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Sam Mertes


John J. McGraw says: “The [catch] that remains most vividly in my memory was made by Sam Mertes in Cincinnati. It decided the pennant of 1905. We had been going at top speed and arrived in Cincinnati with just one victory needed to cinch the pennant. If you will remember, Sam Mertes, being a great sun fielder, [moved to] center field in this game with Cincinnati. Sure enough, in the next inning, the Reds got a man on. A long hit would beat us. And, mind you, the pennant was almost in our grasp. That one game was needed. The next batter caught one on the nose and it was a wicked line drive to deep center. Mertes, having anticipated the danger of a long hit, played very deep. Starting with the crack of the bat he looked squarely into the sun and ran with the ball. It seemed certain that it would go over his head. By a sprint, though, he got back and with a jump speared the ball with his bare hand, crashing into the fence as he fell. But he had saved the game and won the pennant. That was the greatest catch I ever saw.”


Birth Date: August 6, 1872
Birth Location: San Francisco, CA
Death Date: March 11, 1945
Death Location: Villa Grande CA, USA
Weight: 185 lb
Height: 5 ft 10 in
Bats: R
Throws: R
Debut Date: June 30, 1896
Final Game Date: September 15, 1906
Years Played: 11
Games Played: 1,190
At Bats: 4,405
Runs: 695
Hits: 1,227
Doubles: 188
Triples: 108
Home Runs: 40
RBIs: 721
Stolen Bases: 396
Base on Balls: 422
Batting Average: 0.279
Position: Left Fielder

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