Charles Morgan Herbert Atherton (November 19, 1874 in New Brunswick, NJ – December 19, 1934 in Vienna, Austria) is a former Major League Baseball third baseman. Nicknamed "Prexy", he batted and threw right-handed, was 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) tall and weighed 160 pounds. Atherton was also an early professional football player and coach for the Greensburg Athletic Association. He also played professional football in 1896 for the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. Charles attended Penn State University and was the son of the university's president, George W. Atherton. He was Penn State's first sports star as a member of the school's baseball and football teams. He is also credited with inventing the place kick.
Atherton made his
Major League debut on May 30, 1899 at the age of 24. He hit .248 in 242 at bats in 1899, which would end up being his only Major League season. He also hit 5 doubles, 6 triples and had 23 RBI. Defensively, Atherton committed 26 errors, which was fourth worst on the now defunct Washington Senators team of the National League. He played his final game on August 22, 1899.
Outside of sports, Charlie was an accomplished musician and writer who witnessed the
Russian Revolution, World War I, and the Nazis rise to power first hand. He documented each event in highly descriptive letters to his sister, Harriet.
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