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1908 "Moose" McCormick New York Giants "Merkle's Boner" Medallion
Starting Bid - $2,000.00, Sold For - $10,440.00
This extraordinary presentation medallion is one of the earliest and most historically significant, as well as elaborately designed, baseball presentation pieces of the early twentieth century. One of these medallions was presented to each member of the 1908 Giants in a special ceremony sponsored by The New York American newspaper following the Giants' legendary loss of the pennant during the 1908 season as a direct result of the famous "Merkle's Boner" play. To the best of our knowledge, only three examples are known. This example has been in a private collection for decades and is being offered for the first time ever in this auction. Manufactured by Dieges & Clust, this elaborately constructed 14k gold medallion features a diamond set within a star above a convex high-relief baseball reading "N.Y. Giants 1908." The baseball is encircled by a fancy wreath. The reverse has an elaborate patriotic eagle and shield design, and a curved panel which reads: "Tribute From The Fans" (across the top) in raised letters. The name "Harry McCormick" is engraved in a curved panel beneath the shield. This medallion has great historical significance in that it directly relates to, and involves a main principal in, one of baseball's most famous plays: "Merkle's Boner." On September 23, 1908, in a game between the Giants and Cubs at the Polo Grounds, Harry "Moose" McCormick was the runner on third base who scored what appeared to be the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning of that contest. With the game tied, 1-1, and McCormick on third and Fred Merkle on first, Al Bridwell singled to center, apparently winning the game for the Giants. Unfortunately, Merkle failed to touch second base after the hit and was called out on a force play when Johnny Evers retrieved the ball and touched second, thus negating McCormick's run. The game, which was then declared a 1-1 tie by the umpires, would eventually be made up on the last day of the season. The Giants, who entered that makeup contest tied for first with the Cubs, lost both the game and the pennant due to Merkle's mental miscue two weeks earlier. This medallion (one was given to each Giant player) was a small token of esteem by the fans to their hometown club in acknowledgment of the injustice they had suffered. McCormick, who batted .302 in 1908, was one of the game's first and best pinch-hit specialists. He later batted .301 (28-for-93) off the bench and led the NL with eleven hits in thirty pinch at-bats for the Giants in 1912. He left baseball several times to work as an engineer in the steel industry and coached at Bucknell (his alma mater) and at the U.S. Military Academy. The medallion is attached to a clasp with a crossed bat and ball design. The medallion and clasp are in MINT condition. Medallion Diameter: 1-7/8 inches. Height including hanging clasp: 3.25 inches. Also included is T206 card of McCormick (Vg-Ex) and a 1931 24-page booklet written by "Moose" McCormick when he was baseball coach with the United States Military Academy, signed by McCormick (and personalized to former Hall of Fame director Ken Smith), entitled Fundamentals of Baseball (Vg-Ex), both of which are ideal for display with the medallion. Total 3 items. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000. SOLD FOR $10,440.00
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