Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NY, July 4, 1950 – Baseball fan shot and killed at baseball game by stray bullet and game went on

Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NY, July 4, 1950 – Baseball fan shot and killed at baseball game by stray bullet and game went on

Two nights ago a Cardinals fan in St Louis was hit by a stray bullet while attending a game at Busch Stadium. Luckily she was only struck and the bullet, that is believed to come from outside the ballpark, bounced off her and only left an abrasion and a bruise. But this isn’t the first time a stray bullet struck a baseball fan. Almost 67 years ago a poor fellow by the name of Bernard Doyle was also struck from a bullet shot while attending a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, and this bullet also was shot from outside the ballpark, but unlike the Cardinals fan from the other night, Doyle’s fate was much worse, in fact it was fatal.

54-year-old Bernard Doyle, a retired fright worker whose claim to fame is he was once the manager of boxing legend James J. Braddock, also know the boxing world as the “Cinderella Man”, took a neighborhood boy by the name of Otto Flaig to the game.

On an apartment rooftop shadowing the Polo Grounds, stood a 14-year-old boy who had recently found a gun with a single bullet at Central Park and had decided to wait for Independence Day to pull the trigger. So as the New York Giants were taking the field, the boy went to the rooftop of his apartment complex and fired the .45-caliber gun in the air and striking Doyle in the forehead, instantly killing him.

At the time the ballpark attendants were unaware that Doyle had been fatally shot and assumed he was suffering a heart attack until they saw blood and an entrance wound into the poor man’s skull, realizing he had indeed been shot.

Despite the tragedy, the 13-year-old Flaig was more upset that the commotion and the detectives questions was causing him to miss the baseball game, which went on despite the unusual circumstances. Detectives were able to trace the bullet to the rooftop and the boy who fired it, who confessed and was sentenced to two years in New York juvenile system.

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