On This Date 8/16/1920
Tragedy strikes the sport of baseball and the Cleveland Indians, as Ray Chapman is struck in the head by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds. Chapman had thought the ball hit the bat and threw it to first as Chapman collapsed. Muttering incoherently, the Indians shortstop was taken to a local hospital, where he died the following morning. Ray Chapman was just 29 years old. Chapman death remains baseball’s only in-game fatality and led to the banning of the spitball.