Cieradkowski: Jake Batterton, a major tragedy in the minor leagues

From SABR member Gary Cieradkowski at Studio Gary C on June 10, 2019:

“I’m sorry – oh God, I’m sorry!”

Swede Carlsen’s words cut through the 3am silence and echoed down the darkened halls of St. Joseph’s Hospital. The Swede looked plaintively at the pair of white-clad surgeons who loomed over the still and bandaged body that lay in the bed between them. The taller of the two moved his mouth as if to speak, but stopped short of words. The Swede’s wife took his arm and, before he realized it, she had steered him into the hallway and out of the hospital. A flashbulb crashed, but the knot of waiting reporters didn’t ask any questions. From the Swede’s white face they instantly knew the answer they were all seeking: Jake Batterton had died.

At the time, it was a major tragedy, the story of Jake Batterton’s death taking its place alongside the newspaper headlines of unemployment, gangsters and the rise of fascism in Europe – and like the Great Depression, Bonnie and Clyde and Nazi Germany, Jake Batterton’s death at the age of 19 in the summer of 1933 had far-reaching repercussions, the results of which can still be seen today.

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Originally published: June 11, 2019. Last Updated: June 11, 2019.