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Ray Chapman’s Saturday News and Views


As the summer winds down and America begins to turn its attention towards football, let’s take a moment to remember Kentucky-native Ray Chapman – who on August 16th, 1920  – became the first and only MLB player to be killed by a pitch.

Chapman was born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky on January 15th, 1891. He entered the majors in 1912 with the Cleveland Indians and spent his entire career with the squad. Ray was an exceptional player, leading the league in runs scored and walks in 1918, and is still ranked 6th all-time in sacrifice bunts. However, his career came to a tragic end in 1920.

Though the “spitball/mudball” was technically illegal during this time, many were still allowed to use it – resulting in balls that became hard to see as the game went on.  This practice was believed to contribute to Chapman’s death, who was hit in the head by a pitch from Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Apparently, the ball struck Chapman’s head so hard that the Yankees thought that it had come from his bat and proceeded to toss the ball to first. However, Chapman collapsed after taking a few steps and was rushed to the hospital, where he died the next morning. Despite this tragedy, helmets were not required in the MLB for another 30 years.

Ray was inducted into the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame in 2007. RIP, Ray. On to the news:

Kentucky resumes play in the Bahamas

(Darrell Bird |

(Darrell Bird |

After a two day hiatus, Kentucky returned to action against the Dominican Republic – picking up right where they left off in an 83-71 win. The Dominicans (featuring former Cats Eloy Vargas and Orlando Antigua) played Kentucky closer than the previous two teams they faced, but UK was still able to obtain a double digit lead in the first half and didn’t surrender it for the remainder of the game. Not a bad outing against the 26th best team in the world.

Alex Poythress continues to shine

Darrell Bird/Cats Pause

Darrell Bird/Cats Pause

Alex Poythress has played pretty well during the Bahamas. His per-40 minute average is currently 30.5 points and 14.5 rebounds, and he’s shooting 74.2 (!!) percent. Today he tallied 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in 20 minutes of action, while hitting 8 of his 9 shots. Alex continued to display the hustle that was prevalent in the first three games, and even nailed a couple of threes for good measure. If Poythress can continue to play at this level in the regular season, this team is going to be scary.

Dakari didn’t have a bad game either

Getty Images

Getty Images

Dakari Johnson was impressive as well today, tallying 10 points (5/7 from the field) and 12 rebounds in his 20 minutes of play. He displayed several facets of his game that the team will need from him this season – adept post moves, hustle on fast breaks, and rebounding (especially on the offensive end). With Karl Towns, Marcus Lee, and (to an extent) Derek Willis all performing well in the Bahamas (not to mention Willie Cauley-Stein and Trey Lyles), UK has an abundance of wealth in the frontcourt. Performances like these will help Dakari if wants to retain his starting spot from the end of last season.

The SEC schedule has been released

sec champs

Kentucky’s SEC schedule was released earlier today with no huge surprises. With the new format, Kentucky only plays rivals Tennessee and Vanderbilt once (Feb. 17 at UT and Jan 20 in Lexington vs. VU) and plays five teams twice: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and South Carolina.

That’s it for now. See ya’ll tomorrow.

Article written by Caleb Epley

Vanderbilt student, Kentucky fan. Skilled at using big words and telling bad jokes. Twitter: @CalebEpleyKSR

22 Comments for Ray Chapman’s Saturday News and Views

  1. Thomas
    11:05 pm August 15, 2014 Permalink

    Carl Mays, who threw the pitch that killed Chapman was also from Kentucky. I think Liberty.

    • Casper
      11:33 pm August 15, 2014 Permalink

      Correct. When the ball hit his head, everyone knew he was dead…

    • Derp
      12:47 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      Oh really, Casper? So you were there and saw it yourself?

    • Casper
      2:34 am August 16, 2014 Permalink


    • Casper
      2:41 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      And I grew up in Beaver Dam and heard a lot of dead pecker stories.

  2. T
    11:41 pm August 15, 2014 Permalink

    His name is *Derek* Willis

  3. phew
    11:41 pm August 15, 2014 Permalink

    For a second i thought it said rex chapman news and views and i was ready to boycott ksr lol

  4. Future Thinking
    12:01 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    I think all NCAA Collegiate Softball Pitchers in the NCAA should be required to wear a mask. I remember years ago, I was playing in a tennis match. And as I rushed the net, my opponent socked me in the eye with a tennis ball. As a result, I was completely blind in one eye. It scared the daylights out of me. But 20 minutes later, my eyesight slowly came back.
    But it will take a ugly incident where a softball pitcher dies before the NCAA decides to implement new rules to protect softball pitchers.
    Oh, and remember, NASCAR made a new rule this week. Stay in your car after a accident until help arrives.
    Safety should always be number 1 in sports.

  5. need4helmets
    12:03 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    Chapman no doubt a very fine major-leaguer, and the player who replaced him @ SS for the Indians, Joe Sewell, went on to a very distinguished career as well, making it all the way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame (in Cooperstown, NY)…..

    and the pitcher involved, Carl Mays, was also a KY-native, born in Liberty, KY…..he too was fine pitcher, winning over 60% of all of his decisions, and in so doing, totaling over 200 wins for his career

  6. Elvis
    12:10 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    Long live Ray! Native of Ohio County along with Bill Monroe the KING of Bluegrass Music. RIP Ray and Bill.

    • Casper
      12:26 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      I met Bill in Beaver Dam when I was a teenager. His girlfriend was about my age. My grandmother went to school with him in Rosine Ky. At the mention of his name she would look down and shake her head.

  7. Chicago Chris
    12:40 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    Speaking of Chapmans… I, sadly, had to file a claim with Paypal because the shirt I ordered from a month ago has never arrived, nor have I heard a thing since ordering. When I went back to the site, I see that no posts have been written in months and the merchandise is no longer even listed for sale. I’m not grumpy, I just want the shirt.

  8. TDogt
    4:33 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    Interesting question I had involving this basketball team. How many times has a team gone from unranked (2012-2013) to preseason #1 to unranked (2013-2014) and then back to #1. It’s honestly is incredible and truly shows Cal rebuilds and reloads..

  9. Cats fan
    7:50 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    How can Dakari score 10 points on 6 of 10 shooting?

    • Caleb Epley
      8:56 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      Good point, thanks.

    • The Professor
      12:31 pm August 16, 2014 Permalink

      It is really very simple! It is due to the conversion from metric (used by the Bahamas) to the imperial
      (used by the US) measurement systems.

  10. kentuckybasketballradio
    9:08 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    Love the basketball Cats but wondering if we might get a football update (like the one Roush promised) betwixt the 479 basketball posts. The update on player haircuts and whether they prefer pens or pencils was compelling stuff but maybe someone can squeeze in anything football related. Oh wait, the basketball team is walking from the gym to the hotel. Never mind. Time for step by step coverage.

    • Ukfan
      9:20 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      Lmao.. “The way the Alex Poythress walked up the hotel steps shows how far he has come along and what a great player he has turn into, also Dakari held the door open for his teammates which shows what a true leader he really is.. more coming tomorrow morning when the team leaves their hotel room and comes down for breakfast.. is it going to be waffles or pancakes? Stay tuned!”

  11. JRC1956
    9:22 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    ***and in football related news–Guy Morriss was named O-Line coach at Warren Central High School in Bowling Green Thursday.

  12. Our Coach a Buffoon?
    9:31 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not sure who this Stephen Douglas character is, but he needs to be put on blast by BBN:

    • Nat
      9:41 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t know, I thought it was pretty funny…

    • Our Coach a Buffoon?
      9:43 am August 16, 2014 Permalink

      Only funny if it’s about a rival coach.