The 1908 National League pennant race was without question the most exciting and dramatic battle of all time. Three teams, the Giants, the Cubs, and the Pirates, battled from start to finish, concluding the season with just one game separating them in the standings. The story of this race is like a Hall of Fame sprung to life, including John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance, Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, and Honus Wagner. Yet the one name that truly stands out belongs to a young Giant rookie, Fred Merkle. His base-running blunder in a key game between the Giants and the Cubs cost the New Yorkers the pennant through an entirely unforeseeable set of circumstances that set off a near-riot in New York.
More than mere history, The Unforgettable Season uses a judicious selection of newspaper stories to recreate the unforgettable season through the eyes and florid language of sportswriters of the day. With no film, TV, or radio accounts of the game to cloud readers' minds with facts, the newspaper writers had free reign to invent and embellish the larger-than-life figures and events of 1908. It is their efforts that make this book often unintentionally hilarious and unforgettable.