Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tuesday Sports Short: "The Other Fred"

Four years after Fred Merkle took the blame for costing the Giants a Pennant another Fred was blamed for costing the Giants a World Series. What is a little strange is that Fred 1# mistake led to the Cubs last World Series win, and Fred 2# mistake led to one of the last Red Sox World Series (before last year). I am not sure what to make of this, but there is not doubt that it add lure to the great game of baseball.

Fred Snodgrass’ mistake, in the 1912 World Series, was dubbed the $10,000 mistake. This, of course, was referring to the bonus money that the World Series champions received. But in reality the team actually lost the substantial sum of $39,000 dollars in Snodgrass’ mistake. Snodgrass’ error came in the final game of the 1912 World Series. With the series ties at three games apiece, the Giants led Boston 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Boston pinch-hitter Clyde Engle hit a fly ball to center field. Snodgrass went for the ball, but became distracted when a fan threw a bottle at him. Understandably Snodgrass missed the ball and Engle, the tying run, stood safe on first. After Harry Hooper failed to reach base Steve Yerkes walked. With runners on 1st and 2nd Hall of Famer Tris Speaker came to bat. Tris singled to right field plating Engle, and tying the score.

Now, with a tie score the Red Sox were back in it. Duffy Lewis, the next batter, walked to load the bases up with one out. Larry Gardner followed Lewis with the most exciting play in baseball, the sacrifice fly. The Red Sox were the champions.

Snodgrass was blamed for the loss, even though he rejected taking the blame. Forty years later Snodgrass would say: “I certainly did drop the ball. But it happened on the first man up in the 10th. I did not let in the run that gave the championship to Boston.” Some Giants fans were willing to let Snodgrass off the hook. Many felt that it was not Snodgrass’ error that was to blame (someone threw a bottle at him!). Many thought that the play that cost the Giants that series occurred during the Tris Speaker at bat. Prior to Speaker’s game tying RBI he hit a pop-up in foul territory that should have been an out. Unfortunately for all the Giants fans out there it fell between two fielders. Those two fielders who missed the ball were catcher Chief Meyers, and you guessed it first baseman Fred Merkle. Amazingly Merkle escaped much of the blame that was placed upon Snodgrass.


Blogger Morgan said...

That's insane. If a guy did that nowadays, it might be called the "$4.2 million mistake." haha, y'all have a great rest of the week!

16/8/05 11:22 PM  

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