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Fred Merkle Newsbeat

Monday, December 30, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-30-2013

Toledo News-Bee, December 30, 1913:

Fred [Merkle] says he has been out on the Maumee River in a brisk wind, but the muss kicked up was nothing to what he experienced on the way across the Pacific with the world’s touring ball players.

Fred says their boat, the Empress of Japan, had never encountered such a hurricane in its 25 years on the briny deep…Waves were 52 feet high and the boat was almost swamped a dozen times.
...
Some of [the players] didn’t eat a square meal from the time the boat left Vancouver until it arrived in Japan…Merk says Sam Crawford was hit pretty hard and at times didn’t care whether the ship floated or sank. “To be truthful,” writes Fred, “there were several occasions when Sam pulled for the shipwreck thing. He told me he preferred quick drowning to slow death.”

Man, that would have been horrible. Both the experience on the ship and the prospect of a shipwreck killing a few dozen of the best players in baseball.


 

 

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