On Merkle’s Boner, One Hundred Years Later

One hundred years ago today, on September 23, 1908, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Giants met in the Polo Grounds. The National League pennant was on the line, and in the bottom of the ninth the Giants were on the verge of winning.

What followed later generations called “Merkle’s Boner.” A fly ball was hit into the outfield, a run crossed the plate, but the ball was still “live” and Giants baserunner Fred Merkle was tagged out, leaving the game a tie. (The game couldn’t be continued; the Giants’ fans stormed the field, celebrating their apparent victory.)

The Cubs went on to claim the pennant. The Giants and their manager John McGraw believed that the Cubs had stolen the pennant — and their World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers — from them.

A few years ago, one Sunday afternoon, I wrote out a short story about the events of September 23, 1908. It’s entitled “The Curse of the Giants.”

It’s a crossover fanfic, honestly. Raffles Holmes, the hero of John Kendrick Bangs’ 1906 novel R. Holmes & Co. (and son of Sherlock Holmes and grandson of noted cracksman A.J. Raffles), relates to his friend and chronicler Jenkins how he met the mysterious Miss Brown and her friend the Doctor that day in the stands at the Polo Grounds.

It’s not my best work, and it needs an edit, but it was an afternoon’s work and except to format it in HTML I’ve not really looked at it since.

But if you’ve ever wondered what the fifth Doctor was doing on September 23, 1908 in Manhattan, now you’ll know. 😉

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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