Wait, there was a beanball fatality that wasn't Ray Chapman?

Leave a comment

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.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.