Black May Be Winning Fight for Life

September 15, 1948

Indians pitcher Don Black is on the mound in the toughest fight of his career and, more importantly, his life.

He may be winning.

Late Tuesday evening shortly before 11 PM, his wife, Joyce Black, was sent home to get some sleep. She had remained with him throughout the entire ordeal.

Charity Hospital reported “a very slight improvement” in his condition, currently a state of unconsciousness in a semi-coma. He has not shown signs of paralysis from the brain hemorrhage he suffered during an at bat on Monday in the game against the St. Louis Browns.

Physicians at the hospital have been unable to wake him from his state, but once yesterday he was able to ask for fruit juice.

The outpouring of support from baseball fans aware of the severity of Black’s condition has not gone unnoted. It has been the hot topic throughout restaurants in the city and thousands of phone calls have poured in to the media and to the hospital.

Brain specialist Dr. Spencer Braden, called on by Dr. Edward B. Castle, Jr., shared Tuesday that Black “looked better”.

Initially after fouling off a pitch during his first at bat of the game, Black fell to his knees and grasped his head in both of his hands, clearly appearing in substantial pain. He was taken from the park to the hospital and has no idea of the support for those rallying for his improvement.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer requested three telephone lines to be left free to handle incoming calls inquiring on the condition of Black. They estimated that they received more than 500 calls on Black prior to noon on Tuesday.

Charity Hospital has reported similar, stating that they had been inundated with phone calls and several attempts at personal visits. Since this is a life-and-death situation with Black, only doctors, physicians, and Mrs. Black have been permitted to see him.

The city of Cleveland and baseball fans across the country have come together to support the man who had overcome public battles with alcohol, who was thought to be no longer able to pitch at a professional level, but had recovered to throw a no-hitter last season and had been a contributor to the Indians pennant chase this season.

The masses continue to wait to hear about improvements in Black’s newest and largest battle of his life.

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