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Louisville organization honors baseball player John Dodge with statue

Dodge was the first professional baseball player to die from injuries during a game when he was hit with a pitch at a minor-league game in 1916.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville chapter of the Society of the American Baseball Research (SABR) is honoring those who have contributed to the city's rich baseball history. 

Thursday, the organization unveiled a marker honoring Minor League player and Louisville native John Lewis Dodge

According to SABR, Dodge played 97 games in the majors in 1912 and 1913, playing for the Newport Pearl Diggers, Jonesboro Zebras, Philadelphia Phillies and others. Dodge was the first professional baseball player to die from injuries during a game when he was hit with a pitch at a minor-league game in 1916.

His family is buried in Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery, but there was no sign of a marker for Dodge.

"Dodge may not have been one of the greatest baseball players of all time but I think it's just as important to us to make sure we honor...our Louisville native ballplayers," said Chris Betsch, a writer for SABR.

The marker unveiling held Thursday is just the first of many historical baseball moments in store for Louisville in the upcoming year.

A special city-wide trolley tour highlighting the history of baseball - from Slugger Field to Elliot Park - is in the works, according to SABR officials. More information on the tour is expected in early 2022.

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