Sid Dorfman of the Newark Star Ledger reported today that when Derek Jeter crushed a home run for his 3,000th hit, Dorfman himself announced that Jeter had just done a Frank Merriwell.
He then spent time explaining Merriwell to those who didn’t know him (which covers anyone under the age of 75). Merriwell was a figment of the imagination of Gilbert Patten (who wrote under the pen name of Burt L. Standish) and he was an outstanding athlete and leader at Yale.
Of course, not everyone was in love with Merriwell exploits. In fact, one blogger admits to being irked by his running deeds, penning:
I find Merriwell’s success in the absence of training a bit irksome, but the story takes place in an era when the world amateur record in the mile was 4:15 3/5. Merriwell and his Ivy League rivals wouldn’t have been running even that fast. And it is fiction. Readers of Frank Merriwell’s baseball exploits were expected to believe that he threw a pitch that curved in two different directions — I have a much easier time swallowing that he could beat four other Ivy Leaguers in a one-mile race after a few weeks of working out.
You can see in the image above, Merriwell was also a hurdler. His athletic exploits were never limited to track as he was a standout in baseball, football, basketball and crew as well.
And never would he have sat out the All-Star for exhaustion.