John A. Lester at the Merion Cricket Club John was Captain of the Haverford College XI in 1896 and the Merion Team from 1898 to 1908 when he retired from playing.

John A. Lester is shown here in a picture he selected for a book he edited, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket, published in 1951. John was born in England in 1871 and was recruited by Issac Sharpless, President of Haverford, for the Class of 1896. He promptly established himself as an outstanding athlete and scholar — in football, track, tennis and soccer, and winning academic honors. He averaged 100.5 his freshman year and won the Cope Bat every year while at Haverford. In 1896, he scored a total of 1185 runs, averaging 79 per innings and took 40 wickets, for a average of 23.2. His and the team’s great success that year started the idea of Haverford’s first tour of England the summer following graduation. During his career, he played in 53 matches for the All-Philadelphia, 47 of which were first class cricket. From 1897 until his retirement in 1908, John led the batting averages in Philadelphia and captained all the international home matches. John Lester moved Philadelphia cricket to the highest levels of international play with his leadership and understanding of the sport. The pavilion at Cope Field is named in his honor.