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Fred Merkle

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Full Name: Carl Frederick Rudolf Merkle Primary Position: 1B
Height/Weight: 6' 1"/190 First Game: September 21, 1907
Birthdate: December 20, 1888 Final Game: September 26, 1926
Birthplace: Watertown, Wisconsin MLB Experience: 16 years
Died: March 2, 1956
Deathplace: Daytona Beach, Florida
Bat/Throw: Right/Right


Biography

Fred Merkle (Carl Frederick Rudolf Merkle) was born on December 20, 1888 in Watertown, Wisconsin. He made his Major League debut on September 21, 1907 for the New York Giants. In 1909, his rookie year, he hit .191 with 0 home runs and 20 RBI. Merkle played for the New York Giants, Brooklyn Superbas, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees over the course of his 16 year career.

Most people believe that Fred Merkle's best season was 1911, when he stole 49 bases, hit for a .283 average and knocked in 84 runs.

Merkle died in Daytona Beach, Florida at age 67, and was interred there in Bellevue Cedar Hill Memory Gardens.

Merkle Boner

On September 23, 1908, while playing for the New York Giants in a game against the Chicago Cubs, while he was 19 years old (the youngest player in the NL), Merkle committed a base running error that later became known as the "Merkle Boner," and earned Merkle the nickname of "Bonehead."

In the bottom of the 9th inning, Merkle came to bat with two outs. At the time, Moose McCormick was on first base. Merkle singled and McCormick advanced to third base. Al Bridwell, the next batter, followed with a single of his own. McCormick advanced to home plate scoring the winning run for the game. The fans in attendance, under the impression that the game was over, ran onto the field to celebrate.

Meanwhile, Merkle, thinking the game was over, walked to the Giants' clubhouse prior to touching second base. Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers noticed this, and after retrieving a ball and touching second base he appealed to umpire Hank O'Day to call Merkle out. Since Merkle had not touched the base, the umpire called him out on a force play, and McCormick's run did not count.

The run was therefore nullified, the Giants' victory erased, and the score of the game remained tied. Unfortunately, the thousands of fans on the field prevented resumption of the game and the game was declared a tie. The Giants and the Cubs would end the season and would have a rematch at the Polo Grounds. The Cubs won this makeup game, and thus the National League pennant.

Accounts vary as to whether Evers actually retrieved the actual game ball or not. Some versions of the story have him running to the outfield to retrieve the correct ball. Other versions have it that he shouted for the ball, which was relayed to him from the Cubs' dugout. And still other versions have it that Giants player Joe McGinnity saw what was transpiring, and threw the actual game ball into the stands; thus the ball that was picked up by or relayed to Evers was a different ball entirely.

Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1907 NY N 15 47 0 12 0 5 .255 .271 .277 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
1908 NY N 38 41 6 11 1 7 .268 .333 .439 2 1 4 0 0 2 0 0 0
1909 NY N 79 236 15 45 0 20 .191 .245 .237 9 1 16 0 1 4 8 0 0
1910 NY N 144 506 75 148 4 70 .292 .353 .441 35 14 44 59 3 19 23 0 0
1911 NY N 149 541 80 153 12 84 .283 .342 .431 24 10 43 60 6 14 49 0 8
1912 NY N 129 479 82 148 11 84 .309 .374 .449 22 6 42 70 8 8 37 0 0
1913 NY N 153 563 78 147 2 69 .261 .315 .371 30 13 41 60 3 10 35 0 0
1914 NY N 146 512 71 132 7 63 .258 .327 .375 25 7 52 80 1 7 23 0 0
1915 NY N 140 505 52 151 4 62 .299 .348 .384 25 3 36 39 2 14 20 0 0
1916 NY N 112 401 45 95 7 44 .237 .308 .352 19 3 33 46 8 7 17 0 0
1916 BRO N 23 69 6 16 0 2 .232 .312 .246 1 0 7 4 1 1 2 0 0
1916 TOT N 135 470 51 111 7 46 .236 .308 .336 20 3 40 50 9 8 19 0 0
1917 CHI N 146 549 65 146 3 57 .266 .323 .370 30 9 42 60 4 13 13 0 0
1917 BRO N 2 8 1 1 0 0 .125 .125 .250 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
1917 TOT N 148 557 66 147 3 57 .264 .320 .368 31 9 42 61 4 13 13 0 0
1918 CHI N 129 482 55 143 3 65 .297 .349 .388 25 5 35 36 4 20 21 0 0
1919 CHI N 133 498 52 133 3 62 .267 .315 .349 20 6 33 35 2 12 20 0 0
1920 CHI N 92 330 33 94 3 38 .285 .335 .397 20 4 24 32 1 12 3 0 0
1925 NY A 7 13 4 5 0 1 .385 .429 .462 1 0 1 1 0 2 1 0 0
1926 NY A 1 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total NL 1630 5767 716 1575 60 732 .273 .331 .383 289 82 453 582 44 144 271 0 8
Total AL 8 15 4 5 0 1 .333 .375 .400 1 0 1 1 0 2 1 0 0
Total 1638 5782 720 1580 60 733 .273 .331 .383 290 82 454 583 44 146 272 0 8

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1907 NY N 1B 15 0 0 122 7 7 4 0 0 0 0 0 .949
1908 NY N 1B 11 0 0 60 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1908 NY N 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1908 NY N OF 5 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1908 NY N 2B 1 0 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1909 NY N 1B 70 0 0 625 27 16 29 0 0 0 0 0 .976
1909 NY N 2B 1 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1910 NY N 1B 144 0 0 1390 84 29 87 0 0 0 0 0 .981
1911 NY N 1B 148 148 1278.2 1375 117 22 73 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1912 NY N 1B 129 0 0 1229 72 27 77 0 0 0 0 0 .980
1913 NY N 1B 153 0 0 1463 76 22 86 0 0 0 0 0 .986
1914 NY N 1B 146 0 0 1463 88 16 80 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1915 NY N OF 30 0 0 68 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .973
1915 NY N 1B 110 0 0 1123 53 13 62 0 0 0 0 0 .989
1916 NY N 1B 112 0 0 1183 58 20 61 0 0 0 0 0 .984
1916 BRO N OF 4 0 0 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1916 BRO N 1B 15 0 0 126 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 .992
1916 TOT N 1B 127 0 0 1309 62 21 64 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1917 CHI N OF 6 0 0 15 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1917 CHI N 1B 140 0 0 1415 66 26 84 0 0 0 0 0 .983
1917 BRO N 1B 2 0 0 23 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1917 TOT N 1B 142 0 0 1438 67 26 85 0 0 0 0 0 .983
1918 CHI N 1B 129 0 0 1388 82 15 69 0 0 0 0 0 .990
1919 CHI N 2B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1919 CHI N 1B 132 0 0 1494 56 23 66 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1920 CHI N OF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1920 CHI N 1B 85 0 0 906 54 15 52 0 0 0 0 0 .985
1925 NY A 1B 5 0 0 28 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1926 NY A 1B 1 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 1B 1547 148 1278.2 15419 847 252 839 0 0 0 0 0 .985
Total OF 46 0 0 91 8 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 .980
Total 2B 3 0 0 3 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Transactions

  • Traded by New York Giants to Brooklyn Robins in exchange for Lew McCarty (August 25, 1916).
  • Sold by Brooklyn Robins to Chicago Cubs for $3500 (August 16, 1917).

Trivia

See also

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