Pitcher Carl Mays, from Mulvane to MLB
Carl William Mays (November 12, 1891 - April 4, 1971) was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1915 to 1929. Carl played for the Mulvane town team in the early teens before moving on to have a successful MLB career.
In a 15-year career with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Giants, he compiled a 207-126 record with 29 shutouts, 862 strikeouts and a 2.92 earned run average when the league average was 3.48. Mays won twenty or more games five times during his career. He was also noted for his skills with a bat, hitting five home runs, recording 110 runs batted in, and sporting a lifetime .268 batting average-an unusually high mark for a pitcher. Mays is the only Red Sox pitcher to toss two nine-inning complete game victories on the same day, as he bested the Philadelphia Athletics 12-0 and 4-1 on August 30, 1918. Those two wins put the Red Sox one step from clinching the league championship, as they led Cleveland by 3 1/2 games with 4 remaining to play.
Mays enjoyed his best season in 1921, when he led the American League in wins (27), innings pitched (336.2), games pitched (49), and winning percentage (.750). However that same season Mays, pitching then for the Yankees, played in a World Series that others later would accuse him of helping to throw, bringing back still-lingering memories of the Black Sox scandal from just two years prior. These rumors were never proven, but they persisted long enough that, combined with an already negative reputation among other players both from the Chapman incident and from having a personality that few found agreeable, he was never elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame despite having lifetime statistics comparable to some other pitchers who were.
Despite impressive career statistics, he is primarily remembered for throwing the beanball that killed Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians on August 16, 1920.
Chapman became the only major league player to die as a direct result of an on-field injury.