The boner game

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His unusual conduct in the final inning of a great game perhaps deprived New York of a victory that would have been unquestionable had he not committed a breach in baseball play that resulted in Umpire O'Day declaring the game a tie. With the score tied in the ninth inning at 1 to 1 and the New Yorks having a runner, McCormick, on third base waiting for an opportunity to score and Merkle on first base, Bridwell hit into center field.

It was a fair hit ball and would have been sufficient to win the game had Merkle gone on his way down the base path while McCormick was scoring the winning run.

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But instead of Merkle going to second base to make sure that McCormick had reached home with the run necessary to a victory, Merkle ran toward the clubhouse, evidently thinking that his share in the game was ended when Bridwell hit the ball into safe territory.

Manager Chance of the Chicago Club quickly grasped the situation and directed that the ball be thrown to second base, which would force out Merkle, who had not reached that corner.

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Chance, who plays first base for the Chicago club, ran to second base and the ball was thrown there, but immediately Pitcher McGinnity interfered in the play and a scramble of players ensued, in which, it is said, McGinnity obtained the ball and threw it into the crowd before Manager Chance could complete a force play on Merkle, who was far away from the baseline.

Merkle said that he had touched second base, and the Chicago players were equally positive that he had not done so.

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Manager Chance then appealed to Umpire O'Day, who was head umpire of the game, for a decision in the matter. The crowd, thinking that the Giants had won the game, swarmed upon the playing field in such confusion that none of the "fans" seemed able to grasp the situation, but finally their attitude toward Umpire O'Day became so offensive that the police ran into the crowd and protected the umpire, while arguments were being hurled pro and con on the point in question by Manager Chance and McGraw and the umpire.

Umpire O'Day finally decided that the run did not count, and that inasmuch as the spectators had gained such large s on the field that the game could not be d.

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O'Day declared the game a tie, but the management of the Giants has recorded it as a 2 to 1 victory. Fred Merkle's blunder indeed cost the Giants the National League pennant and effectively ruined his reputation as a player.

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The umpire's decision was appealed to the league's president, Harry C. Pulliam, who finally ruled the game a tie. The Giants and Cubs finished the season deadlocked for first, so the tied game was finally replayed and the Cubs won it to capture their third and last pennant. Pulliam, whose indecision about scheduling a makeup game led to his being pilloried in the New York press, shot himself to death at the New York Athletic Club the following July.

Instead of advancing from first to second on a ninth-inning hit to make sure that a game-winning run from third would count, he headed to the clubhouse. Walcott had reigned for 14 months since winning the title from Ezzard Charles of Cincinnati. He set a record ofbroken by Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals in

The boner game

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