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Al Lawson

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Alfred William Lawson

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 161 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Alfred Lawson had a few brief forays in professional baseball, both in playing briefly with the Boston Beaneaters and Pittsburgh Alleghenies in 1890 and in attempting to start a "major league" in 1908.

Lawson was a promoter and a huckster. He had some success in early aviation, though, in the end, his attempts at design innovations failed and contracts to deliver US Mail went unfulfilled. He purported to have reached dietary insights that would allow humans to live to be 200 and claimed to have solved physical mysteries on a par with Einstein's Relativity. He later started his own religion and university, leading to an investigation by the US Senate.

Despite all this kind of empty self-promotion, Lawson did make a stab at starting an 8-team baseball league in December of 1907. The Union Professional League did take the field in April of 1908 with teams in Baltimore, MD, Brooklyn, NY, Elizabeth, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, Paterson, NJ, Reading, PA, Washington, DC, and Wilmington, DE. On May 23rd, the Paterson team went under, and the team transferred to Allentown, PA, but just a few days later, May 28th, the entire enterprise collapsed with Wilmington holding first place.

The DC manager was Arthur Irwin and the team played at Union Park at 15th St. and Florida Avenue, NE.

Players involved included Frank McDermott, likely the later major leaguer of that name (Red McDermott) and Wyatt Lee, likely the former major leaguer of that name (Watty Lee). Another player by the name of John Gilbert may have been John "Jackrabbit" Gilbert.

Lawson's brother, George Lawson, was even more of a huckster, self-promoter and confidence artist.

[edit] Reference

  • Jerry Kuntz: "George H. Lawson: The Rogue Who Tried to Reform Baseball", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 37, 2008, pp. 42-50.
  • Jerry Kuntz: Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines: The Many Times and Outrageous Times of George and Alfred Lawson, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2009.
  • William Wagner: "DC Had Baseball Times Two", in The Washington Post, March 26, 1989.
  • England and Wales Birth Index

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