Ray Chapman was born on Thursday, January 15, 1891, in Beaver Dam, Kentucky. Chapman was 21 years old when he broke into the big leagues on August 30, 1912, with the Cleveland Naps. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Ray Chapman baseball stats page.
"With the Indians leading 3-0, (Ray) Chapman led off the top of the fifth inning. ( Carl ) Mays , who was known for pitching batters inside with his submarine-style delivery, sailed a pitch toward Chapman's head. Moments later, the batter was on the ground. As fans watched in horror, Chapman walked off the field, supported by two teammates, drawing applause of relief. Hours later, though, Chapman died, never recovering from the blow. Mays played for nine more seasons, but never escaped the stigma of a pitch that killed. Chapman's teammates were stunned at the loss of their star shortstop and friend, but were inspired by his memory." - Inside Pitch Newsletter (National Baseball Hall of Fame, 08-16-2004)
Ray Chapman Pitching Stats
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Ray Chapman Hitting Stats
Ray Chapman Fielding Stats
Ray Chapman Miscellaneous Stats
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Ray Chapman Miscellaneous Items of Interest
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|Ray Chapman Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Raymond Johnson Chapman was a Major League Baseball player with the Cleveland Indians (1912-1920). Did you know that Ray, his nickname, was named one of the 100 Greatest Cleveland Indians Players Top 100 Greatest Indians and Chapman was named one of the seven shortstops.
Ray Chapman | 2010 TriStar Obak (#67) Baseball Card
Did you know that when Ray Chapman swiped 52 bags in 1917, it set an Indians record for steals in a season? Do you remember who broke the team record in 1980? [Answer] Chappie was an exceptionally well-rounded shortstop, having led the American League in sacrifice hits in 1913, 1917, and 1919. In 1915, he took the field at shortstop in 154 games—and not once was he replaced that year (a league leading 154 complete games at short). In 1917, he led the league again defensively at short, appearing in 155 complete games! In 1918, he led the Junior Circuit in both runs scored (84) and walks (84).
On August 16, 1920 , Ray Chapman played in his final Major League game. Hit by a Carl Mays pitch, Chappie slowly collapsed to his knees on home plate, blood clearly pouring from his left ear. A day later, Chappie had passed away. Newspapers reported:
Ray Chapman Death | The News Herald (Franklin, PA) | July 24, 1943
The ball made such a loud cracking noise that Mays thought the ball had been hit! Mays fielded the ball, throwing it to first to complete the play before he turned to home and realized that Chapman had collapsed to his knees. Bloodied and unable to speak, Chapman was taken to a New York hospital where he died. The following year, Major League Baseball established the rule to replace any ball that becomes dirty or damaged. A Ray Chapman obituary:
Beaned by a Pitch, Ray Chapman Dies
NEW YORK-The body of Ray Chapman, the Cleveland shortstop, who died early today in St. Lawrence Hospital after being hit in the head by a pitched ball thrown by Carl Mays at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon, was taken to his home in Cleveland tonight. A group of baseball fans stood with bared heads at the Grand Central Terminal as the body was taken through the gates to the train. The ball player's widow, who went with the body, was accompanied by her brother and a friend, Indians Manager Tris Speaker, and Joe Wood, one of the players.
Chapman's death has cast a tragic spell over the baseball fans of the city, and everywhere the accident was the topic of conversation. Chapman was a true sportsman, a skillful player, and one of the most popular men in the major leagues. And this was to have been his last season in professional baseball. Carl Mays, the Yankees pitcher who threw the ball which felled Chapman, voluntarily went before Assistant District Attorney Joyce and was exonerated of all blame. The game which was to have been played between Cleveland and New York was put over until Thursday and the players of both clubs joined in mourning.
Although there is some bitterness against Mays among some of the Cleveland players, Manager Speaker, in a telephone conversation with Colonel T.L. Huston, part owner of the New York club, said he and his clubmates would do everything in their power to suppress this feeling. "It is the duty of all of us," said Speaker, "of all the players, not only for the good of the game, but also out of respect to the poor fellow who was killed, to suppress all bitter feeling."
Chapman died at 4:40 o'clock this morning, following an operation performed by Dr. T.M. Merrigan, surgical director of the institution. Chapman was unconscious after he arrived at the hospital. The operation began at 12:29 o'clock and was completed at 1:44. The blow had caused a depressed fracture in Chapman's head three and a half inches long. Dr. Merrigan removed a piece of skull about an inch and a half square and found the brain had been so severely jarred that blod clots had formed. The shock of the blow had lacerated the brain not only on the left side of the head where the ball struck but also on the right side where the shock of the blow had forced the brain against the skull, Dr. Merrigan said.
Mays is greatly shocked over the accident. He said he threw a high fast ball at a time when Chapman was crouched over the plate. He thought the ball hit the handle of Chapman's bat, for he fielded the ball and tossed it to first base. It wasn't until after that, when he saw Umpire Connelly calling to the stands for a physician, that he realized he had hit Chapman in the head. Manager Miller Huggins of the Yankees believes Chapman's left foot may have caught in the ground in some manner which prevented him from stepping out of the ball's way. Manager Huggins explained that batsmen usually had one foot loose and free at just such moments and Chapman had got out of the way of the same kind of pitched balls before.
Source: The New York Times. August 17, 1920. No Writer Attributed.
Ray Chapman successfully bunted 67 times in 1917 , only the second player in baseball history to record 60-or-more sacrifice hits (bunts) in a single season, joining Bill Bradley who "only" had 60 in 1908 . That duo, through today, remain at the top (#1 and #2 respectively) of the Top 1,000 Sacrifice Hits in a Single Season chart!
Last-Modified: August 16, 2020 4:58 AM EST