Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Pittsburgh Gazette Times, March 20, 1913:
[Smoky Joe] Wood was showing more speed than the Pirates have seen this spring, and when a high fast ball came straight toward [Bobby] Byrne’s head he failed to dodge it. He started to turn, and the ball caught him above the back of the left ear, striking with a thud audible all over the park. Players of both clubs rushed toward him and found him unconscious.
Byrne was never the same ballplayer after the Wood beaning. He was entering his Age 28 season, having put up a .281/.355/.396 (109 OPS+) line over the past three years. Byrne’s OPS+ never again topped 90 in anything resembling a full season, and he was washed up by the time he turned 30.
Byrne, by the way, had survived a near-fatal car crash in November 1912.
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