Emslie's three-year ML pitching career was highlighted by his 32-17 season for Baltimore
in 1884, a year of unusual records because talent was stretched thin with three major
leagues operating. He became a ML umpire in 1890 and remained on the job for 35 years.
Emslie was working the bases in the famous "Merkle Boner Game," but when he admitted
he hadn't seen whether Merkle had touched second or not, fellow ump Hank O'Day
forced to make the call. According to a famous story, Emslie, irritated that Giants'
manager John McGraw
had called him a "blind robber," showed up at a Giants' practice
with a rifle, placed a dime on the pitching mound, and then with a shot fired from
behind home plate sent the coin spinning into the outfield. Reportedly, McGraw never
again challenged his eyesight.