|Born: August 1844
County Tyrone, Ireland
|Died: January 1, 1905
|May 20, 1871, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 17, 1884, for the Philadelphia Keystones|
|Runs batted in||160|
Fergus G. Malone (August, 1844 – January 1, 1905) was a professional baseball player in the 1860s and 1870s. He was the catcher for Athletic of Philadelphia in 1871, champion of the first professional league season.
Born 1842 in Ireland, Malone was one of 4 Irish natives to play in the first National Association season and one of five in the first National League season. If we do not count the NA as a major league, he and Andy Leonard share distinction as the first major leaguers born in Ireland, by good fortune that their teams met in the first NL game, 22 April 1876. Leonard is alone first if we count the NA.
Although a left-handed thrower, Malone was mainly a catcher with major teams, both amateur and pro. Physically it was a demanding position, no one using a face mask or regularly using a glove. (Doug Allison used buckskin mittens in 1870, but gloves and masks were only adopted for regular use by some catchers beginning in the late 1870s.)
Malone was the primary catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics 1871–72, Philadelphia White Stockings 1873, and Chicago White Stockings 1874. In 1873–74, he was team captain, earning manager's credit today. He returned to the Philadelphia Whites and played in eight games in 1875, then returned to the Philadelphia Athletics for the inaugural National League season, catching 20 of 60 games.
Fergy Malone was 34 when the Athletics were expelled from the National League, which contracted from eight to six for 1877. He returned to the majors with the one-year Union Association in 1884, managing its Philadelphia entry and playing in one game. In 220 major league games Fergy Malone batted .274 with one home run, 160 runs batted in, and 200 runs scored. He was a player-manager for his teams in 1873, 1874, and 1884, recording a total of 47 wins and 66 losses.
Malone died 1905 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 60. He is buried at New Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia.
The Society for American Baseball Research list Malone as a Civil War veteran, having enlisted in a 100 days’ regiment on July 15, 1864, and serving with Dick McBride as a private and corporal in Company A, 196th Pennsylvania.
- Wright, Marshall (2000). The National Association of Base Ball Players, 1857–1870. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co. ISBN 0-7864-0779-4