Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The near-great Herb Score passed away today. While he was well before my time, one of my favorite books growing up had an entry about him. Briefly, Score was one of the most dominating pitchers in the game his first couple seasons with the Indians, with 245 and 263 strikeouts, until he caught a line drive right below his eye. While he regained his vision, it was said that injury changed him and he never equalled his earlier success, especially once other injuries forced him to change his motion. After retiring from the game, he eventually became a respected broadcaster for the Tribe, but it had to hurt knowing that he had everything it took to be one of the all time greats, only to have it slip away.

Here's the text from the book:
There are those who covet death.

And there are those who death covets.

On August 17, 1920, Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians and Beaver Dam, Kentucky, was struck in the head and killed by a pitched ball thrown by Ray Mays of the New York Yankees and Liberty, Kentucky, thus becoming the only man ever to be killed during the playing of a major league baseball game.

On August 3, 1940, Willard Hershberger, the wiry, injury-prone second-string catcher of the Cincinnati Reds, distraught over what he considered his negative contribution to a lengthy Reds' losing streak, took his own life by means of hanging, in room 306B of the Miles Standish Hotel in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, thus becoming the only major league baseball player ever to commit suicide during the course of the regular season.

And on May 6, 1957, Herb Score, an overpoweringly fast left-handed pitcher for the Cleveland Indians from Rosedale, New York, had his extremely promising career prematurely and permanently terminated when a line drive from the bat of Gil McDougald, the aging New York Yankee shortstop from San Francisco, California, hit him squrely and forcefully under the left eye, knocking him unconscious and temporarily blinding him.

There are all kinds of death, just as there are all kinds of life.

Some are quick and some are slow.

Some are happy and some are sad.

Some are easy. Some are not.

So I guess the lesson is to get it while you can...


Orixx said...

Beautiful shot.. and beautiful message.