I always tell my players the following story. It is considered by many to be the greatest player msitake in baseball history.
"Merkle's `Boner'- A True Baseball Story"
It happened in September of 1908, in NY City. The Cubs were facing the Giants with the pennant on the line. Each and every game was a must-win situation. The score was tied 1-1, in the bottom of the 9th, the Giants had runners on the corners with two outs.
Fred Merkle, a 19 year-old rookie, was the runner on first.
The next batter lined a single. The runner at third came home. It appeared to be a Giants victory, they had
taken the lead for the pennant, the cheering fans swarmed the field.
Merkle looked toward home plate and saw his teammate cross the plate. Merkle, startled as the crowd swarmed out of the bleachers onto the field, stopped. Thinking the game was over, Merkle sprinted off the field. But, he had forgotten an improtant rule of baseball, he did not go touch second. The Cubs retreived the ball, went and touched second. The game was declared at tie because order could not be restored because the fans could not be removed from the field. The two teams went on to finish the season in a dead
tie for the pennant. They had to play a one-game playoff. The Cubs won and went to the World Series. One loss, the loss, that day knocked the Giants out!
Merkle was never forgiven by the NY fans for that blunder. He went on to have a solid career of 14 years and a lifetime average of 273. However, everywhere he went he always was reminded by fans of his terrible mistake on that day of his rookie season. A mistake that will always be called, Merkles Boner.