Sport: The Great Bonehead Play

McCormick trots home, the merry villagers flock on the field to worship the hollow where Mathewson feet have pressed, and all of a sudden there is doings at second base.

—New York Times, Sept. 24, 1908

The "doings" that so spun the Times's sports reporter that September afternoon cost the New York Giants a pennant and started an argument that may live as long as baseball: Did Fred Merkle really pull a bonehead play that gave away the game?

Bare percentage points on top of the National League, John McGraw's Giants had just dropped the...

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