From the Department of Things I Did Not Know Until A Couple of Hours Ago: The Indians’ Ray Chapman is not the only ballplayer to die after being struck in the head by a pitched ball. And he’s not even the only one to be buried at Lake View Cemetary in Cleveland. Courtesy of a story from my friend Vince Grzegorek at Cleveland Scene, click through to meet the late Charles Pinkney, who was killed by a beanball on September 14, 1909.
The occasion for Vince’s story today: Pickney, after years of resting in an all-but-unmarked grave, is finally getting a proper headstone. Chapman’s is already something of a shrine, with baseball fans giving it the Jim Morrision-at-Le Pere Lachaise treatment. Instead of joints and wine bottles, however, Chapman gets gloves and bats and stuff. Next time I’m in Cleveland I think I’ll visit Pickney’s grave. Maybe leave a batting helmet.
If you’re interested — and why wouldn’t you be? — much more on Pinkney can be read here.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.