Rain or shine, Clancy’s widow would be seen at 3:00 PM every day, visiting her husband’s grave at St. George’s Cemetery on the hill. The tombstone read, “Tom Clancy, born Nov 25, 1919 died Sept 28, 1942. Too brave a man.” You see, he took too many chances that no one else would take.
It was one cold and windy day back on that September day in 1942 at the ball park. The pitcher for the Charleston Mud Slingers was a mad man by the name of Hack McGregor. His ERA was a measly 0.15. Someone did hit a home run off of him once. One day about two months ago, a batter guessed right and hit his 107 MPH fast ball right on the nose. The ball sailed over the left field fence and broke Mrs. Jones’s window one block away from the ball park. It must have traveled 700 feet.
He had a late breaking 100 MPH curveball that would go right at the batter’s head, then break over the inside corner of the plate for a strike. The batter wouldn’t know whether to duck or step back and swing wildly at it somewhere over the inside. He usually missed. If he stood his ground and the ball didn’t break, he could get hit in the face.
McGregor was so mean, he could care less if somebody got killed or not. He once killed a man in a barroom fight. He got off for “self defense.” The judge was a big fan of his. There sure was no justice in the courtroom that day.
The game just got underway in the top of the first. Clancy was the lead off batter. His knees were shaking, he was so scared. The last game of McGregor’s was a no hitter. All the batters did was just swing and miss the whole day.
He thought he would challenge the pitcher and crowd the plate by showing no fear, even though he was scared. If he could intimidate him, maybe he would calm down. The ball came at his head at 100 MPH, but Tom didn’t duck. He guessed wrong as the ball hit him right on the temple. He hit the ground and the blood was oozing out of his head. McGregor, instead of showing any compassion, was laughing at him. “Whatsa matter little baby? Ya scared? Ya better run home to your mama.”
But Clancy didn’t move. He just lay there bleeding. On that day, they didn’t have an ambulance at the ball park. One of his teammates drove him to the local hospital in his own car where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 PM on Sept 28, 1942. It took too long to get him to the hospital. It was sad day indeed for the Clancy family.
Tom was a fearless man who didn’t let anybody intimidate him. He stood his ground. He was a loving husband who once knocked out some big 300 lb guy who dishonored his wife one day. He was a gentle, soft spoken man until somebody backed him into a corner.
He did the right thing by standing up to people until that one fateful day at the ball park. He stood up to that mean McGregor when he shouldn’t have. But he did what he always does. He didn’t get out of the way of that 100 MPH curveball.
Rest in peace, Tom Clancy, and may heaven ever be so kind to you, as you so deserve it.
That & % $ * ! McGregor died latter in a gun battle. He got what he deserved.