Francis Phelan (fictional character)
Francis Phelan is a fictional character in many of William J. Kennedy’s Albany novels, though he is featured most prominently in Ironweed. He is a former professional baseball player who left Albany in shame after dropping his infant son Gerald.  
The issue of his death is left ambiguous at the conclusion of Ironweed.
In the film adaptation of the book, Phelan is portrayed by Jack Nicholson.
- Tierce, Michael. "William Kennedy's Odyssey: The Travels of Francis Phelan." Classical and Modern Literature: A Quarterly 8.4 (1988) 247-26
- Liam Kennedy; "Memory and Hearsay: Ethnic History and Identity in 'Billy Phelan's Greatest Game' and 'Ironweed' " MELUS, Vol. 18, 1993