When Wilbert Robinson catcher for the old Baltimore Orioles and later the Brooklyn Robins was asked in 1931 who were the five greatest players he ever saw, he listed former teammate “Wee” Willie Keeler, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner . . . and Charlie Ferguson. Even casual baseball fans have probably heard of the first four on Robinson’s list, but very few hardcore fans know of Charlie Ferguson, a right-hander whose life was cut short by typhoid fever.
Upon discovering that he had been born, and was buried in Charlottesville, I went on a pilgrimage, along with Jesse and Becky Dice to find his grave. The result was the 10th episode of Off the Beaten Basepaths. You’ll have to forgive the fact that I stumble a couple of times, but it was hot and Becky is pregnant and you don’t want to keep a pregnant director out in the sun for too long!