Baseball history photo: Bob Ferguson, the first switch-hitter in professional baseball, circa 1878. Despite having his best overall offensive season in 1878, hitting over .300 for the only time in his professional career, Ferguson, the Manager of Albert Spalding's Chicago White Stockings, was despised by Spalding for his managerial style and the fourth place finish. There has been no player in baseball history to have accomplished what Ferguson has. He was a Player-Manager and a respected umpire in Brooklyn before baseball became openly professional. In its second season he was elected the President of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, 1872, holding that position until the league folded in 1875. He was also an umpire in the NA, 1872-1873 and in 1875. He was a Player-Manager for 11 seasons in both the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, 1876-1883, as well as an umpire in 1878 and 1884-1885 and the American Association of Base Ball Clubs, 1884-1887 and again as an umpire from 1886-1889 and in 1891. He was also an umpire in the Players' National League of Base Ball in 1890, in its only season. He is the only person in baseball history to have been a Player, Manager, Umpire and League President at one time and the only person to have been an Umpire in four different professional leagues. He has still not been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame proving that his accomplishments and importance to the game's early beginnings are unknown nor understood by the election committee. Click photo to return to previous page.