- Card series: Pilgrims
- City: New York
- Team: Giants
- League: National League
Carl Frederick Rudolf Merkle (1888-1956) was called by a teammate “the smartest man on the club.” One misstep, one quick decision not to continue to 2nd base, left this “gentleman and scholar” to endure the scorn of contemporary fans and much of baseball lore for his infamous “boner,” committed in his rookie year. His boss, John McGraw, was much more forgiving and Merkle went on to fine career, including 5 Series in 8 years.
- Merkle was the youngest player in the game when he failed to run out what would have been his game-winning (and pennant-winning) hit
- Umpire Hank O’Day was said to have been looking for the chance to enforce a widely-ignored rule, and chose a moment that got all of baseball’s attention