(This post is conjecture born of extreme prejudice towards all forms of professional media, which forever has attempted to convince the public there is a distinction between their clearly labeled fictions and the non-fiction they take pains to present for our emotional benefit and critical understanding- What they give us is ALL fiction, even when using verifiable facts- But, if in the reader’s estimation that is a delusional position on my part, then consider this post satire, if that makes you feel better- I, like professional media, am not under oath)
I have to admit I laughed out loud when I realized what the punch line to this post was going to be: Ray Chapman, the star shortstop of the Cleveland Indians from 1912 to 1920, and arguably the greatest bunter in major league history, used his bunting skills on August 16, 1920, in collusion with New York Yankee pitcher Carl Mays, to fake his own death in front of thousands of fans at one of the most fabled sports venues in American history, the Polo Grounds in the Bronx, New York City- Officially, Ray Chapman is the only player in Major League Baseball history to be killed playing the game-
A boys game
Baseball was adapted in the mid-19th century by Freemasons from similar forms of ball playing, creating the version of the game we’ve known for over a century and a half- The primary set of rules were laid out by a Wall Street banker named Alexander Cartwright- He was also a vigorous supporter of fire stations and firemen, a Masonic staple, and finished his career in Hawaii, helping end the Hawaiian monarchy- Can’t get more Masony than that-
Baseball has been billed since the coming of the professional leagues in the 1880’s as The National Pastime- It wasn’t to the millions of target shooters who claimed the title, but by the first quarter of the 20th century, it was the most popular team sport in America- It held that distinction, and some claim to the above assertion, until the post-war boom brought other sports and leagues to the fore-
Today, Major League Baseball is held to higher standards than other professional sports leagues because of its rich history and dogged insistence that it is clean, at least most of the time- When it isn’t, the dirty laundry is aired, Congress and other legal bodies take an interest, and the game’s reputation heals before the nation’s eyes- Some offending player’s reputations get thrown under the bus but the institution stands firm, the principle that what you see is what you get (replay included) being the best support that the game is on the up and up-
But as we know, the game, at the highest professional levels at any rate, is not a sporting competition- It is an entertainment, subject only to the rules of compelling fiction: To hold the viewer’s interest, expose them to advertisements (propaganda) and satisfy their emotional needs with simple elation or, more or less half the time, dejection- Games with winners and losers offer nothing else in the aggregate-
But what are we actually watching out there on the diamond? In Masonic parlance, we are watching a young man mature through his circling of the bases, able to return home a fully realized individual- Baseball is the only team sport where the defense controls the ball- The pitcher is the initiator, the batter is the initiate- The game is ordered on numbers, the sacred number 3 being the root number of almost all of the game’s components- It is also a compliment of opposites, the foundation upon which Masonry stands- As well, it’s a team sport but its primary feature is individual match-ups- An array of unified contradictions propels the inherent drama-
A good, clean, allowably Christian, family friendly game
There is good evidence that most stars of the game have been members of the Masonic Brotherhood, or Poor Widow’s Sons as they may be styled- Masons were banned by the Catholic church in the 18th century so the idea that scores of Roman Catholic players from the Latin countries especially were somehow exempt is confusing- How many are or were Masons would be impossible to guess- I would hold that the promoted stars of any ethnicity or creed have been vetted in some fashion and have sworn loyalty oaths to one or another higher governing bodies and that these bodies work in concert, despite superficial cultural differences, to promote their shared interests-
Pope John Paul II, after being hoax shot, reinstated the Masons when it was publicly revealed by the Italian press that the Vatican had an infestation of Freemasons- Like the Jesuits before them, the ban of too large and powerful a semi-secret society was a losing affair- The Church has lasted as long as it has through the art of the deal- And what’s the harm? Both rites worship one Creator, or Architect if you prefer- Neither group has an aversion to wealth creation- Both support networks of hospitals and other charitable foundations- What’s to fight?
Hall of Famer Tris Speaker was arguably the best player in baseball in the early teens of the 20th century- The psychotic Ty Cobb of Detroit was a better hitter, by a yard or two, and a faster runner, but his defense, like his personality, was abysmal whereas Speaker was a great outfielder and an all-around swell- He was the undisputed leader of the Boston Red Sox in their early glory years before the drought set in after 1918- But by then Speaker was in Cleveland, managing and starring for the Indians while young Babe Ruth, eventually the greatest player of all time, was still a pitcher and was soldiering on for the Red Sox with what Speaker had initially helped build-
Wha happen’? What was “Spoke”, Speaker’s nickname (oh so close to ‘spook’), doing in Cleveland when he had the Red Sox on top and in charge, winning titles in 1912 and ’15, and even ’16 and ’18 without him, that’s how good they were? Well, Boston’s a Catholic town and then some, and Spoke was a Mason and then some- The Babe answered to the Pope and he and his Texas bred manager did not get along- Reading the auguries, the Boston brass backed the Babe and sent Speaker packing-
Yes, back then the divide between Masons and Catholics was wide in some circles, and though the game was made by and predominately for Masons, the accords that must have been reached between the lodge and the church could not hold in this instance- Boston fans would insist on keeping the Catholic Ruth-
Cleveland was another thing altogether- The seat of the one true oil baron, JD Rockefeller Sr., his god was Mammon, backed by the epic distortions of the Scofield Reference Bible, the foundation of the heretical fundamentalist movement he and his fellow anti-unionist oilmen bankrolled (UNOCAL of California, especially, the leaders of which had published ‘The Fundamentals: A Testimony To the Truth’, the foundation tracts of the foul and unholy Xtian fundamentalism that has nauseated and inconvenienced reasonable thinkers in this country for decades- I digress…)
And so what if Spoke was also in the KKK, another Mason flavored distortion of Church teaching? The Klan, in the aftermath of DW Griffith’s epic cinematic apology, ‘Birth of a Nation’, which made stylishly robed racism fashionable again, went on a recruiting drive to polish its image and a legitimate cultural icon like the Texan Tris Speaker would be a prize catch-
In this environment, a happy go lucky and charismatic figure like Ray Chapman, who was marrying into the family of Martin B Daly, Rockefeller’s top man at the East Ohio Gas Co., would be an obedient servant eager to participate in The Great Workings of the Lodge-
Let’s run the numbers
8 is a spooky number to the mindbenders- (See Miles Mathis as to why)
Chapman gets beaned on August (8th month), 16th (add two 8’s), 1920- (First year of Prohibition, a Rockefeller production)
He dies at 4:40am the next day- (Two 4’s makes 8, ha ha!)
Kathleen Daly, daughter of an oil magnate, weds Chapman in 1919- (An 11 and two 9’s/18)
8 years after Chapman’s “death”, she commits suicide on 4/20/1928- One year later, their daughter, Rae-Marie (nothing esoteric about that name) dies from measles, age 8-
If following the premise that Chapman’s death was a hoax, then an interval of eight years passed before his widow “committed suicide from endless grief” and they then went underground with new identities, their daughter following them soon after by dying sometime in the following year (8 months later?)- Kathleen’s bio claims that after Ray was dead, how long dead I can’t say, she married a wealthy business man by the name of JB McMahon in Los Angeles and bore him a son- What are the odds that this new husband was Ray Chapman living under the alias of McMahon? Kathleen had a cousin who was her best friend and bridesmaid and was named Jane McMahon- Too easy-
How about if this JF McMahon was a beard (like Ari Onassis was to Jackie) and the second child of Ray and Katy had to be named JF Jr. to hide the boy’s true identity- At some point, 1928, JF’s part in the ruse was over and the Chapman women had to “die” so they and Ray could move on, their assignments also concluding- Presumably the boy was sent to “boarding school” and joined his real parents in obscurity- The timing may have had something to do with the stock market crash and the Chapmans were ferreted out of the country with the last sacks of gold in circulation as compensation, and to harbor more booty for Ray’s superiors who also knew the store was about to be blown sky high-
Naw- McMahon was a branch of the Daly family tree and Ray borrowed one of their identities- The Chapmans never separated and lived on in LA- Either Katy actually died in ’28 as did the daughter in ’29, or they divorced and the settlement required the two females to disappear- Or not- Let’s leave it that the 8’s are exactly what they appear to be: spook markers for fellow initiates and where the family went from there will remain an eternal mystery… (This stuff makes my head spin sometimes…)
Oil agents and temperance men
Standard Oil of California (later Chevron) was the Rockefeller’s stake in So Cal and a victim of the 1911 anti-trust break up of Standard Oil proper- For a reptile like Rockefeller, agents and recruits of all kinds could have been employed surreptitiously to oversee these “independent” new companies- Who better to station on the inside than a son-in-law, under an alias, of one of Rockefeller’s chief lieutenants? This agent could not operate under his own name as that would tip off the feds that Rockefeller was still the owner- Who would know Ray Chapman in that part of the world? Major League Baseball did not extend west beyond St. Louis and there was precious little in photographic memorabilia in those days- A mustache and some eye glasses might have been all that was needed- If so, how many other employees of these new companies were actually relocated and renamed agents of the Rockefeller secret combine? A survey of dead sons and sons-in-law of oil grandees, along with deceased cousins, once removed, and died-before-their-time nephews might yield a ballpark number-
What few know is that Prohibition was the brainchild of JD Rockefeller Sr.- Though the temperance movement had been around awhile, it was not until JD poured money into it that the movement started to get legs- JD’s objective was simple- In 1911, gasoline passed kerosene in sales for the first time and the breakup of the monopoly that year had grave implications for JD’s oil interests- Alcohol was a cheaper alternative as engine fuel and many farms sold alcohol based fuels to locals on wheels- There were no corner gas stations in most of the farm-centric country and farm fuel was the easy solution- Outlawing the making and possession of alcohol would return Rockefeller’s monopoly on so-called fossil fuels, even if in a clandestine fashion, as I suspect-
Why “kill” Ray Chapman?
In this scheme I’m proposing, Ray could shed his persona by “dying” in public and re-emerge an untraceable asset- Though his wife was Catholic, Ray was not, thus his Masonic membership was certain in that he did not convert to his wife’s faith, and this explains why he was “buried” in a non-denominational cemetery, though his wife and daughter were “buried” in a nearby Catholic cemetery- What was more important than denominations was the appearance of death, in front of spectators, who, like the bystanders in Dealey Plaza, were certain of what they saw, and the compromised papers backed them up- No one, not even today, would look with suspicion upon the relatively rapid demise of the entire Chapman family- All that remains to history is unrelieved tragedy falling on a storybook couple- It’s like questioning the existence of victims of 911: “How. Dare. You!”
Ray Chapman still holds the single season record for most sacrifice hits with 67 in 1917 (Bunts that move a runner up a base) This is by far the most secure record in all of sports, bar none, as bunting has now been thoroughly discredited as an offensive strategy- Only rarely today is a bunt even considered, and almost exclusively late in a tight, one run game- In Ray’s day, the sacrifice was an automatic response to getting the first batter on base to start any inning of a game that wasn’t a blowout (And very few were in the dead ball era)- There wasn’t even a signal for it, so expected was the play- But since someone very late in the day actually crunched the numbers and found that a man on first with nobody out scores 25% more often than a man on second with one out, the practice of bunting is now nearly as extinct as leagues that require the pitcher to hold a bat in his hands- (The National League is literally the last league on all of planet Earth where pitchers are required to hit, or bunt as the case may be)
Carl Mays, the Yankee pitcher that hit Chapman in the head, had played under Tris Speaker in Boston in those heady days before the curse of the Babe settled over Beantown and lost more than two generations of BoSox diehards to blind wandering in a sunless desert- In fact, Mays had been called up to the Sawx at the same time as Ruth but was one of the chattel sent to New York during Boston owner Harry Frazees’ disastrous fire sale of his stars to cover losses incurred, so we are told, by Broadway bombs he had produced- Can you say ‘Max Byalistock’?
Mays would come under scrutiny after the ’21 and ’22 World Series in which the Yankees lost both to their fellow Polo Grounds tenants, the Giants- He was a submarine style pitcher who was routinely among the league leaders in hit by pitches- He was also a Hall of Fame grade talent and his exclusion from the Hall has more to do with his suspicious failures in post season than to rendering Ray Chapman exanimis-
Mays was what could be termed ‘effectively wild’, by which he would know how to pitch batters tight without killing them, his apparent control problems being a ruse to keep it hot for the opposition- His most famous run-in prior to Chapman was with the affable Ty Cobb a few years earlier which permanently affixed the handle, ‘Head Hunter’, to Mays’ profile after he spent a languid afternoon pelting The Georgia Peach with one pitch after another, finally provoking Cobb to hurl his bat at his assailant-
Ty Cobb is here?! A digression is in order
With Cobb one can never be certain what was bluster and what was actual psychosis- My suspicion is that he and the press played up his serial killer persona in an era when men were not completely domesticated and a touch of danger enhanced one’s mystique- Cobb was smart enough to be wealthy* beyond even his gentrified roots and in some ways bordered on genius, but he was a pathological contrarian which would rankle most people involved in a team sport- The ‘My way or the highway’ style he employed was also a sign of grave insecurity, allowing a permanent distance to hold between him and his peers- Today we would say he does not play well with others-
(*Cobb was a major stock holder in Coca Cola, based in Georgia, and made a fortune pushing the stuff- In some ways he is similar to another peachie keen fan favorite, Joan Crawford, who was on the board of directors for Pepsi- What’s really in that stuff?)
Cobb, whose family has a county named after them, was from landed gentry, even if I suspect he was illegitimate, and one of those of the blood who was positioned to be a public figure- His assignment was to create buzz for this new product, American League Baseball (and Coke- With Real Cocaine!), and his personality and athleticism appealed to the masses of men who held a grudge, in whatever form- This is hard to fathom in today’s nanny state, but there was a time when men did not offer advice on how another man should spend his day- Marketing a creep doesn’t work today because we are told a creep has no legitimacy- Cobb was illegitimate in more than just blood, but his early heroics seemed to justify for many of the great unwashed that anger was power- It isn’t in such nebulous form, but the play is always to distract, and in Detroit, a placated and vicarious anger kept the assembly lines chugging around the clock-
Cobb’s run-in with Mays reads to my pathological skepticism as theater- A midsummer game in an industrial burgh like Detroit or Boston in those days would draw a few college boys, a perfumed chippie or two and their johns, as well as retired ballplayers who had yet to succumb to cirrhosis of the liver- They would be joined by pensioners looking for distraction from their nagging spouses, and a few runts playing hooky and sneaking in with the local drunks through the outfield fence- To get anyone interested in an hour and a half of young Masonic recruits circling the bases to symbolically rise to adulthood was a hard sell when the local foundry had a team of amateurs that everybody knew and cheered for- To get the potential fans of the Tigers to pay for a ticket, having the league’s best player in the league’s first decade also appear to be an unpredictable maniac put a few more fannies in the seats and sold reams of newspapers-
The truth was, Base-Ball was still finding itself in that first decade plus before the Great War- All new sports leagues need superstars to gage the relative talents of the common traffic and put an individual face on the game- They also need dynasties, to set the bar for what teams need to do to sustain success and build a fan base- The Detroit Tigers, led by Cobb the Horrible, went to three straight World Series between 1907 and 1909, and lost all three- (This was the record the Buffalo Bills broke when they lost four straight Super Bowls)
By the time Mays went target shooting at Cobb, these two sunshine personalities had been thoroughly vetted as reliable in staging such fracases to the delight of the caterwauling mob- It was one such incident of many, like fake feuds that stoke the hype of any show biz endeavor, that later proved Mays was the man to use in staging the tragedy of Ray Chapman-
What they think they saw
On that ill-fated muggy afternoon in the Bronx, Chapman came to the plate, leading off in the fifth inning- With the count one ball and one strike, Mays let loose with a hot one and nailed Chapman just above the left ear, causing Chapman to stagger a few feet and collapse to the ground- Mays, thinking the crack of the skull was the crack of the bat, fielded the ball as it rolled towards him and threw to first, claiming later he thought Chapman had tried to bunt for a base hit- The crowd thought the same thing until Chapman hit the ground- Immediately, Speaker led the team charge from the dugout to assist their fallen brother- The umpire, who claimed to see blood trickling from Chapman’s ear, approached the stands asking if there was a doctor in the house, I kid you not-
After getting the muttering Chapman to his feet, he was escorted to the clubhouse, located over four hundred feet from home plate behind the center field wall- Chapman made it as far as second base before he collapsed again and was then carried to the clubhouse by fellow players- Mays, it is said, never left the mound-
So, could the best bat handler in creation conspire with a bona fire Head Hunter to pull off such legerdemain? From the stands, gaging the difference in speed between a seventy-five mile an hour pitch, say, and a ninety-five mile an hour pitch is not something most folks can do, and I’m certain not back then by anyone but a trained scout, which were not really in existence yet- This was decades before speed guns and the like helped train the average fan’s eye on who was throwing at what speed-
Chapman, knowing the signal he got from Mays on when to get ready, would be able to take a slower pitch tight and appear to get hit with the pitch even as his bat was warding it off- By the time he collapses, the crowd, who assumed along with Mays that Chappy had tried to bunt, then is stunned to see him fall to the ground- The umpire’s insistence that he saw blood in the ear was all that was required to sell this to the public- Chapman is taken out of view by his fellow initiates, and just like good old JFK speeding off in the limo, the rest is press releases-
8 thoughts on “Vintage Psy-opera: Ray Chapman”
Tyrone this is off topic, but I wonder if you thought about my comment on your website regarding the JFK and Diamonds Are Forever. I also asked Straight about the connection.
I’ll have to watch that film to know anything- I’m very suspicious of Jay Dyer- His Bond fetish and his Bond-like tales of personal conquest seem out of place for a guy who has insinuated himself into the Hoaxbusters/Ab Irato network- He’s clashed with Jan Irvin and the Atwill/Russell crowd, though I’m just as suspicious of those two- Jan Irvin and Chris Kendall I do follow- I hope they don’t veer to far from my own paradigmatic borders- There’s fewer and fewer voices out there that could possibly get what we are doing here- Maybe we could get a podcast going here- Not once a week but from time to time-
I was not aware of the Rockefeller angle to Prohibition. Very interesting! More or less the same thing with Hemp and the Marijuana Tax Act…
Pete Rose makes more sense to me after reading this.
Excellent work. The name Tris Speaker reminds me of Hermes Trismegistus, the supposed founder of Hermeticism which is a cousin (distant?) of Freemasonry.
Tyrone, I’m very interested in this paragraph:
” This is hard to fathom in today’s nanny state, but there was a time when men did not offer advice on how another man should spend his day- Marketing a creep doesn’t work today because we are told a creep has no legitimacy- Cobb was illegitimate in more than just blood, but his early heroics seemed to justify for many of the great unwashed that anger was power”
Can you elaborate a bit? Where did you get a feel for the psychology/zeitgeist of the day? Just from reading of the period?
Straight… Reading between the lines of old baseball recollections, reading about strikes and strike breakers, and recalling old timers I knew growing up, including my grandfather who saw Ty Cobb play in NY around 1912, I have this sense that anger and resentment, washed down with rivers of alcohol, built industrial America more than anything else- And given what we know today about engineered distractions, my interpretation of the times is that men’s prerogatives were eroded by the mechanization of their labor- Someone had to represent rebellion, and Cobb seems to have been one character engineered to do that- On the laughing at The Man side was a character like Rabbit Maranville, who clowned around on the field rather than throwing bats and spikes at the opposition- The result was the same, a vicarious rebellion of the system while still showing up for work the next day-
Tyrone, Wow, great article!! I am not a sports fan so I know little to nothing about any of the professional games. I had no idea of the Masonic connection and what the game really represents, fascinating. I didn’t like history in school, maybe because it was all lies, but I love learning the truth. Articles like this could turn me into a sports fan…knowledge is so powerful.
Very, very interesting post. I was once an avid baseball fan and knew a lot of stats and history and so forth and yet I’d never heard of this particular incident or Ray Chapman. I agree with Daddieuhoh about the prohibition angle. Very novel. And, with Mark about Pete Rose who they always tried to compare to Ty Cobb. As I’ve said before, if Pete Rose had been admitted to the Hall of Fame, he’d be totally forgotten by now.
It also reminds me of a “feud” that was likely staged between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox, back in the late 60’s. I won’t go into the details but it also involved a hit batter (Don Buford) for the Orioles who had played for Chicago and Frank Robinson charging a fan who supposedly used a racial slur. At that point in time it surely sold tickets every time the teams played.
And Chicago needed the publicity in the worst way.
Great post as usual!