This day in baseball: Merkle’s boner

In a game against the Chicago Cubs on September 23, 1908, Fred Merkle of the New York Giants failed to touch second base while running the bases on a game-winning hit by Al Bridwell to score Moose McCormick from third base.  As a result, a force out was ruled at second base, and the game was called as a tie.  In spite of numerous appeals, the ruling was upheld.

Later that season, the Cubs and Giants were tied with a record of 98-55 for the season.  In a makeup game to determine the NL pennant winner, the Cubs beat the Giants 4-2, and went on to become World Series champions.

Fred Merkle (Wikimedia Commons)


10 Comments on “This day in baseball: Merkle’s boner”

  1. Bobby-C says:

    When I was probably 10 or 11 years old, my mom bought me a magazine with baseball stories. Included in the magazine was the story of the Merkle Boner ad well as the Snodgrass Muff. Always thought those were interesting choices for the names.

    As it happens, and from what I’ve read subsequently, it was a common practice not to touch up second base on an obvious game winning hit. Merkle wasn’t doing anything that others weren’t also doing. He just got caught, and it cost his team mightily in the long run.

  2. verdun2 says:

    I’d forgotten today was the anniversary of one of the most famous baseball plays ever. Thanks for reminding us.
    v

  3. steve says:

    He sort of looks like Ted Dansen or the monster daddy on The Munsters.

  4. […] two week’s after Merkle’s Boner took place, the Cubs faced off once again against the New York Giants on October 8, 1908.  The two […]

  5. […] load the bases, then score the winning run.  Poor Snodgrass joined the ranks of dubious fame with Fred Merkle as a […]


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