|Presented without comment, because anything I'd say would just be mean.|
Mr. Andrew Haymaker, of-Daily Hawk Eye and Telegraph (Burlington, Iowa), July 11, 1855 [reprinted from the Chicago Journal]
, who has been blind in one eye for fifty-four years, in consequence of a film growing over it, was suddenly restored to sight, a short time since, in the following manner: - He was standing on the steps of the court house, in that village, while a number of men and boys were playing ball. – The ball projected with great force, struck him in the blind eye, completely removing the film, and restoring sight. Considerable inflammation followed, but it is now getting better, and the sight is good. Charleston
Charleston, Illinois is in central Illinois, a good one hundred and fifty miles east of St. Louis and it's probably closer to Indianapolis than it is to St. Louis. But this is worthwhile for two reasons. First, this is more evidence of the rich ball-playing culture that existed in central Illinois in the first half of the 19th century and it's evidence from an area where I haven't seen a lot of references to ball-playing during this specific time period. So that's good. And, of course, the second reason would be that this reference presents evidence of the miraculously curative effects of getting hit in the face by a baseball. So there's that. Unless you're Dickie Thon.