Ferguson, Mike (Donk) (1983)
“One of the best I ever played with,” was William (Doc) Doherty’s assessment of the late Mike (Donk) Ferguson of Sanford.
That takes in a heap of territory.
Doherty, an early Maine Baseball Hall of Fame entry, touched first base as a fancy fielder for the Philadelphia Athletics and a dozen semipro clubs in a brilliant career spanning 20 seasons.
Donerty managed the Boston Twilight League team which in the late Twenties Spent a half-season of weekend ball at saint John, N. B., after hosting the crack Canadian combine from that city the first half of the season.
Doherty took the job in part because of the presence of slick-fielding shortstop Ferguson.
Ferguson later played for Portland of the New England League.
Doherty was Lewiston's first baseman.
The much-traveled Ferguson spent many a summer in a Canadian club's uniform, and also played with Springfield, Ohio, of the International League.
Portlanders, while pleased at the appearance of Ferguson on the local nine, puzzled at lack of major league interest.
His glove and bat spoke volumes, though he had to beat back the charge that he'd become a bit gun shy at the plate after being hit by a pitch.
Certainly, he never lacked fielding ability, as Rogers Hornsby's All-Stars would attest after Ferguson ranged far and wide to take away ticketed hits.
Ferguson had such speed, mobility and good hands that the Council Fraser Post team of Lynn, Mass., in a four-game series at Sanford's Goodall Park, couldn't get the ball out of the infield. Line drives, balls hit sharply up the middle, every type of slash was fair game to Ferguson.
Leo Durocher, who while with Lowell, Mass., Of the NEL, played against Ferguson, was complimentary of his counterpart in somewhat sulphuric tones.
Ferguson was a perfectionist with tremendous enthusiasm.
He coached Sanford Junior Legion ball with a critical eye, but was quick to applaud player progress.
Much of the success of Sanford baseball in a 20-year span was said to be the reSult of Ferguson's unflagging efforts.
"Iron Mike" was as durable and as driving a force in community activities ranging from work with the Masons to fire fighting.
His yeoman efforts as a York County fire warden during Maine's 1947 forest fires were cited in a history of that frightening period by Joyce Butler.
Is this Mike (Donk) Ferguson?