The day after a heart-wrenching Game 7 loss, Cleveland Indians fans continued to pilgrimage to the grave of Ray Chapman, the only player to die from a pitch in a major league game.
Chapman was an up-and-coming fielder for the Indians in 1920 when he was fatally hit by a pitch on Aug. 16 in a game against the New York Yankees.
“He never took first base, he fell to the ground at first and kind of got back up, couldn’t speak, fell down again and took him to the hospital,” explained Ed Pershy, Director of Special Projects and Exhibits of the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Chapman died early the next morning. His team would go on to win the World Series that season.
Chapman’s grave in Lake View Cemetery has long been a pilgrimage spot for Tribe fans, especially in times of frustration.
World Series mementos started showing up at last weekend and continued to appear even after the series loss on Wednesday.
Cleveland fan Diane Vermilya, who has made the trip to see Chapman in the past, said she was comforted thinking about Ray looking down on the 2016 team.
“His spirit lingers with the Indians player somehow invigorates them gives them a hope and a purpose,” she said.
Vermilya was one of many Cleveland Cavaliers fans lining up for the game Thursday night who was still proudly sporting their Indians apparel.