01/15/2006: From the Significant Dates in Baseball History department:
Today is the 115th anniversary of the birth of Ray Chapman. Chapman spent 9 seasons playing shortstop (mostly; he also filled in at second, third and in the outfield) for the Cleveland Indians, and no less an authority than Bill James suggested that had Chapman been able to play out a complete career he'd have probably been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Unfortunately, Chapman was (ironically) to achieve baseball immortality in another way: by dying. Chapman has gone down in baseball history as being the only major leaguer of the modern era to die as a result of injuries sustained during a game, namely his being hit in the head by a pitch by New York Yankees pitcher Carl Mays during the Indians-Yankees matchup on August 16, 1920 (Chapman hung on to life for 12 hours after sustaining the injury and died on August 17).
Len on 01.15.06 @ 10:06 AM CST