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CHAPMAN, RAYMOND JOHNSON "RAY"

CHAPMAN, RAYMOND JOHNSON "RAY"

CHAPMAN, RAYMOND JOHNSON "RAY" (15 Jan. 1891-17 Aug. 1920), a CLEVELAND INDIAN between 1912-20, was the last major-league player to die as a result of being hit by a pitched baseball. Born in Beaver Dam, Ky. but growing up in Herrin, Ill, during 1910-1911 he played baseball with Springfield and Davenport in the Three III League. He joined the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Assoc. in 1911, and in August 1912 his contract was purchased by Cleveland, where Chapman was the Indians' shortstop. More interested in team wins than his own accomplishments, Chapman led the league in sacrifice hits 3 years, setting a major-league record with 67 sacrifices in 1917. His team record of 55 stolen bases in 1917 was not broken until Miguel Dilone's mark of 61 in 1980. A competent fielder, Chapman was the league leader in putouts 2 seasons and assists 1 year. In 1,303 baseball games with Cleveland, he had a batting average of .278. While playing at the New York Polo Grounds on 16 Aug. 1920, Chapman was hit in the head by a pitched baseball from Carl Mays, an underhand Yankee pitcher, dying at a New York hospital 12 hours later. His funeral at ST. JOHN'S CATHEDRAL was one Cleveland's largest. Chapman's teammates dedicated the season to him and, led by their playing manager, TRIS SPEAKER, won the league and world championships for the first time. Chapman was married on 29 Oct. 1919 to Kathleen Marie Daly.