Thorn: A Merkle's Boner reprise in 1889

From SABR member John Thorn with Richard Hershberger at Our Game on November 6, 2017:

Old friend and baseball savant Richard Hershberger posted this story to SABR’s 19th Century Research Committee listserv on Friday. I had never heard about it, and was stunned. Richard graciously permitted me to share it at Our Game. [I have added first names and images.] If you like this sort of thing, consider joining SABR, long famous for more than sabermetrics: http://sabr.org/join.

Here is some crunchy 19th century controversy to chew on in this off-season:

[Boston at Philadelphia 8/26/1889; home team elected to bat first, as was their prerogative] [bottom of the 12th inning, tie score (4–4), Boston at bat, two outs, King Kelly at second and Dan Brouthers on first] “[Dick] Johnston followed with a solid crack to centre and ran leisurely to first, bat in hand. When within ten feet of the base, seeing that Kelly had scored, he turned towards the right and ran over towards the stand. [Jimmy] Fogarty made a wild throw in, the ball getting away from [Sid] Farrar. It was finally secured by one of the Boston players, who passed it to Kelly. Farrar, Ed Delahanty and [Ben] Sanders ran after Kelly and tried to wrest the ball from him, but he would not give it up. The crowd then surged into the field and several passes were made at the ‘only,’ but none of them landed. Finally, with the aid of the officers, he was hustled into the dressing-room. Johnston did not touch first base. In fact, he stopped within ten feet of it; but even if Farrar had secured the ball and made the claim it would not have been allowed, as neither [umpires Wes] Curry nor [John] McQuade saw the play.”

read the full article here: https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/merkles-boner-in-1889-d4bc18ad7572

This page was last updated November 6, 2017 at 2:22 pm MST.