Frank Chance’s first Concussion

23 Oct

By 1912 Hall of Famer Frank Chance had been hit in the head so many times by pitches that he had developed blood clots on his brain and left the Cubs near the end of the season for surgery, and left him deaf in one ear.

Frank Chance

Frank Chance

Chance, who was known to crowd the plate, was hit by pitches 137 times during his big league career; on May 30 1904 he was hit five times in a double-header—one of which rendered him unconscious– with the Cincinnati Reds.

It appears his plate-crowding ways, and his propensity for being beaned, predated his professional career.  In April of 1894 the 17-year-old was catching for a team in his hometown of Fresno, California against a team in nearby Visalia.  The Sacramento Record-Union said:

“Frank Chance, Fresno’s catcher, was hit on the head by Charles Button, Visalia’s pitcher, in baseball game this afternoon.  Chance was knocked senseless, and believed to have suffered concussion of the brain.  He regained consciousness and vomited freely, and is better.  The outcome of the accident is mere conjecture.”

Four years later Chance began his professional career as a catcher for the Fresno franchise in the Pacific Coast league.

7 Responses to “Frank Chance’s first Concussion”


  1. Ovie, Oh, Ovie | Baseball History Daily - January 17, 2014

    […] Overall’s arm seems to get better every time he pitches a game.  Last week the former Cub whom Manager (Frank) Chance is trying to persuade to return to the West Side team struck out seventeen men twirling against the […]

  2. “Father isn’t Disappointed because I took up Dancing” | Baseball History Daily - April 4, 2014

    […] First Base: Frank Chance […]

  3. Sam Crane on International Baseball | Baseball History Daily - July 30, 2014

    […] Coast League in 1907, and in 1908 there were brief rumors in the press that Chicago Cubs Manager Frank Chance wanted to sign the Chinese third baseman—neither materialized, and he remained in […]

  4. “A Pork Jinx on the Club” | Baseball History Daily - March 4, 2015

    […] was the mascot for Frank Chance’s Los Angeles Angels—The Los Angeles Times said the young African American boy had been found, […]

  5. Miller Huggins | Baseball History Daily - March 27, 2015

    […] situation was this:  we had the game won, but (Frank) Chance and his Crabs were fighting hard and hitting harder.  It took a lot of fielding and desperate work […]

  6. “I am, I Believe, more Iinclined to fear the Jinx” | Baseball History Daily - April 12, 2015

    […] how Manager (Frank) Chance refused to have the Cubs pose for a team picture during the closing days of the League race in […]

  7. Grantland Rice’s “All-Time All-Star Round up” | Baseball History Daily - August 10, 2015

    […] has ever risen to undisputed heights… There are logical arguments to be offered that Hal Chase or Frank Chance should displace Fred Tenney at […]

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