September 23, 1908

by Laura Weck

In baseball, as it is in life,
Not always everything will stay the same–
Rules may change further down the road
As they could in a baseball game.

In life when you err, you may
at times find an atoner,
But not so with baseball
and “Fred Merkle’s Boner.”

Though there was great world news
Back in those days,
Nothing could overshadow
Poor Fred’s Bonehead play

That year was a roller-coaster
Predicting which of the teams might play
and that was only decided
On the season’s very last day.

That stellar season would provoke
Even Joe Tinker to rub,
“If you don’t furiously hate the Giants,
You aren’t really a Cub.”

After that year I can’t fathom
That ever again there will be
As thrilling a contest, as that on
September twenty-three.

It was the bottom of the ninth
The score tied one to one,
With Merkle standing at first
and anxious to run.

The Polo Ground fans were a rowdy bunch
Often storming the field
After a tumultous win, never imagining
Their team to another would yield.

New York’s Birdwell hit one
Allowing McCormick get home.
Rookie Merkle rounded second, then
To the clubhouse he’d roam.

The fans stormed the field not knowing
Johnny Evers had been guaranteed
A new rule that now
The players must heed.

The folks perched on poles
Came close to falling.
When New York got the loss
The fans started bawling.

They spat and they fought
When they learned of the loss.
So irate the ump, to the stands
The “winning” ball he’d toss.

In public they jeered him.
They told him he stank.
So distraught was Fred Merkle
His tombstone was left blank.

 


Published in Ballparks, Chicago Cubs, Fans, Former Teams, History, Players, Pure doggerel, San Francisco Giants, Scandals | Link to this poem | No Comments

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