Ferguson, George A. (2010)
When George Ferguson was two years old, his father, George senior, who played for the Boston Red Sox, threw a baseball bat on the ground and waited to see if George picked it up with his right or left hand. He was surprised when his son used his right hand as George senior was left handed along with George’s uncle, Arthur, who played for the St. Louis Browns, and George junior’s sister , Nancy. Thus began a rewarding baseball career for George that spanned many decades as a right handed power hitter.
A lack of Little League baseball back then didn’t stop George and his friends from playing ball, and even though George was five or six years younger then most of his teammates, he held his own on a pick up team organized by Arthur Danse. Larry’s Little Lemons , an undefeated team founded by Larry Desjardin, was the next step up George’s baseball ladder. To highlight the team’s accomplishments, Kennebec’s store in Lisbon posted the team’s names and numbers on its storefront window and awarded 5 cent root beers for hits, 1 for a double, two for a triple and three for a home run. It wasn’t until later that the team found out that Larry was footing the bill for the “beers.“
George next played four years of varsity ball at Lisbon High School for MBHOF member, Stan Doughty. Lisbon won the state championship his freshmen year and George finished second on the team in batting average and slugging percentage. He led the team in all offensive categories during his sophomore, junior and senior years and finished his high school career with a cumulative average over .500.
Coach Doughty took George to Augusta his senior year to try out for a position on the Hearst Publishing Company Team that was to play at Fenway park. That led to a position on the New England All star Team that played against the New York City All Stars at Shea Stadium. George had two doubles and drove in three runs in that game and was rewarded by being named to the U.S. All Star Team that would play at Yankee Stadium. George was second in MVP voting for the series.
At age 14 or 15, George began playing legion ball for New Auburn, usually 40 to 50 games a year. His first year found him second in hitting while batting fifth. In his remaining legion years, he batted third and led the team in all categories. Legion coach, Jim Bouchles, stated that George was the best non-pitching player that he had ever coached.
College was next. George wanted to sign a professional contract right out of high school, but his dad insisted that he go to college. At UMO, George batted .453 for the freshmen club and led the team in all statistics. His sophomore, junior and senior years found him playing third base and shortstop at the varsity level. His play earned him spots on the All Maine Conference team for three years and All Yankee Conference his last two years. He was drafted his first two years of college by the Baltimore Orioles but declined.
The summer of his junior year in college found him playing for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. He finished third in batting that summer behind league leader Thurman Munson. Drafted second in the supplementary draft by the Yankees, George first played for single A Oneonta and then double A Binghamton with…. Thurman Munson. His second year found him at Kingston, North Carolina, and it was there he made the decision over whether to continue in professional baseball or further his education. Education won, George enrolled in the grad program at UMO and became an assistant to baseball coach Jack Butterfield.
Teaching and coaching at Lisbon High School followed. His baseball teams won Mountain Valley Conference titles during this time, and he continued playing as a member of the Roberts 88ERS. When he stopped playing he became a board umpire officiating games at the high school and college level for fifteen years. Like many others, George Ferguson found a love for the national pastime….or the national pastime found George Ferguson.
Draft: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 54th round of the 1967 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Maine at Orono (Orono, ME), the Baltimore Orioles in the 5th round of the 1968 MLB January Draft-Secondary Phase from University of Maine at Orono (Orono, ME) and the New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 1968 MLB June Draft-Secondary Phase from University of Maine at Orono (Orono, ME).
Full Name: George A. Ferguson
From the Sun Journal
Posted July 11, 2010
Baseball: Roads to fame intersected for Ferguson, Roop
BY KALLE OAKES, STAFF WRITER
What a difference an initial makes.
George Ferguson will be inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in two weeks — future, then present tense.
That’s bound to continue the head-scratching for those who already believed Ferguson was immortalized in the past tense.
“My dad’s in it too. He went in probably 15 years ago. We both have the same name with different middle initials,” Ferguson explained. “Bitsy Ionta is my spokesman with the committee. He told me that my name has come up a couple of times and people have said, ‘He’s already in.’ It was my father. I think now we might be one of the few father-son combinations in there.”