals. Sporting Life wrote, “the score was a tie until the sixth inning, when a single by Fisher, supplemented with a three-bagger by [Taylor] Schafer, sent in the winning run.” Kansas beat the Nationals 2-1.20

Fisher went on to play one game for Chicago.21 However, as Nemec stated, it is unknown how that came about. His whereabouts for the remainder of the season are not known. Fisher finished his major-league career with a .233 batting average and a .700 fielding percentage over 11 games.

The following season, Fisher would play on the East Coast for three different teams in the independent Eastern New England League (Portland, Haverhill, and the Newburyport Clamdiggers/Biddeford). This is the extent of what can be found on Fisher’s baseball career. Whether he played for anyone in 1886 or after is unknown.

What is known about Fisher’s post-baseball life is that he and Sarah got divorced sometime before the 1890s. She remarried and took the last name Tanner, as did her children.22 Fisher also remarried on February 17, 1894, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. His new wife was Almea (née Woods) of Hyde Park, Vermont.23 According to the 1900 census, the couple had three children: Ruth M., Elise, and Lula G. – though Almea was living with her mother in Vermont at this time while Fisher resided in Eagle, Alaska, with his occupation listed as “Farmer.”24

By 1910, the couple was living together in Eagle along with their children.25 According to Fisher’s obituary, he arrived in Alaska in 1898, possibly a late arrival in the Alaskan Gold Rush. This is also supported by the mention of mining in both his obituary and his daughter Lula’s death certificate. However, there is no documentation that states this outright.26

One last piece of information that is missing is Fisher’s cause of death. No death certificate can be located at this time. Though he died in February, it wasn’t until May that this was reported in a major newspaper, the Nome Nugget – illustrating the amount of time it took information to travel from the remote settlement of Eagle to a more populated area like Nome. It’s also curious that the paper in Nome, which is on the opposite side of Alaska from Eagle, should have run a story, whereas the press in the cities of Fairbanks and Anchorage, relatively closer and then slightly bigger, apparently did not.

Fisher’s wife and children returned to the lower 48 while he was buried alone in Eagle Cemetery. As of 2023, there have been 12 major leaguers born in Alaska – but only one has died there: Charlie Fisher.27



This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Stanley Enzweiler and fact-checked by Terry Bohn.



In addition to the sources shown in the notes, the author used:

US Census Bureau, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 US Census

Massachusetts Census Bureau, 1855 US State Census



1 The date was February 18, according to Baseball-reference,com and the Charles Fisher page on ( to his obituary, however, it was February 8. See “Alaska Notes,” Nome (Alaska) Nugget, May 22, 1917: 3.


3 Vincent T. Ciaramella, Never Heard of Him: 12 Tales from Pittsburgh’s Baseball Past, ‎independently published (2022): 14.

4 1855 Massachusetts State Census. Augustus Fisher (Fish) page on ( 1880 US Census. Almira “Ann” Perkins marriage certificate.

5 1870 US Census. 1880 US Census.

6 1870 US Census. 1880 US Census. 1855 Massachusetts State Census.

7 1855 Massachusetts State Census. 1870 US Census.

8 1855 Massachusetts State Census. 1870 US Census. 1880 US Census

9 1900 US Census. Almira A. Trull Death Certificate.

10 Almira A. Trull page on ( Almira A. Trull Death Certificate.

11 “Alaska Notes.”

12 Native Americans score victory at the Battle of the Rosebud,”, accessed online on November 20, 2023 (

13 “Little Bighorn: Men with the Seventh Cavalry at the Time of the Battle,”, accessed online on November 20, 2023 (

14 “Alaska Notes.”

15 “A Brief History of William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody,”, accessed online on November 20, 2023 (

16 Sarah J. Hiller Marriage Certificate. 1880 US Census.

17 David Nemec, The Rank and File of 19th Century Major League Baseball: Biographies of 1,084 Players, Owners, Managers and Umpires, Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company (2012): 178.

18 “Games Played June 10,” The Sporting Life, June 18, 1884: 4.

19 “Games Played June 10.”

20 “National vs. Kansas City,” The Sporting Life, July 2, 1884: 5.

21 “Boston vs. Chicago,” The Sporting Life, July 16, 1884: 5.

22 1900 US Census.

23 Charles G. Fisher Massachusetts marriage certificate.

24 1900 US Census.

25 1910 US Census.

26 “Alaska Notes.” Charles Fisher New Hampshire marriage certificate.

27 Charles Fisher page on ( Charles Fisher New Hampshire marriage certificate. Alma Elnora Fisher death certificate.

Full Name

Charles G. Fisher


March 10, 1852 at Boxford, MA (USA)


February 18, 1917 at Eagle, AK (USA)

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