Standish was the pen name for Gilbert Patten, who created Frank Merriwell for Tip Top Weekly, a Street & Smith pulp magazine, in 1896. Merriwell was the star pitcher for Yale, the terror of every Harvard team and the inventor of the “double shoot,” which curved twice on the way to the plate. He always triumphed and was as honest as he was manly, in 245 dime novels. Frank’s exploits reached 500 million printed copies.
Patten received $50 for every 20,000-word weekly segment; he kept it up for 17 years. The series was so popular the publishers hired an understudy to take over if anything happened to Patten; the understudy was Upton Sinclair. Patten eventually earned up to $150 per story, but he never owned the copyright and died broke in 1945.