Read all about the infamous “Merkle’s Boner” at SABR. Boner being an abbreviation for bonehead or a bonehead mistake–not, er, not that other thing. And Merkle clearly received a bad reputation for the entirety of his career because of this one fouled-up play. In fact, the notoriety seems wholly unjustified, as Merkle’s very own peers in The Glory of Their Times (1966) testify that many other deciding factors contributed to the 1908 Giants (Merkle’s team) losing the World Series to the Chicago Cubs.
Nothing can hurt you anymore, Fred. Sleep well and be at peace; you’ve earned your place among the cardboard men.
See this terrific image of a “poor” Merkle, courtesy of Card Junk: the original card post from Card Junk.
–Who are these clowns?
-Why is a former professional ballplayer-turned-commentator in the Dodgers broadcast booth humoring the Seth Rogan look-alike and non-player commentator counterpart with an awkward anecdote of practicing his batting swing in the reflection of the driver’s side window whilst once at a gas station pumping unleaded into his automobile?
-Why is Kemp bashing his batting helmet against the shelves in the dugout after a commendable RBI, albeit “fly out”—with a sore shoulder nonetheless?
-Why does it seem like agents are working overtime to devise serendipitous stage, er, stadium names for pitchers: i.e. Beckett & League?
-Why is there a face-painted clown Giants fan sitting only a few seats away from a face-painted clown Dodgers fan?
-Why does it seem almost standard issue (along with whatever team uniform) for nearly every single major league player to wear one of these douchey rope necklaces?
OK, I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I can explain—really, I can. You see, when this card first came into my possession it already looked like this. . . .
So it was not exactly in pristine condition in the first place. And although even my wife advised against it, I just couldn’t help myself. Perhaps it had something to do with a few too many glasses of scotch whiskey that I found myself with a cheap, blue ballpoint Paper Mate pen gravitating in hand towards the card’s surface already besieged as well by fate’s hand with so many creases & folds like topographic ranges and rifts.
Honestly, however, it was the ghost of some poor child’s only half-finished doodle that compelled me to this act of insanity. For I can almost see the scene playing from out of the past: the oft-neglected, attention-starved younger sibling of a baseball enthusiast creeping into his brother’s ill-lit, forbidden bedroom, opening the closest door, and reaching for the first card on top of the floor stack. And I even envision the boy menace taking pause to gleefully admire his nearly finished masterwork of Willie’s goatee and Mickey’s newly grown beard. Of course, all of this comes before a deafening scream rings in his ears and he finds himself being yanked by the collar of his little Lacoste polo shirt and flung in the air.
So now you see. I really had no choice but to honor whoever the unfortunate, anonymous brat and this perhaps now long-forgotten act of cardboard defacement—though, come to think of it, none of it may be forgotten in the least. For all I know, the parties involved may still harbor some deep-buried, dark sentiments to this day.