Monday, November 07, 2011

Hunt Auctions: A Teammates Look at Merkle's Boner

This is a letter written by Fred Snodgrass, a teammate of Fred Merkle, available at auction at Hunt's. If you are not familiar with Merkle's Boner read about it here. As for this letter, below is it in full for your enjoyment.
Dear Van -
I will try to answer a few of your questions, but I don't write well anymore. There was a period in my life when I was in business when I could make a type write hum. But no more. -
Question - Did the Giants have a catcher named Johnson. - Ans: No! Larry McLean 1913-14-15 - Geo. Schlei 1909-10-11 - John Chief Meyers 1909-1915 - Arthur Wilson 1908-13 - Grover Hartley 1911-1913 - and yours truly but no Johnson. -
Q. Were you with Giants all of 1908 - A. Yes, Was 3rd string catcher. -
Q. Do you recall play off game Giants vs. Cubs? - A. Yes - but it is a story - As you know the two teams ended the season on a tie - So we had to replay the game in which Fred Merkle failed to touch second base. He should not have been blamed for loss of pennant for the Giants lost five games after the failure - a double header to Cincy (McG started Marquard and Bull Durham - both lost) and 3 games to Phila (Coveleski won all thru pitching Tuesday - Thurs + Saturday - then we had to win the remaining games from the Braves to tie with Cubs. We players had trouble getting into the Polo Grounds at 10AM on account of the big crowd - later on those fans broke down the left field fence and only a fire hose stopped them. It was a total sell out. 3 fingers Brown was to pitch against Mathewson - and in a club house meeting before the game the Giants felt that if they could get Frank Chance out of the line up - that they could win - so McGrinnity was to meet Chance on foul line and pick a fight - Chance was too smart - would not fight - and it was his hit that won the game and the pennant. Enclosed are samples of the autograph requests I get - average 3 a week. (also Chufs letter).
Regards, Fred C. Snodgrass

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