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The Razor's Edge
William Nack
May 06, 1991
As the Cincinnati Reds chased a pennant in 1940, a dark family legacy tortured the mind of catcher Willard Hershberger
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May 06, 1991

The Razor's Edge

As the Cincinnati Reds chased a pennant in 1940, a dark family legacy tortured the mind of catcher Willard Hershberger

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Trivia question: Who was the only active player in baseball history to commit suicide during the season?

Fifty-one years later, the most intriguing question about Hershberger's death remains unanswered: What were the problems he revealed to McKechnie on Friday night that helped drive him to kill himself on Saturday? "He told me what his problems were," McKechnie said at the time. "It has nothing to do with anybody on the team. It was something personal. He told it to me in confidence, and I will not utter it to anyone. I will take it with me to my grave."

True to his word, on Oct. 29, 1965, in Bradenton, Fla., Bill McKechnie took the secret with him.

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