George Magerkurth

In Magerkurth’s first game in the Polo Grounds in 1929, he ejected Giants’ manager John McGraw. The warning flags were out for what was to come as the 6’3″ 225-lb “Mage” circled NL parks with his short fuse. He would go into orbit when called his hated nickname “Meathead.” His encounters with Leo Durocher and the Dodgers are legendary. Magerkurth was a hated man among Dodger fans during the 1940s. In a Dodger victory parade after they won the 1941 pennant, a coffin labeled “Magerkurth” was carried down Fulton Street. A couple of years later, an irate Dodger fan leaped from the Ebbets Field stands, tackled Magerkurth at home plate, and began punching him on the ground.

On July 15, 1939, the Reds Harry Craft homered into the upper deck in left field at the Polo Grounds. The Giants screamed that the ball was foul and an argument developed. Magerkurth was at first base and had nothing to do with the call, but somehow he and New York shortstop Billy Jurges ended up in a fistfight. NL President Ford Frick fined each $250 and suspended them for ten days. The fiasco led to the installation of nets running the length of both Polo Grounds foul poles to determine fair and foul balls; today all ball parks are so equipped.