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Hit by Pitch: Ray Chapman, Carl Mays and the Fatal Fastball Paperback – April 30, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I honestly did not realize when I put this on my iPad that it was going to be a graphic narrative; and that isn't a genre I've been much into since the long ago and far away days of Zap Comix number zero (and the better living through chemistry enhancements that went with it). But the drawings in this book were a great way to tell this compelling story. I knew the bare bones of the Carl Mays/Ray Chapman story - Chapman being the single major league player to be killed by a pitch. (Although we know, of course, of others who have been pretty seriously maimed along the way, including the tragic story of Tony C). This book puts flesh on the bones of Mays/Chapman story and tells it in an even-handed way, developing the character of the two main players from childhood, to the minor leagues, to the fateful day that a Mays fastball hit Chapman on the temple with a crack like a ball off a bat and ricocheted back to first base. It then follows Mays and Chapman's widow through the rest of their lives and chronicles the response of the public, the press and the baseball establishment to the tragic incident.
I can't say it any other way - I was moved by this book and loved reading it.
Just a few quibbles. In the kindle edition, there seemed to be some formatting glitches, at least as read on an iPad, which caused some of the text to 'bunch up' and become difficult to read. There also seemed to be some places where a proofreader could have avoided dropped or misspelled words.Read more ›
The work really makes you feel for both players. Chapman was so well-liked in Cleveland when he died and whereas Mays was portrayed as a head-hunter and sociopath after the fatal fastball, the work makes an honest and heart-felt attempt to try and put him in a different light; someone with a hall-of-fame pitching career who was villainized by the media and his fellow players and had to deal with the repercussions for the rest of his life.
The story is told in a fun way, too, despite the heavy subject matter. Very in-the-moment, like a newsreel in graphic form that follows the players from their childhood through their deaths. A great story about how one pitch can change the course of history told on a very personal level.
And I LOVE Molly's portrayal of Babe Ruth. Worth it for that alone...
This is very well done. The graphics are beautiful and help with the story.
I'm a fan of the early/deadball era so this was a special treat for me.
I could not put this down either.
I hope there are additional stories coming as Ms. Lawless certainly has a talent for these graphic baseball stories.
I would order the next one sight unseen.
Maybe a story on Ed Delahanty - was he thrown off the train or did he fall off the tracks?
Or what about Davy Force? Was he the original Curt Flood?
And did Chick Stahl commit suicide or was it simply a case of not following instructions?
Nice work Molly, keep them coming.
There are comics for a certain market. Being a Swiss citizen I have got used to read European comics which lack completely of superheros unlike its American counterparts. If there are books about fiction and non-fiction, often there are comics about the same purport.
Well, I read "Hit by Pitch" and it's very compelling from its drawings and ballons. Sometimes it got very upsetting: the scenes depicting the sadness of the Chapman's buddies after his death. Tris Speaker, one of my favs, was shown there as a very dejected man who, somewhat, could manage a broken team to a sensational victory in the World Series. Tris might be the only winning manager in history that didn't show any joy manner after the triumph: "Tired, very tired" were his words after winning the fat prize. Stengel, Lasorda or Bochy never would uttered those words.
But I got very bad when I read about the untimely fate of the widow and daughter of the infortunated Ray Chapman.
Molly Lawless made a powerful comic book about this special baseball history. I would recommend it to everyone.
It would be an excellent companion to the landmark baseball book "The Pitch That Killed" by Mike Sowell. Indeed Ms Lawless cited it as a must read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is just wonderful! While not an in depth history of the Ray Chapman incident there is insight into both players' lives and how this might have happened. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr Bozzi
I'm not a baseball fan, but that didn't prevent me from being engrossed in Molly Lawless's graphic novel "Hit By Pitch. Read morePublished on June 21, 2014 by Pencil Sharpener
bought this book because I was looking for the story behind this incident (there is a movie about this incident in production). Read morePublished on January 2, 2014 by Mrs L from Atl
First and foremost I am a longtime Indians fan and am well versed in what happened to Ben Chapman at the Polo Grounds in August of 1920. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Richard C. Geschke
Quite enjoyable, given the tragic subject. Holly Lawless uses her art to tell the tale of the only fatal pitch in professional baseball, the one Carl Mays threw at Ray Chapman. Read morePublished on November 3, 2013 by M. Fenn
This is an absolutely first-rate book. It's very well-written, funny, poignant and moving in equal measure. Read morePublished on September 20, 2012 by Sean Condon