Molly Lawless’ graphic novel about the only ballplayer to ever die during a baseball game is an incredible, well-researched, entertaining read. It documents the lives of Ray Chapman, the loveable ball player and socialite from the Cleveland Indians, and Carl Mays, the workhorse (and occasionally cold) pitcher from the New York Yankees, and how their paths intersected on August 16th, 1920, when Mays beaned Chapman, killing him.
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…