Pitch That Killed

( 1 )

Overview

Since major league baseball began in 1871, there have been roughly thirty million pitches thrown to batters. Only one of them killed a man. This is the story of Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, a popular player struck in the head and killed in August 1920 by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Was it, as most baseball observers thought at the time, a tragic but unavoidable accident? Mike Sowell's brilliant book investigates the incident and probes deep into the backgrounds of the players ...

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Overview

Since major league baseball began in 1871, there have been roughly thirty million pitches thrown to batters. Only one of them killed a man. This is the story of Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians, a popular player struck in the head and killed in August 1920 by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Was it, as most baseball observers thought at the time, a tragic but unavoidable accident? Mike Sowell's brilliant book investigates the incident and probes deep into the backgrounds of the players involved and the events that led to one of baseball's darkest moments. "The best baseball book no one has read."—ESPN Magazine "Splendidly researched and vivid as today. The portraits of baseball as it was, the tragedy itself, and the glowering character of Carl Mays are remarkable."—Roger Kahn

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Editorial Reviews

Oregonian
Sowell thoroughly explored that horrifying incident in his 1989 book and provided fascinating historical context.
Mudville
…An outstanding book…. In short, one hell of a year, which Sowell captures perfectly.
Poughkeepsie Journal
A 2004 Best bet.... Glorious and horrifying baseball book.
Baseball Book Survey
A fascinating study of the circumstances behind the only time a major leaguer was ever killed by a pitched ball.
Golfdom
Sowell's outstanding book tells the story of both men and of the thrilling pennant race that followed Chapman's death.
ESPN Magazine
The best baseball book no one has read.
Roger Kahn
Splendidly researched and vivid as today....Remarkable.
Orlando Sentinel - Phil Tatman
Sowell did a masterful job of research in bringing to life the incident and all the things that were going on in baseball then.
Chicago Tribune - Mark Luce
Sowell twirls tragedy with triumph in a thoroughly engaging manner and delivers a book as captivating as it is well-written.
ESPN the Magazine
The best baseball book no one has read.
Poughkeepsie Journal
"A 2004 Best bet.... Glorious and horrifying baseball book..."
Baseball Book Survey
"A fascinating study of the circumstances behind the only time a major leaguer was ever killed by a pitched ball."
The Oregonian
"Sowell thoroughly explored the horrifying incident...and provided fascinating historical context."
Orlando Sentinal
"Sowell...did a masterful job...in bringing to life the incident and all...that [was] going on in baseball then."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566635516
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 231,583
  • Product dimensions: 5.57 (w) x 8.68 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Sowell teaches journalism at Oklahoma State University. He has also written One Pitch Away: The Players' Stories of the 1986 League Championships and World Series. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma, outside of Oklahoma City.

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Table of Contents

Prologue vii
Acknowledgments xiii
Part I Carl Mays 1
Part II Ray Chapman 59
Part III The Pennant Race 85
Part IV The Beaning 165
Part V The Boycott 191
Part VI Joe Sewell 237
Part VII The Aftermath 281
Bibliography 310
Index 317
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2012

    The terrible and sole tragedy of a death on the field from a b

    The terrible and sole tragedy of a death on the field from a bean ball
    in MLB is brought to life in this true story of Ray Chapman and Carl
    Mays.The writing is compelling and the story is as engrossing as a
    thriller novel.Kudos to mike Sowell for a haunting read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2004

    One of the best baseball books

    Mike Sowell's The Pitch That Killed is one of the finest pieces of baseball writing. Sowell's research is exhaustive and writing is exciting. Sowell transports the reader back to 1920. You're with Chapman and Mays that day. Some paint Mays as an angry, headhunter, but Sowell brings depth to Mays. Sowell has written two top notch baseball books (the other is on Ed Delahanty). Let's hope he writes another historican piece soon.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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