Monday, March 28, 2005

March 28th, 1907

Chick Stahl Dies

Charles "Chick" Stahl was an outfielder with good power in the 1890s and 1900s, who at the time of his death was the player-manager of the Boston Red Sox (the first season they would be the Sox, they were the Pilgrims prior to that). Stahl's death was a suicide, he was just thirty-four when he drank a bottle of carbolic acid prior to a morning practice and died while dressed partially in uniform. Stahl's act came as a great shock; he was widely popular in Boston and around baseball, newspapers at the time described him one of the "squarest, cleverest and fairest ball players that ever lived." Stahl's last words, recorded by Jimmy Collins (his roommate) and Bob Unglaub were reportedly "Boys, I'm sorry. It drove me to it." Rumors have abounded that Stahl was referring either to marital troubles, an addiction to drugs or some combination thereof. His last words are sometimes misquoted as "Boys, I'm sorry, you drove me to it," leading to fairly tasteless jokes in the genre of a man driven to suicide by his own players. Chick Stahl obviously had profound problems, but taking over a team that had lost more than one hundred games the year before was low on the list.

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