If you don’t know about “Merkle’s Boner” (the actual name for it, believe it or not), allow me to enlighten you.
The year is 1908. The New York Giants host the Chicago Cubs. The game is tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning. Moose McCormick (a Giant) is on third base. Fred Merkle is on first base. Shortstop Al Bridwell drills a single into center field and Moose McCormick scores!
The New York Giants win the game 2-1! Fans swarmed onto the field. Merkle, caught up in the moment, joined the throngs. But he forgot something. Rule 4.09: "A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made ... by any runner being forced out."
The Chicago Cubs noticed that after Bridwell’s hit, Merkle never advanced to second base. They threw over to second. The umpire called Fred Merkle out.
The play remains extremely controversial, as some people (including Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem) consider the ruling to be a “gross manipulation of the rules.” Tuck Rule, anybody?
Anyway, the game was later resumed with the pennant on the line. The Cubs won the game and the pennant and went on to win the World Series.
Merkle’s boner was so big that it savaged the Giants chance at a World Series appearance, and for that reason Merkle is the biggest knucklehead in Giants history.
But when you think about it, the Boston Red Sox had the infamous Curse of the Bambino. The Chicago Cubs blame their futility on the Curse of the Billy Goat. But they have yet to win a World Series since 1908… so is it possible that perhaps they owe their woes to the Curse of the Boner?