Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Heh Heh, He Said "Merkle"

An interesting historical tidbit from "Today's Birthdays" at 6-4-2:

Fred Merkle BRO b. 1888, played 1916-1917, d. 1956-03-02. Infamous with the Giants as the author of "Merkle's Boner", a baserunning gaffe that occurred as the last play in a September 23, 1908 game against the rival Cubs. With Merkle on first, what should have been a game-winning hit instead turned into controversy as Merkle headed to the dugout, as was the custom at the time, instead of touching second base on his way to crossing home plate. As the Giants home crowd flooded the field, Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers stepped on second base while in possession of the ball (or, anyway, a ball, since Giants pitcher Joe McGinnity had appeared to hurl the game ball deep into the crowd), claiming a forceout and the negation of the winning run. With fans already making the field impassable, the game's result was nullified. At the end of the season, the Cubs and Giants were tied, and so both teams had to replay the now-missing game; the Giants lost it and the pennant.

Also, check out a pre-Ebbets Field perspective over at The Trolley Dodger.


Steve Sax said...

So will history recall Game 1 of the 2006 NLDS "Donnelly's Boner" or "Drew's Boner"?

Orel said...

Kent deserves a share of the boner-dom.