#Hot Corner

Merkle's Boner resonates still, always will

Monday was the 105th anniversary of Merkle's Boner.

What's that? You don't know about Merkle's Boner? Here's Keith Olbermann with a genuinely outstanding history lesson:

In 1908, baseball's rules weren't nearly as complex or precise as they are now. Here is the entire text of Rule 59 -- straight from the pages of the 1908 Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide -- which umpire Hank O'Day and eventually National League prexy Harry Pulliam cited in their ruling against the New York Giants:

THE SCORING OF RUNS

Rule 59. One run shall be scored every time a base-runner, after having legally touched the first three bases, shall legally touch the home base before three men are put out. Provided, however, that if he reach home on or during a play in which the third man be forced out or be put out, before reaching first base, a run shall not count. A force out can be made only when a base-runner legally loses the right to the base he occupies and is thereby obliged to advance as the result of a fair hit ball not caught on the fly.

Two questions, one rhetorical and one for Mr. Olbermann ...

Rule 59 mentions first base, but not second base. So how does this apply to Fred Merkle, who failed to touch second?

So what does any of this have to do with the Cubs' long championship drought? The Cubs benefited from Merkle's Boner, and wound up winning the World Series that year.

P.S. Also from the 1908 Reach Guide, a bonus rule for you:

MUST NOT QUESTION DECISIONS

Rule 62. Under no circumstances shall a captain or player dispute the accuracy of the umpire's judgment and decision on a play.

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