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West Fisler

Sport: Baseball

Born: July 18, 1841

Died: December 25, 1922

Town: Camden, New Jersey

Weston Dickson Fisler was born July 18, 1841 in Camden. For the first 100 years of professional baseball, common wisdom dictated that a child of privilege could never achieve star status in the sport. West Fisler was the exception that proved the rule. He was the son of Lorenzo Fisler, a noted doctor, popular lecturer and mayor of Camden. West first was exposed to baseball in the private schools he attended. He began playing competitively at age 18, for the Equity Club of Philadelphia.

These were the waning days of gentlemen’s baseball. Players were immaculately dressed and well-mannered. Throughout his career—even as the game became a more rough-and-tumble affair—West always took the field with a necktie and immaculate uniform. In 1866, he joined the Philadelphia Athletics. He would remain with that club through the five seasons of the American Association (1871–1975) and the first two years of the modern National League (1876 and 1877).

West was a good hitter and a great defensive first baseman. At a time before gloves, he was adept at snagging throws one-handed and also digging short hops out of the dirt. This despite the fact he stood barely five and a half feet tall and weighed less than 150 pounds. West’s finest season came from 1872 to 1875. He batted over
.330 each year and played both first and second base.

After baseball, West opened a haberdashery in Philadelphia and also worked for several law firms in the city. He was a fixture at Athletics home games for decades. He passed away at the age of 81 in 1922.


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