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
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
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
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
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.