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Single Most Devastating Death In Baseball History

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by bkmckenna
    are we sure chapman's eye was hanging out of the socket?
    We? We weren't there. WE read it in the book, "The Pitch That Killed"

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  • csh19792001
    replied
    Originally posted by bkmckenna
    are we sure chapman's eye was hanging out of the socket?
    I believe I read that in both Sowell's book and the new Speaker bio. On both accounts, the noise was so resonant and the rebound so great off Chappie's head that it was thought to actually be a ball in play, and was fielded.

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    are we sure chapman's eye was hanging out of the socket?

    Leave a comment:


  • BaseballHistoryNut
    replied
    That's almost exactly the way Gay describes it in his bio of Tris Speaker.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnGelnarFan
    I didn't realize that Chapman ever got up. I always thought he was hit and never regained consciousness. His eye was hanging out of the socket and they walked him to the clubhouse? What happened after that? Where and when did he die?
    After they got him to the clubhouse, he was unconscious. Taken at once to the hospital, where they did emergency surgery to relieve the pressure in his skull.

    Here are some excerpts from "The Pitch That Killed".

    After several minutes, Chapman was revived sufficiently to be helped to his feet. When he stood, there was an outburst of applause from the relieved fans.

    Chapman shrugged off all efforts at assistance and began to walk across the infield toward the clubhouse in Center field. He ws flanked by Graney on one side and another Cleveland player on the other. As Chapman approached second base, his knees began to buckle and the two players quickly grabbed him. They draped his arms around their shoulders and carried him the remainder of the distance to the clubhouse."

    . . .

    Inside the clubhouse, there was nothing to do but wait. The two doctors who had tended him on the field had determined Chapman should undergo an immediate operation to relieve the pressure on his brain. An ambulance was en route from St. Lawrence Hospital, which was less than one-half mile away. Dr. Casio assured those in the room that although the injuries were serious, he did not believe they would be fatal."

    . . .

    When the ambulance finally arrived it was Henry who climbed into the back with Chapman. He held an ice pack to Ray's head on the drive to the hospital.

    At 9:30 that night, the doctors summoned Speaker and McNichols to a room for an update on Chapman's condition. X rays had confirmed the ballplayer had sustained a two-armed fracture extending 3 1/2 inches to the base of his skull on the left side. It was a depressed fracture, and one piece of bone was pressing down on the brain. Worse, Chapman's pulse was dropping at an alarming rate, and was down to forty."

    . . .

    With the patient's condition worsening, the doctors believed it would be unwise to postpone surgery until Kathleen (his fiancée) arrived the following morning. Speaker and McNichols talked it over, and at ten o'clock the Cleveland manager gave approval for the operation.

    The operating team would consist of Dr. M. J. Horan and Dr. T. D Merrigan of the St. Lawrence staff, with Dr. Joseph Cascio, A. A. Thite, and J. E. Quinn as attendants.

    Before surgery could begin, Chapman suffered spasms on both sides, indicating to the surgeons that the brain on both sides had been injured by the force of the blow. Dr. Merrigan said there probably was a laceration on the right side of the skull, opposite the side that had been stuck.

    At 12:29 A.M., Chapman was placed on the operating table. The surgeons made an incision 3 1/2 inches long through the base of the skull on the left side and found a rupture of the lateral sinus and a quantity of clotted blood. Dr. Merrigan removed a piece of skull about 1 1/2 inches square and found the brain had been so severely jarred that blood clots had occurred.

    The shock of the blow had damaged the brain not only on the left side of the head, where the ball had struck, but also on the right side, where the shock of the blow had forced the brain against the skull. The surgeons noted there were symptoms of paralysis.

    The operation lasted one hour, fifteen minutes. Afterward, Chapman began breathing easier and his pulse climbed back to ninety. The physicians believed the chances of his recovery were fair, but they said it would take forty-eight hours to know for sure.

    Chapman died at 4:40 AM in the morning, Tuesday, August 17, 1920. In remembrance of him, many teams wore black armbands around their left arms for the remainder of the season.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-31-2006, 05:49 AM.

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  • JohnGelnarFan
    replied
    Mays-Chapman

    I didn't realize that Chapman ever got up. I always thought he was hit and never regained consciousness. His eye was hanging out of the socket and they walked him to the clubhouse? What happened after that? Where and when did he die?




    Originally posted by [email protected]
    The ump working that game, Tommy Connolly, always said the pitch was in the strike zone. Chapman was known to crowd the plate, to work the pitcher/ump for a walk.

    Mays, for his part, said that at the last second, he saw Chapman moving his feet into bunting position. So he said he came high/inside to preempt the bunt.

    When the ball struck Chapman in his left temple, it sounded like a loud crack. Mays assumed the ball hit the bat handle & fielded the ball and threw to first. Connolly, taking one look at Chapman, and seeing his left eye hanging out of its socket, sprinted towards the grandstands, shouting at the top of his lungs, "Is there a doctor in the house!"

    I believe 2 docs and a nurse came immediately out of the grandstand. They all surrounded Chapman, and he was helped to his feet, and two team mates assisted him to walk to the clubhouse in Center Field.

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  • FatAngel
    replied
    Originally posted by soberdennis
    He was only 32 years old. He still had some good years ahead of him.
    By the time he perished, he had already caught more than 1200 games and his power was gone. In my opinion the decline of a catcher usually starts at 800-900 games caught and of all positions they have the least probability of turning it around. Therefore MunsonĀ“s performance in his last two seasons are a clear indicator to me that his best days were already gone. A few solid seasons (for a catcher) yes, but I think he would not have nearly approached his performance prior to 1978.

    Leave a comment:


  • geezer
    replied
    Originally posted by trosmok
    Actually his mission was to the earthquake devastated country of Nicaragua on Dec. 31,1972. Although Roberto was born in Puerto Rico, he was considered a legendary idol throughout the Caribbean, as well as Central and South Ameirica, not to mention Pittsburgh and the rest of the USA, particularly among our latin and female citizens. The fact that he was personally delivering aid to the suffering, (not even to his home island), stemmed from his earlier relief efforts that he believed were being misappropriated by the military and other ghouls, profiteering in the wake of horrific tragedy. Jeezer, how history tends to repeat itself, doesn't it?
    According to experts, they said that the plane was overloaded and crash in the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of the night, the wreckage was found, his body never, probable he was eaten by sharks (a hypothesis on why his body was never found. Anyway, he died on a missionary work, and there are a lot of streets and avenues not only in PR, but in Central America that bears the name of Roberto Clemente.

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  • Brownie31
    replied
    Willard Hershberger's suicide during the 1940 season.
    It is a tribute to the Cincinnati Reds that they went
    on to be World Series winners in the midst of this
    horrifying tragedy.

    Please see Brian Mulligan's "The 1940 Cincinnati Reds"
    for more on this. A truly great read on this subject.

    Ironically, Hershberger attended high school with
    future President Richard M. Nixon.

    Brownie31

    Leave a comment:


  • soberdennis
    replied
    Originally posted by FatAngel
    I have to disagree that Munson was still in his prime when he passed on.
    He was only 32 years old. He still had some good years ahead of him.

    Leave a comment:


  • trosmok
    replied
    All lives are precious

    Originally posted by Appling
    ...
    The most stunning death was that of Roberto Clemente, on his mercy mission to Puerto Rico....
    Actually his mission was to the earthquake devastated country of Nicaragua on Dec. 31,1972. Although Roberto was born in Puerto Rico, he was considered a legendary idol throughout the Caribbean, as well as Central and South Ameirica, not to mention Pittsburgh and the rest of the USA, particularly among our latin and female citizens. The fact that he was personally delivering aid to the suffering, (not even to his home island), stemmed from his earlier relief efforts that he believed were being misappropriated by the military and other ghouls, profiteering in the wake of horrific tragedy. Jeezer, how history tends to repeat itself, doesn't it?

    Leave a comment:


  • rsuriyop
    replied
    Most devastating:

    -Clemente/Munson for MLB

    -Rube Foster for NL's
    Last edited by rsuriyop; 05-28-2006, 10:35 AM.

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  • FatAngel
    replied
    Originally posted by tmc_6882
    -Thurman Munson: The first Yankee captain since Lou Gehrig dies while arguably still in his prime just like Gehrig.
    I have to disagree that Munson was still in his prime when he passed on.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-28-2006, 08:15 AM.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by wamby
    The Pitch That Killed is a really good book. It doesn't really treat mays in an unsympathetic light. It also doesn't deify Ray Chapman. The controversies over Chapman's funeral arrangements were pretty interesting to read about. His death could have easily split the Indians down the middle in 1920. I think that their winning the pennant weeks after Chapman's death is pretty impressive.
    That what the book puts forth, the mood was much different when this event took place. We have to remember the feelings at that time. Ray Chapman was one of the most liked players in the game and Carl Mays was disliked by many. We had two extremes here, a popular guy and the other not well liked by many fans and players alike.

    So the book and the atmosphere at that time was quite different.

    At least 3 teams had team meetings and agreed they would not participate in any game with Mays playing in, they would strike if forced to. That was Detroit, Boston and St.Louis. In the end they did back down.

    Umpires Dineen and Evans were critical of Mays. They accused him of roughing up balls causing the ball to dip and dive.

    Ban Johnson suggested that Mays not play any more that season because of the bitter feelings toward him.

    The above and several other articles appeared in the big newspapers at that time, thats my source which I choose over any book that comes out decade later.

    In the end I was happy to see that after things cooled down a bit most agreed the the conditions of that day, rainy and misty had much to do with Chapman not "picking up" the ball as it was delivered. Many said the ball was actually in the strike zone.

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  • BaseballHistoryNut
    replied
    I haven't read all of these posts, and I apologize if this post is redundant, but what was devastating about Bart Giamatti's death for me, apart from the loss of one of baseball's few great commissioners, was reading the sociopathic taunting of one Pete Rose fan shortly thereafter: "Who's disqualified for life now?"

    Many sports are atavistic by nature, and while baseball is not one of them, baseball certainly can bring out the atavist in one--e.g., wishing for someone to get creamed by a fastball, which I admit I've done more than a few times. But THAT was one of the sickest things I've ever read, and it both infuriated and saddened me more than I am capable of expressing in words.

    BHN

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