New York Baseball Giants: Merkle’s Boner

Always a good thing when someone remembers that there was a baseball team in New York called the Giants.   Fred Dodgers Wilpon likes to ignore them (unless there’s a Mel Ott statue at Citi Field I haven’t been told about, and no “green seats” doesn’t honor the Giants any more than the Orioles do).

Merkle’s Boner.  You’ve heard of it, but what is it.   The Times hooks it up….



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.






Published: September 23, 2008

A hundred years later, think Chuck Knoblauch meets Steve Bartman, and you will have some idea of the enormity of Fred Merkle’s blunder.

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