Friday, December 20, 2013

1961 Fleer Baseball Greats #23 Johnny Evers

The first card that I added to my PSA Graded 1961 Fleer set was very appropriately a CUB. #23 in the 1961 Fleer set is Johnny Evers who manned 2nd base for the Cubs from 1902 through 1913. Evers appeared in over 1400 games as a Cub and had a batting average of .276.

Evers will always be remembered as a member of the remarkable double play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance. These players were immortalized in a poem by Franklin Pierce Adams in 1910.

These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double-
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

Adams was a New York Evening Mail sports writer but had been born in Chicago and was reportedly a Cubs fan.

That entire double play combination was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946. Only Evers lived to experience this honor.

Evers was also the player who called attention to the fact that Fred Merkle never advanced to 2nd base as he should have in a September 23, 1908 game that ultimately decided the pennant. Merkle was called out which negated a run that would have won the game for the Giants. Instead the game was declared a tie and the replay was won by the Cubs giving them the pennant.

Evers went on to play for Boston Braves, Phillies and the White Sox. He also managed for the Cubs and the White Sox.

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