Note: This page is for 19th Century player and manager Bob Ferguson; for the 1940s pitcher click here.
Robert Vavasour Ferguson
(Death to Flying Things)
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9½", Weight 149 lb.
- Debut May 18, 1871
- Final Game July 1, 1884
- Born January 31, 1845 in Brooklyn, NY USA
- Died May 3, 1894 in Brooklyn, NY USA
Bob Ferguson played in the majors from the time they were organized (he was 26 and a well-known "amateur" player in 1871), and was the first switch hitter. His major league playing career lasted 14 years, and his managerial career was 16 years (mostly as a player-manager).
Ferguson had played for the Enterprise club in 1865 and the Brooklyn Atlantics starting in 1866.
Ferguson is remembered partly because of his unusual nickname "Death to Flying Things". It is a nickname that was also bestowed on his long-time amateur teammate Jack Chapman. While there is disagreement over who received the nickname first, Ferguson played infield while Chapman played outfield so Chapman would presumably have had more chances to field towering "flying things".
After his playing and managing days came to a close, Ferguson spent time as a big league umpire. He worked in the National League, American Association and Players League from 1884 to 1891, but had previously worked a signifcant number of games in the National Association between 1871 and 1879.
- NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1878)
- NL Bases on Balls Leader (1880)
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