A tribute to my favorite Cub, the nervous-breakdowniest second baseman ever to steal a pennant. (Er…was that a sentence?)
…at least, you’d better when this guy’s around. The back says:
Bane of umpires; Merkle tormentor. 1883-1947
And you can buy it here until I get a cease-and-desist from his estate.
Tomorrow: The Fantastic Mr. Pipp.
A hundred-and-one years ago today, nineteen-year-old Fred Merkle either made the most famous base running error in baseball history, or was set up by a clever opponent. Sigh. Poor ol’ Fred.
In his honor, I’m re-posting this old comic. Enjoy!
I’ll re-post “Part Two: Snodgrass’ Muff” on his Anniversary of Infamy, October 16.
I was just pointed to this article about a new Chicago Cubs documentary which mentions the Billy Goat curse (as well as some other not-so-great moments in Cubs history). Whenever this comes up I’m newly amazed that whatever curse/string of bad luck that has led to the Cubbies remaining World Series-free since 1908 doesn’t begin and end with Johnny Evers. And I say this as a borderline Johnny Evers obsessive– I find him completely fascinating. But he stole the pennant from the Giants in 1908 with that (admittedly brilliant) jujitsu he pulled on poor Fred Merkle. “Merkle’s Boner” wasn’t a boner at all — and I’m convinced the bad karma around it has been hanging around the Cubs ever since.
And while I’m kicking around in the archives, how about some more Johnny Evers fun?
Thus concludes our week of Autumnal Cliches. With regard to this particular drawing, I’d like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to the ghost of Fred Merkle for once again ensuring that the Cubs never, ever, ever win another World Series. I mean, nothing against the Cubs, but a man’s entitled to his revenge.
Onward, then, to things you might actually care about. Wanna know what the Thing of the Week is next week? Sure you do. Ready? It’s Brushes With Fame. What could that possibly mean? Check back in on Monday to find out. And I’ll be posting page 5 of the Worm later today.