On a torridly hot August day in 1920, Ray Chapman was struck and killed by a Carl Mays fastball, in what was and remains the only on-the-field fatality in the history of major league baseball. The drama of Good Guy Chapman versus Bad Guy Mays is a wrenching human tale. Add to it an intense pennant race, the meteoric ascension of Babe Ruth to baseball supremacy, the banning of the Black Sox for throwing the previous year's World Series, and the story grows to one of the most fascinating and compelling in the annals of baseball history.
Mike Sowell's brilliant account of the events of 1920--meticulously researched and mellifluously written--captures all the intensity of the moment of the Chapman beaning and the entire incredible season. Only a writer of Sowell's power and skill could do justice to such a tale, and the result is one of the most highly respected and widely acclaimed baseball books ever written.
See the 2022 documentary, War on the Diamond, based on The Pitch That Killed.