So yesterday I wrote a bit about fans who have died at the ballpark over the years. Last night, I was doing a little research into our next grave story and came across this news brief. I thought I’d share it as a reminder that, yes, baseball is dangerous for the people who play it, too. Ray Chapman may be the most famous case of players dying as a result of an in-game injury, but he’s not the only baseball fatality.
This is from the Chicago Tribune, July 6, 1902
BATTED BALL KILLS PITCHER
Fatality in a Game at Midlothian, Tex., Charles Harrington Being the Victim.
Dallas, Tex., July 5 — A dispatch from Midlothian, Tex., says that Pitcher Charles Harrington was killed by a batted ball there today. The ball, which was batted straight to the pitcher, hit him in the stomach. Harrington fielded the ball, made the assist putting the runner out, and then dropped dead.
There is not a lot of info on Harrington out there. From the newspaper reports that are available, he was a Dallas native and was 21 years old. He was a pitcher for the Dallas Griffins of the Texas League. He’d pitched in 10 games to that point of his career, with 9 of them as starts. He accumulated a 2-6 record, allowing 92 hits and 16 walks in 76 innings.
The exact nature of his death varied by reports. Some said that the ball hit him in the chest, close to his heart, while the one quoted above says it got him in the stomach. In one more detailed report, Harrington got the ball back, prepared to face the next batter and died in mid-windup. Either way, the last thing he ever did in life was make a 1-3 putout.