NonSports Forum

Net54baseball.com
Welcome to Net54baseball.com. These forums are devoted to both Pre- and Post- war baseball cards and vintage memorabilia, as well as other sports. There is a separate section for Buying, Selling and Trading - the B/S/T area!! If you write anything concerning a person or company your full name needs to be in your post or obtainable from it. . Contact the moderator at leon@net54baseball.com should you have any questions or concerns. When you click on links to eBay on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network. Enjoy!
Net54baseball.com
Net54baseball.com
ebay GSB
T206s on eBay
Babe Ruth Cards on eBay
t206 Ty Cobb on eBay
Ty Cobb Cards on eBay
Lou Gehrig Cards on eBay
Baseball T201-T217 on eBay
Baseball E90-E107 on eBay
T205 Cards on eBay
Baseball Postcards on eBay
Goudey Cards on eBay
Baseball Memorabilia on eBay
Baseball Exhibit Cards on eBay
Baseball Strip Cards on eBay
Baseball Baking Cards on eBay
Sporting News Cards on eBay
Play Ball Cards on eBay
Joe DiMaggio Cards on eBay
Mickey Mantle Cards on eBay
Bowman 1951-1955 on eBay
Football Cards on eBay

Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:30 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: barrysloate

September 23, 1908: The Giants and Cubs are neck and neck for the 1908 pennant. In a crucial game on September 23, the Giants head into the bottom of the 9th tied 1-1. With runners on first and third and two outs, the Giants get a base hit to seemingly win 2-1. 19 year old Fred Merkle, the runner on first, runs two thirds of the way towards second, then seeing the onrush of fans onto the field, shifts direction and makes a beeline for the clubhouse in centerfield.

The game ends a tie, the Giants lose the make up game and subsequently the pennant. And Merkle lives the rest of his life haunted by the incident.

As a kid I always knew about this play as "Merkle's Boner", certainly not the most politically correct reference. I suggest that from this day forward we rename this moment in baseball history "Merkle's Mishap." It has that nice alliterative ring to it.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-23-2008, 06:43 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Pcelli60

I always preferred "boner"...This is a significant date in the history of the game. And its interesting how it all ties in to the fortunes of this years Cub team and the quest for that elusive title..
Fred was not a bonehead, in fact he was regarded as a smart ballplayer. With that mad rush of people at the end of the game, he properly high-tailed it out of there for the clubhouse.
Now John Evers was pretty smart too. A couple of weeks before this game in Pittsburgh he attempted a similar play with no success.
I always thought if McGraw was not such a chronic pain-in-the-ass to the NL umpires and to the league office that Hank O'Day would never declared the game a tie.
Of course losing a double header to the Reds and having Stan Covaleski beat them 3 times in the last week didn't help the Giants..They blew it!!
Happy Merkles Day to all!!!

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:06 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Joe D.

Barry....

it is always great to hear a legendary baseball story from a fan who was there to see it happen.

thanks for sharing

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:33 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: barrysloate

Joe- would you believe I stepped out to use the restroom and missed the play.

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:53 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

I can see how 'Merkle's Boner' could confuse some people..

It's too bad for Fred.. as I understand it, it was VERY COMMON for the players to rush to the clubhouse after such plays and the RULE was never enforced... McGraw stuck up for Merkle saying it was NOT his fault to no avail as Merkle wore the Albatross for the rest of his career.

martyOgelvie

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-23-2008, 08:35 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: ErikV

Baseball indeed could be a cruel game. Names such as Merkle, Buckner, Bartman and Donnie Moore will forever be etched in fans memories, for all the wrong reasons.

At age 19 young Fred Merkle made, what was at the time, a common play - not properly advancing to the next base. Had it not been for Johnny Evers disputing the play and a similar play taking place just a couple of weeks earlier, Merkle's baserunning blunder would likely have gone unnoticed.

A number of plays have occured in baseball since the "Merkle's Boner" play. Several modern day versions include Bill Buckner's 1986 World Series error and the infamous interference of fan, Steve Bartman. Perhaps unfairly, Fred paid dearly for that mishap for the rest of his life. This is an excerpt of David W. Anderson's 2003 book "More than Merkle."


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:00 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: T206Collector


Fans crowded Coogan’s Bluff overlooking the Polo Grounds to watch the game between the Giants and the Cubs that would decide the N.L. pennant in 1908.

New York Times
September 23, 2008
Before Bartman, There Was Merkle
By KEVIN BAKER
A hundred years later, it is still one of the most controversial games played in American professional sports — and still the only major league game ever decided by an umpire alone in his hotel room, hours after the last pitch was thrown. It set off one of the worst displays of sportsmanship ever seen in New York City. Most amazing of all, it allowed the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series, the last time they have done so. Think Chuck Knoblauch meets Steve Bartman, and you will have some idea of the immensity of Fred Merkle’s blunder.

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1908, the New York Giants and the Cubs were embroiled in a 1-1 tie before 20,000 fans at Harlem’s old Polo Grounds. It was a critical contest, the Giants clinging to a one-game lead over Chicago. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and New York’s Moose McCormick on first, Merkle, a 19-year-old rookie first baseman making his first start, slammed a single into right field that sent McCormick to third.

“At that, I could have gone to second easily, but with one run needed to win and a man on third, I played it safe,” Merkle remembered later. It was a decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Al Bridwell, the Giants’ shortstop, came up next and lined a fastball over second base. McCormick scored easily from third, and the Polo Grounds ushers opened the gates and let the crowd race onto the field, just as they always did when the game was over.

But was it? Johnny Evers did not think so, but then Evers, nicknamed Crab, drove everyone crazy. The keystone of the fabled double-play combination for the Cubs, Tinker to Evers to Chance, Evers was a bundle of raw energy who stayed up nights in his hotel room, eating one candy bar after another in an effort to put weight on his 125-pound frame and poring over the rulebook, trying to find anything that might give him an edge.

That September, he found it. Once the winning run scored, the habit of all other base runners at the time was to head for the clubhouse, whether or not they could be retired by a force at the next base. This had been the custom for as long as anyone could remember, but it was also a technical violation of the rules.

When Pittsburgh ended a game against the Cubs with a hit earlier that month, Evers grabbed the ball and stepped on second base, insisting that the runner from first had never touched the bag and, therefore, the winning run should not count.

The umpire Hank O’Day refused to rule in Evers’s favor, because he had not seen whether or not the runner touched second. But that night, O’Day searched Evers out to tell him he was right. If he had touched second before the runner did — and if that force play did result in the last out of the inning — then it did not matter that the runner had already crossed home plate. The inning was over, the run did not count, and the game must continue.

Now, with the crowd milling exultantly across the Polo Grounds, Evers saw Merkle wheel toward the Giants’ clubhouse in center field without touching second. Evers screamed for the ball. The throw went over his head, landing near the Giants’ third-base coach Joe McGinnity, known as Iron Man. McGinnity, apparently divining Evers’s intentions, picked up the ball and hurled it toward the grandstand.

At least one Giant maintained that McGinnity’s throw went right over the stands and out of the yard. The Cubs claimed that one of their pitchers — Floyd Myron Kroh, who was known as Kid — leapt into the seats, fought off six or seven Giants fans for the baseball and threw it back to Evers.

The Crab stepped on second and appealed to the umpire in charge, who happened to be O’Day. He, in turn, took a look at the Giants fans still swarming around the field and told Evers he would make his decision that night. At 10 p.m., back in the relative safety of his hotel room, he did: Merkle was out. The game was still tied.

This infuriated everyone. The Cubs insisted that the game should have been forfeited to them, because the Giants had failed to clear the field to let the game continue — a dubious argument because O’Day never ruled Merkle was out until hours later. Giants Manager John McGraw insisted that Kroh’s “mere touching of the ball rendered it dead,” which overlooked that McGinnity, his own third-base coach, had hurled the ball into the stands.

O’Day was a highly respected arbiter, but this was not his best day. Technically, he was right, but baseball had always evolved as much by custom as by law. There was, for instance, nothing in the rules that allowed catchers to block the plate, but they did so with impunity. Now, without any warning, and after a private conversation with a member of only one of the two teams, O’Day had decided to erase a longstanding practice.

Nonetheless, the National League’s board of directors stood by him. Merkle was out. The game was still tied. If the Cubs and Giants were tied at the end of the season, the game would have to be played all over again.

That was, of course, how it all worked out. On the afternoon of Oct. 8, an enormous crowd engulfed the Polo Grounds, willing to do anything to see a game that would decide the pennant. They teetered along Coogan’s Bluff above the ballpark; climbed up on the grandstand roof; perched on the elevated train viaduct out past left field. One man fell to his death from the el; another fell from a telegraph pole and broke his neck. A wedge of fans broke through a wooden fence into the outfield and had to be pushed back by mounted police. Later, they tried setting the fence on fire.

A second crowd gathered down at Grand Central Station to jeer the Cubs as they arrived after a 14-hour train ride. The Cubs players literally shouldered their way into the park. Once inside, they were allotted only 15 minutes of warm-ups, after which McGinnity came on the field, ringing a bell and telling them their time was up.

Some accounts at the time said McGinnity went right up to Frank Chance, the Cubs’ manager and best player, cursing and spitting and apparently trying to start a fight that would get Chance thrown out of the game.

Nevertheless, Chance and the Cubs kept their heads. The Giants fans set up a perpetual roar, ringing cowbells and blowing trumpets. They went wild when the great Christy Mathewson made his slow walk to the mound from center field, but what they did not know was that Mathewson, who had thrown 110 innings in September alone, had a dead arm. The Cubs pushed across four runs early and held on behind their own ace, Mordecai Brown, better known as Three Finger.

“From the stands there was a steady roar of abuse,” Brown said later. “I never heard anybody or any set of men called as many foul names as the Giant fans called us that day.”

Foul names might have been the least of their worries. The New York Journal reported that Cubs catcher Johnny Kling, chasing a pop foul, had to dodge “two beer bottles, a drinking glass and a derby hat.”

The moment Brown got the last out in the Cubs’ 4-2 victory, he and his teammates ran as fast as they could to the center-field clubhouse.

They were not fast enough. Pitcher Jack Pfiester was knifed in the shoulder, and Chance was punched so hard in the throat that he sustained broken cartilage. At least three other Cubs were struck, and the police had to hold shut the clubhouse doors with guns drawn.

Chicago went on to pummel the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, the last time the Cubs won a world championship. And Merkle became “the man who lost the pennant.” Soon, making any sort of blunder was called a Merkle. He lost weight in the two weeks between his blunder and the end of the season, and told reporters, “I wished that a large, roomy and comfortable hole would open up and swallow me.”

McGraw, however, praised Merkle’s “gameness” and gave him a raise. And Merkle stuck it out through a 14-year career and became known as one of the smarter players in the sport. Still, he was never allowed to get over his mistake that was not really a mistake.

When he died at 67 in 1956, he was living in the back of a tackle shop in Daytona Beach, Fla., trying to dodge reporters who just had to hear his story one more time.

Bridwell later told the author Lawrence Ritter that getting a hit that afternoon was his only regret in baseball: “I wish I’d struck out instead,” he said. “If I’d have done that, then it would have spared Fred a lot of unfair humiliation.”

Yet he added: “Didn’t get credit for that base hit. They decided it was a forceout at second, instead of a single. Well, what can you do? Those things happen.”


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Visit http://www.t206collector.com for Net54 T206 archive, signed deadball card galleries, articles and more!

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:09 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: T206Collector

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:22 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Jeff Lichtman

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-23-2008, 10:43 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Jimmy

the Cubs may have lost if it was not for that "Bonehead" play, bseball history is great and Merkle still managed a decent 18 years in the league

Jimmy

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-23-2008, 11:09 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Bill Kasel

He still has one of the best looking pre-war cards out there so at least he has that going for him!



Bill

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-23-2008, 11:55 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Mike Masinick

Here is a cool song about the Merkle incident from Chuck Brodsky's 2002 album "Baseball Ballads".

http://www.last.fm/music/Chuck+Brodsky/_/Bonehead+Merkle

Click on the play button on the little player in the upper right corner of the page. Enjoy!

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-23-2008, 11:58 AM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Todd C

I own an original newspaper featuring the Merkle article.


pretty nice piece of baseball history

Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-23-2008, 12:33 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Marty Ogelvie

Todd,

Is that a paper dated in 1908 shortly after the game or a paper dated years later featuring an article about Merkle?? 

 

martyOgelvie

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-23-2008, 12:38 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Marty Kohler

I`m sure many of you are aware of Larry Ritter`s tapes "The Glory of Their Times" that are available on Cd......... they are wonderful and fun to listen to during a "road trip"......... Great stuff!..... they paint a great picture of major league baseball in the early part of the 20th century.........Merkle. Snodgrass, Chief Meyers, and many others from the era......$20 on amazon.....

GO YARD

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-23-2008, 12:44 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Todd C

I am pretty sure it was from 1908 but I will have to verify

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-23-2008, 01:28 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: barrysloate

Ritter interviewed Al Bridwell, and the player said he wished he had struck out instead of hitting a single. It would have changed Merkle's life.

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-23-2008, 02:08 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Marty Kohler

So Barry...... is all of this the reason that 15` CJ Merkels seem to be tuff cards........I seem to see less of these than HOF`s......

GO YARD

Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-23-2008, 02:49 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Jason L

I'm not a caramel guy (yet), but that is one of the finest such cards I've seen, just going on image...love the depth of the uniform details.

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-23-2008, 03:16 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: barrysloate

Marty- didn't realize Cracker Jack Merkle was a tough card. But any card of him is in higher demand than the average common.

Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-23-2008, 03:26 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Jodi Birkholm

It speaks volumes about Merkle's character that, despite having to deal with moronic questions regarding the play every day of his life, he still continued to be a willing and courteous autograph signer. He also found time to attend baseball-related functions in his later years. He must have been a very classy individual, and one that I would have loved to have a chat with.

Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-23-2008, 04:37 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: S Gross

I only own 1 T3, 1 Sporting News supplement (framed over my desk), and only 1 E95 .......... all of Merkle .......... he has some of the best cards there are ........ he just optimizes the ol' time lanky first baseman, IMO.





....... ((( oh, and remember the "incident" wasn't the last game of the season, the Giants lost 2 or 3 games after that, in which a win would have clinched the pennant ))) ...........

Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:13 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: DMcD

Barry, it is always great to hear a legendary baseball story from a fan who was there to see it happen.
Joe, would you believe I stepped out to use the restroom and missed the play?

Bob Hope meets Maxwell Smart. Funny stuff!

The ol' time lanky first baseman:






Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:27 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Jerry

Nice collection of Merk's, David

Harry Coveleski was the Giant Killer, sometimes confused with his HOF younger Brother Stan who came along a little later

Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-23-2008, 05:59 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: dennis

comcast here in chicago did a feature on the merkle incident today on their sportsnews show. among the things mentioned.merkles only living daughter(in her 80's) said that the family down played their famous father because of that play and never could enjoy his celebrity,even to this day. also, that every team in baseball sent a rep to henry pulliam's funeral (who ruled that the game be replayed)except the NY GIANTS,talk bout holding a grudge.

Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 09-23-2008, 07:29 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Anonymous

Just my two cents, but forget about the Chicago Cubs goat curse. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. Coincidence?

Yes, this is tongue-in-cheek.

Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-23-2008, 08:45 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Tom Hufford

Did you know that Merkle's grave is unmarked? Did you know that as a part-time scout and high school umpire in Florida, Merkle discovered Jim "Mudcat" Grant? How did the official scorer score the play in 1908? How did the newspapers report it?

Today, the Deadball Era Committee of SABR issued a special 23-page Fred Merkle edition of the committee's newsleter, The Inside Pitch. It is simply terrific, and can be found at:

http://www.sabr.org/cmsFiles/Files/theinsidegame-volume8no4.pdf

or

http://www.sabr.org/sabr.cfm?a=cms,c,2672,40

Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-23-2008, 08:57 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: DMcD

Tom: BIG THANKS for posting the SABR newsletter.

Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-23-2008, 09:12 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: leonl

Thanks a lot for posting that.....We (note- "we" used for the collective board and not for I)appreciate it.

Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-23-2008, 10:07 PM
Archive Archive is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 58,359
Default 100 Years Ago Today: The Merkle Incident

Posted By: Todd C

I verified the newspaper

dated September 25, 1908



pretty neat piece of baseball history !!!

Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Christy Mathewson's brother - 100 years ago today... Archive Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 3 01-14-2009 06:28 PM
100 Years Ago 2 Weekends Ago: Cap Anson/Rube Foster Archive Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 6 09-28-2008 02:28 PM
It was 98 Years Ago Today... Archive Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 3 09-27-2006 11:17 PM
100 years ago today "Cobb played 1st game" Archive Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 0 08-30-2005 12:09 PM
100 Years Ago Today? Archive Net54baseball Vintage (WWII & Older) Baseball Cards & New Member Introductions 2 07-27-2005 07:09 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:07 PM.


ebay GSB