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Anthony Natale III, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin

During the dog days of summer in 1920, the Cleveland Indians visited the famed New York Polo Grounds to clash with the Yankees in a division duel. Carl Mays, a “submariner” pitcher was on the mound facing the Tribe’s superstar short stop, Ray Chapman. It was an overcast day and the game ball was tarnished brown with tobacco juice and virtually invisible. Chapman took a fast ball to the temple and became the only Major League Baseball player to date, to be killed by a pitched ball during a game. The “spit ball” was outlawed in major league play and the rules changed so that new, white balls would be continually pumped into a game for visibility purposes. Very little has been reported on whether Chapman’s dependents were protected under the laws governing workers’ compensation (which were in the infancy stages) at the time.

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