Black Remains in Danger, But Showing Improvement

September 16, 1948

Cleveland Indians pitcher Don Black continues to show signs of improvement from the sudden illness that put him into a coma during the game on Monday.

The concern has been widespread throughout the city of Cleveland by both fans of the Indians and others who have no expressed interest in baseball.

Black spent most of his time Wednesday conscious, an improvement on his largely unconscious state during his stay at Charity Hospital. Despite the improvement, he remains on the danger list at the hospital.

“The general trend is toward improvement,” said team physician and Dr. Edward B. Castle. “The periods when he comes out of unconsciousness are occurring more frequently and he recognizes his wife. He speaks, but most of the time it’s a sort of rambling conversation.”

Black, who had battled personal demons over the last few years, had won much respect in the baseball community for his ability to overcome and still present as a Major League Baseball player. He may have won a large battle in his current fight for life when he came out of his coma earlier in the day Wednesday.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Black said. He was able to ask for and smoke a couple of cigarettes and was able to eat his first meal since Monday.

Dr. Spencer Braden, a brain specialist brought on board Black’s treatment by Dr. Castle, seemed to see some positives in the changes in the Indians pitcher’s condition.

“The whole picture looks brighter now,” said Braden. “The problem now is to stop a recurrence of bleeding, but Don will face a long period of convalescence.”

While Black will no longer be able to win on the field this year for the Indians, he just may win the largest game of his life.

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