View Full Version : Ball Players who Served

05-25-2014, 02:30 PM
With Memorial Day tomorrow, let's see some cards/pictures of players who served. I know mine is not pre-war, but anyone you served during WWII, our greatest generation, deserves a spot.

Thanks to all who've served!


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05-25-2014, 02:43 PM
Perhaps the most underappreciated American Hero in baseball...

http://www.starsofthediamond.com/tintopgrantny.JPG http://starsofthediamond.com/px7grant.JPG

Jay Wolt
05-25-2014, 03:00 PM
Rhett, I agree!

Another hero is Hank Greenberg who joined the Army before Pearl Harbor in 1940


05-25-2014, 04:00 PM
4 years in WW II, imagine the stats otherwise.

05-25-2014, 04:45 PM
Here are some photos. The Greenberg image is one of my favorites. I love the P51 Mustang in the background. The two DiMaggio photos originate from his estate. The team picture is of the 1942 Service All Stars. There is information about this team in the link below.


Bosox Blair
05-25-2014, 04:54 PM

Brian Van Horn
05-25-2014, 05:28 PM
Cecil Travis:

From Wikipedia:

"Sent to Europe in late 1944 while serving in the 76th Infantry Division, he suffered a severe case of frostbite during the Battle of the Bulge, necessitating an operation to prevent amputation of his feet. Travis received a Bronze Star for his military service."

Picture is from Yahoo image search results:

Brian Van Horn
05-25-2014, 05:31 PM
Buddy Lewis.

From Wikipedia:

"During World War II, Lewis served in the United States Army Air Forces as a transport pilot. He flew more than 500 missions in the China-Burma-India Theater and won the Distinguished Flying Cross before returning to the Major Leagues in 1945."

05-25-2014, 05:35 PM
Great idea for a thread, Steven.

Thanks to all those who served in one way or another. Man, woman, baseball player, coal miner, school teacher -- all remembered this weekend.

One prewar, one postwar (pretty cool that the Mays card actually mentions his entering the service on the reverse)...



05-25-2014, 06:06 PM
A true American hero:


05-25-2014, 08:30 PM


05-25-2014, 08:30 PM

Rich Klein
05-25-2014, 08:49 PM
But I did this little article for Sports Collectors Daily (a valued Net54 advertiser)



05-25-2014, 09:39 PM
Here are a few, sorry they're not cards.

1) Hank Gowdy
2) Marchildon, Shepard, Donatelli, and Brissie have some of the most "interesting" WWII experiences.
3) A pile of Battle of the Bulge fighters and Purple Heart earners.


05-25-2014, 10:27 PM
Many of these were mentioned already, but there's no harm in repeating the appreciation...

Also pictured above is Doolittle Raider- Lt Dean Davenport, co-pilot of the "Ruptured Duck", which was the B-25 depicted in the WWII classic "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" (and then terribly and falsely in the really crappy movie "Pearl Harbor"). He was also one of my Dad's superior officers during the Vietnam War and by all accounts a very good man.

Thanks to all who've served.

I love the P51 Mustang in the background[/url] Love the pic of Greenberg... the plane is nagging at me though. I don't disagree it's a P-51 but it's got 3 props. I think the only 3 prop P-51 was the P-51A, which didn't really see much if any action and was quickly replaced by the B with its more powerful Rolls engine and 4 props.. and then later the iconic D version (bubble canopy). Wish I could see more of the plane/landing gear, tail, canopy, to know for sure.

the 'stache
05-25-2014, 10:58 PM
One of baseball's all-time greatest power hitters, the late, great Ralph Kiner

Ralph Kiner led the National League in home runs each of his first seven seasons in the Majors.

From Baseball in wartime: (http://www.baseballinwartime.com/player_biographies/kiner_ralph.htm)

Kiner joined the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League in 1943, but within a few weeks he was inducted in the Navy. As a cadet he attended St Mary's Pre-Flight School in California and earned his pilot's wings and commission at Corpus Christi in December 1944. He flew Martin PBM Mariners from Kaneohe Bay Naval Air Station in Hawaii on submarine patrols, accumulating 1,200 flying hours and playing hardly any baseball during that time.

Martin PBM Mariner Patrol Plane

Thank you, Mr. Kiner, and thank all of your fellow ballplayers for their service to our country!!!!

05-26-2014, 07:43 AM
Since the P51 was mentioned again, my favorite plane by the way, here's a recent picture I took at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.


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05-26-2014, 10:44 AM
Since the P51 was mentioned again, my favorite plane by the way, here's a recent picture I took at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.


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That is a beautiful plane Steven!

My dad served in the Merchant Marines in WWII (he had polio as a kid, but almost made it into the army. The story he used to tell was that he made it through nearly all of the examination stations before someone asked him why one leg was shorter than the other!). He passed away two years ago, but absolutely loved vintage planes. He would have been delighted to see that P51. We took him to the Aerodrome in Rhinebeck, NY about a year before he passed away and it's a memory that I will never forget. Thanks for posting!

Chris Counts
05-26-2014, 11:03 AM
Here's two Reds from the late 1930s who served in both wars, Hank Gowdy and Ted Kleinhans.

Both distinguishing themselves during the brutal trench warfare of WWI. Here's a quote about Gowdy from one of his commanding officers: “Every outfit ought to have somebody like Hank. The boys idolize him and he gets them all stirred up with his baseball stories. He helps ‘em forget about the terror of war. He carried the flag. He was one of them who heaved gas bombs at the enemy. He was fantastic!”
Kleinhans was wounded in the same campaign that killed Eddie Grant.

In WWII, Gowdy enlisted and served as chief athletic officer at Fort Benning, Georgia. Kleinhans — who earlier made his major league debut at 35 — served as a medical administrator in a hospital that treated soldiers from D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.
“He was a superb gentleman,” said a doctor who served with Kleinhans, “a great leader, and an inspiration to anyone who was associated with him – particularly his athletes on his baseball teams.”

05-26-2014, 11:05 AM
Lou passed away last year. 145950

Brian Van Horn
05-26-2014, 11:39 AM
Larry French.

From Wikipedia:

"French joined the United States Navy after the Dodgers and became a career sailor, retiring in 1969 with the rank of Captain."

05-26-2014, 12:19 PM
Don't forget our Canadian ally - Phil Marchildon, who spent time as a POW in Germany before his liberation.

Brian Van Horn
05-26-2014, 12:43 PM
Tommy Bridges:

From Wikipedia:

"Bridges served in the U.S. Army during World War II, missing the entire 1944 season and coming back in time for only one start in 1945."

05-26-2014, 07:34 PM
No new ones here