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Percy Merritt


Date and Place of Birth: February 19, 1888 Los Angeles, CA
Date and Place of Death:    December 10, 1918 Mare Island, CA
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Shortstop/Third Base
Rank: Chief Yeoman
Military Unit: US Navy
Area Served: United States

Percy L. Merritt was born on February 19, 1888 in Los Angeles, California, the second child of Edward (a musician) and Mary Merritt. Their only other child, Frank, was born two years earlier.

An infielder, Percy was active in amateur and semi-pro baseball in and around Oakland from a young age. In 1910, he entered organized baseball with the San Leandro Grapevines of the Class D Central California League. He was back with San Leandro at the start of the season, but returned to semi-pro baseball before the unstable league folded in July.

In 1912, Merritt was back in the minors with the Victoria Bees of the Class B Northwestern League, but a knee injury in July that landed him in hospital ended his season.

Merritt had remained in Victoria for the summer of 1912, but returned to California in 1913 and continued to play baseball with local teams while working for the Southern Pacific railroad. Meanwhile, his brother, Frank, followed in his father’s footsteps and was making a living as a musician. He was trombone soloist at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

When Percy Merritt entered military service with the Navy in 1917, he had been working as a clerk at the Standard Oil Company in San Francisco. He served as a chief yeoman at Mare Island.

Percy Merritt died from influenza induced pneumonia at Mare Island on December 10, 1918. He was 30 years old. Just 10 days later, on December 20, Frank also died of pneumonia aged 32. Edward and Mary had lost both their children in less than two weeks. The brothers are buried at the Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium and Mausoleum in Oakland.

Percy L. Merritt

Percy Lawrence Merritt

Thanks to Chris Woodman for "discovering" Percy Merritt.

Date Added: July 4, 2024

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