New signs, created and installed by the Township, identify the baseball field at the corner of Westminster Drive and Bullens Lane, dedicated last year to baseball great and former Nether Providence resident Mickey Vernon.
James Barton Vernon was born in Marcus Hook. He attended Villanova University then entered the minors. In 1939, he joined the Washington Senator, playing with them through 1955 except for two years of service in the Navy and a season and a half with the Cleveland Indians. He played for five teams, finishing his playing career with the 1960 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He later was a manager and coach. Vernon has the rare distinction of having played ball over 4 separate decades.
Vernon was named to seven All Star teams and is widely recognized as one of the best all-around first basemen of his time. Some argue that if he had played on better teams, he would be in the Hall of Fame. He was on the ballot in 2008, but was not voted in. A lefty, Vernon had 2,495 hits, 172 home runs and a career batting average of .286. He holds American League records for double plays (2,044) and games played by a first baseman (2,237).
Mickey and Lib Vernon raised their daughter Gay in Nether Providence where they lived from 1951 through 2004. Mickey died in 2008 at the age of 90.
In 2003, Marcus Hook residents erected a life-size bronze statue of Vernon.