With all the talk about this being 100 years since the Cubs won a World Series, I have heard nothing about the upcoming (Sept. 23, I think) anniversary of the infamous play that enabled the Cubs to reach the series. When 19-year-old Giant Fred Merkle, who had been on first, failed to touch second base in the madness that followed an apparent game-winning hit, Johnny Evers retrieved a
ball (possibly not the
ball) and forced him out at second (at least according to the ump), thus ending the game without the runner from third officially scoring and ending the game in a tie.
There was some about this on several levels--Giant pitcher Joe McGinty claimed to have retrieved the real ball and thrown it out of play before Evers could complete the play, meaning that Evers used a fake ball (of course this argument could be turned around against the Giants), Evers had tried the same thing against the Pirates, iirc (hey, it's been 100 years, my memory's starting to slip a little
), earlier and the umpire had refused to allow the protest.
At any rate, the Giants and Cubs ended up tied for first, forcing this tie game to be played again, the Giants grumbled about having to replay a game they thought they had already won, and the Cubs went to the Series--and won. For the last time in at least a century. Hopefully for the last time in two or three centuries.
Anyway, here's what wiki says about it all: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Merkle
. Lawrence Ritter's The Glory of Their Times
tells it better, though.