Ray Caldwell

Raymond Benjamin Caldwell, (April 26, 1888 – August 17, 1967), was an American major league pitcher from 1910 to 1921. He was known for throwing the spitball, and he was one of the 17 pitchers allowed to continue throwing the pitch after it was outlawed in 1920.

Caldwell was notorious during his playing career for his addiction to alcohol and partying, he possessed a self-destructive streak that many of his contemporaries believed stopped him from reaching his potential. In 1924, Miller Huggins wrote: 'Caldwell was one of the best pitchers that ever lived, but he was one of those characters that keep a manager in a constant worry. If he had possessed a sense of responsibility and balance, Ray Caldwell would have gone down in history as one of the greatest of all pitchers.' Yet, despite his achievements on the field and his antics off it, Caldwell is perhaps best remembered for being struck by lightning whilst playing for the Cleveland Indians against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1919; remarkably, despite being knocked unconscious, he refused to leave the game, having pitched 8.2 innings, and went on to record the final out for the win.

By Dean Hanley

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