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Author: Genre: Length: Novel

Free on 9th Jun 17
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In the early morning hours of January 13, 1903, Detroit Tigers pitcher George Barclay “Win” Mercer was found dead in his San Francisco hotel room. Ruled a suicide by local police, there are still many unanswered questions concerning this suspicious death. Gone at twenty-eight, was it gambling debts, women, or depression that caused him to take his life? Or, was there something more sinister that contributed to his mysterious demise?
While researching pitcher “Doc” McJames for the Society for American Baseball Research’s [SABR] Biography Project, I first became interested in the life story of his teammate “Win” Mercer. In fact, the two players share similar storylines. McJames and Mercer were arguably the best pitchers on the woefully inept National League Washington Senators of the 1890s. The pair was extremely popular with the female fans that attended games at National Park in Washington. Both men died in their late twenties, albeit under different circumstances. Doc McJames passed away from a chronic respiratory illness compounded by injuries received in a runaway carriage accident, while Mercer reportedly committed suicide.
Mercer allegedly signed for his room at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco on the last night of his life using the alias George Murray. Sources differ as to whether he wrote his address in the ledger as Philadelphia Avenue or just Philadelphia.
The next day San Francisco newspapers broke the story of Mercer’s death. According to witnesses on the scene, Mercer’s body was discovered lying on the bed in his nightclothes. A twelve-foot rubber tube was found attached to an illuminating gas fixture in the ceiling, clinched between his teeth. Mercer’s topcoat and vest covered his face while the rest of his clothes were folded neatly across a nearby chair.
These same sources reported that three suicide letters were lying on a table in the room, allegedly written by Mercer. In addition to the letters, there was another note supposedly penned by Mercer found among his personal belongings. Over the next few days, different variations of the Mercer suicide letters appeared in newspapers around the country.

Free on 9th Jun 17
View on Amazon.co.uk

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