And In the “YGBSM!!” Department . . . .

| June 26, 2021

In 1919, a man was pitching in the American League for the Cleveland Indians. His name was Ray Caldwell.

Caldwell was a fine pitcher. He threw the 91st no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. But like many, he had a problem handling his alcohol (and perhaps with other off-the-field issues as well).

When he was “on”, Caldwell was very good to great. But due to his off-field issues, he simply wasn’t “on” often enough.

But on two days during his career, he made history. I’ve already mentioned his no-hitter – and that’s IMO the second most amazing performance in his career.

On 24 August 1919, Caldwell was pitching for Cleveland at home. He was one out away from a complete game victory.

Unfortunately, there were thunderstorms in the area. One came inland from Lake Erie – bringing lightning.

Lightning struck the park. At least three players were affected by the lightning strike, along with an undetermined number of spectators.

Caldwell was one of the players affected. He was knocked unconscious. He lay on the ground for about 5 minutes. Some feared that he might be dead.

He wasn’t. After about 5 minutes, Caldwell came to. He got up.

And then, Caldwell finished the game.

Yes, you read that correctly. After literally getting struck by lightning and knocked unconscious, Ray Caldwell got up and finished the game, pitching to the final batter and recording the final out by inducing a groundout to third.

No, I’m not joking. This really happened.

There apparently weren’t too many aftereffects, either. Caldwell threw his no-hitter about two weeks later.

All I can say is . . . “DAMN!”


Postscript: one of the other players affected by the lightning strike was also named Ray. His name was Ray Chapman; he was Cleveland’s shortstop.

Nearly a year later, Ray Chapman would be the first MLB player to be fatally injured on the field. He died after being hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Carl Mays of the NY Yankees.

To date, Ray Chapman is the only MLB player to die as the result of on-field injuries.

Category: "Truth or fiction?", Baseball, YGBSM!!

Comments (30)

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  1. Andy11M says:

    That was a shocking story.

  2. HMCS(FMF) ret says:


  3. STSC(SW/SS) says:

    Not even God could stop his striking performance.

  4. M48DAT says:

    He conducted himself in a very grounded path to greatness.

  5. 26Limabeans says:

    Was the “short” stop injured?

    • Hondo says:

      Interesting you ask that.

      Ray Chapman was the man who played shortstop for the Cleveland Indians. At least, he did until 16 August 2020 1920.

      See the note at the end of the story for the reason his career ended on that date.

  6. M48DAT says:

    He should have been inductored into the Hall of Fame

  7. ChipNASA says:

    I am completely stunned, yea, practically knocked completely out, but the shitty puns being fielded here. I’m surprised, because I’m pretty used to your guys line up here. You really threw me a curve.

  8. no comment, y’all said it for me.

  9. Coffeypot says:

    Ya know, they did wear metal cleats on their shoes which could have grounded him causing a killing jolt. But the story is shocking enough (see what I did there. Man, I kill myself laughing. And I’m here all week, folks.)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Plus this… as if we haven’t had enough of Bill Gates’ mania for a while: