One of the founders of the BBWAA, the tall, slender Mercer worked to keep the press boxes free of outsiders. Raised on an Illinois farm, Mercer attended Dixon College
for two years. He was a baseball writer for the St. Louis Republic and Post-Dispatch when he was hired by the Browns as road secretary in 1906. A year later he joined the New York Evening
In 1917 John McGraw was suspended for 17 days after he blasted league president
John Tener in an interview with Mercer. McGraw later denied the quotes, and when
he questioned Mercer's veracity, the writer suggested they "step outside." Tener
fined McGraw $1,000 and the Giants' manager didn't speak to Mercer for ten years.
Mercer was president of the BBWAA in 1940 and was with the New York Journal-American when he died in 1945. He was posthumously awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award by the Hall of Fame in 1969.