Carl Mays was a talented
right-handed pitcher who had first come up with the Boston Red Sox in 1915
and immediately established himself as a winning pitcher. Standing a shade
under 6 feet and weighing 195 pounds, he was a submarine sinkerballer who
sometimes scraped his knuckles across the mound as he followed through his
motion. He had the habit of throwing inside to batters to brush them off,
and was always among the leaders when it came to hit batsmen. He also was
a surly, mean-spirited individual who had few friends. Just a wonderful combination.
Born in Liberty, Kentucky on April 4th, 1891, he was the son of a Methodist minister. By all accounts, he had a strict upbringing, which carried over to his baseball career, for he refused to pitch on Sundays early in his career, just like the great Mathewson. Although he was about as well liked as Kaiser Wilhelm, he nonetheless was a pitcher that could be counted on to win the big game. He was traded to the Yankees in July of 1919 after he quit the Red Sox because he felt that the club was not supporting him on the field (He had a 5-11 record at the time of the trade). He went 9-3 the rest of the way and finished up with a 14-14 record.
When the 1920 season started, he and Bob Shawkey were regarded as the top two pitchers on the Yankee staff by manager Miller Huggins.
Chapman was born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky on January 15th, 1891. He made his
major league debut with Cleveland in 1912. He was a great shortstop who was
exceptional at turning the double play. A no-nonsense, non-stop hustler. He
was also decent at the plate. His lifetime average was .278. He was also blessed
with more than decent speed as his 52 stolen bases in 1917 can attest to.
Chapman was one of the most popular and well liked players in baseball. A fan favorite, he had friends in every city in the American League. And unlike Mays, he was also well liked by opposing players. Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb were especially fond of him, Ruth calling him, "that little gnat." He was a man of good cheer, with a fund of good humor. A real Southern gentleman! His best friends on the Indians were Tris Speaker and Jack Graney. Before the 1920 season, Chapman married Kathleen Daly, the daughter of a wealthy Cleveland businessman. The plan was for Ray to retire at the end of the '20 season to devote himself to business and raising a family. He was one of the recognized leaders of the Indians, along with Speaker.