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Larry Chappell


Date and Place of Birth: February 19, 1890 McClusky, IL
Date and Place of Death:    November 8, 1918 Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, CA
Baseball Experience: Major League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit: Medical Corps, US Army
Area Served: United States

LaVerne A. “Larry” Chappell was born on February 19, 1890, in McClusky, Illinois. The only son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Chappell. A left-handed hitting outfielder, Chappell was playing for the Greenwood Athletic ball team in Alton, Illinois, before signing with the Quincy Infants of the Class B Three-I League in 1911. He was soon sent to the Eau Claire Commissioners of the Class C Minnesota-Wisconsin League where he played 101 games and batted .295.

Picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers of the Class AA American Association in 1912, the 22-year-old hit .274 in 131 games with five home runs. The following year he tore up opposing pitchers and was batting .349 through 85 games when the White Sox purchased him for $18,000. Making his major league debut on July 18, 1913, Chappell batted .231 in 60 games as a leftfielder for the fifth placed White Sox.

Based on his high price tag, much was expected of Chappell in 1914, but a foot injury during the spring hampered his progress and he hit just .231 through 21 games for the entire season. In 1915, he made just one appearance for the White Sox before being released back to Milwaukee in June. The Brew City suited Chappell much better and he batted .309 over 139 games with seven home runs. Chappell’s contract was sold to the Cleveland in February 1916, and he made three appearances for the Indians before being purchased by the Boston Braves in May. In 20 games with the Braves, Chappell batted .226 and was released to the American Association’s Columbus Senators, where he batted .318 in 116 games.

The 27-year-old was back with the Braves at the start of the 1917 season, but after four appearances he returned to Columbus and hit .261 in 132 games. In 1918, he was traded by Columbus to the Salt Lake City Bees of the Class AA Pacific Coast League for Finners Quinlan. West coast baseball definitely suited Chappell and he was among the top hitters in the highly competitive league.

In July 1918, Chappell, together with pitchers Paddy Siglin and Walt Leverenz announced they were leaving the Bees to enter military service. At the time, Chappell was hitting a league-leading .325.

Chappell served with the U.S. Army’s Medical Corps at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco (the Army’s largest hospital at the time). It was from there that his parents received a telegram on October 29, 1918, to say he was seriously ill. Larry Chappell had contracted influenza and died on November 8, 1918.

His body was returned to Jerseyville, Illinois, on November 15. He was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville on November 17.

Alton Evening Telegraph Oct 17, 1914
Muscatine Journal April 29, 1915
Le Grand Reporter June 25, 1915
Alton Evening Telegraph Aug 28, 1916
Waterloo Times-Tribune May 23, 1918
Aurelia Sentinel June 20, 1918
Ogden Standard July 16, 1918
Alton Evening Telegraph Nov 2, 1918
Alton Evening Telegraph Nov 13, 1918

Date Added: July 9, 2012


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