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Former Cubs manager O'Day elected to Hall

Only man to play, umpire and manage in NL made call in Merkle incident

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Chicago-born umpire and former Cubs manager Hank O'Day was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday by the pre-integration committee.

O'Day was the only man in history to play, umpire and manage in the National League. Born in Chicago on July 8, 1862, he began his baseball career as a right-handed pitcher in the American Association in 1884-85. He spent the next four years in the National League with Washington and New York before winding up his pitching career in the Players League with a 22-win season in 1890.

He was hired as a full-time NL umpire in 1895, and became known for having the courage to make the right call. He was behind the plate on Sept. 23, 1908, when the Cubs played the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. With the score tied in the ninth, Al Bridwell singled with Moose McCormick on third and Fred Merkle on first.

Seeing McCormick score the apparent winning run, Merkle immediately ran for the Giants' clubhouse. Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers yelled for the ball fielded by teammate Artie Hofman. Before Evers could get the ball, Giants pitcher Joe McGinnity intercepted it and threw into the crowd. According to a SABR story, Evers found another ball, tagged second and appealed to umpire Bob Emslie to call Merkle out. Emslie didn't make a call because he didn't see anything.

Evers appealed to O'Day, who made the call, negating an apparent Giants victory. Because of the chaos on the field, O'Day ruled the game a tie and left.

O'Day's career included two stints as a manager, first with the 1912 Cincinnati Reds and later with the 1914 Cubs, who went 78-76 that season. He was an umpire for 35 years and worked 10 World Series.

He died of bronchial pneumonia at age 72 on July 2, 1935, in Chicago and was buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th century catcher/third baseman Deacon White were also elected. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is July 28 in Cooperstown.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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