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Old 07-12-2019, 12:17 PM
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jerseygary jerseygary is offline
G@ry Cier@dkowski
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Join Date: May 2009
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Default 1945 GI World Series with Negro League Hall of Famers

I'm in the process of selling off some of my scorecard collection to clear space, and I thought I would share some of the more interesting ones.

This is a scorecard from the 1945 GI World Series. In what was one of the greatest underdog stories in baseball history, the OISE All-Stars defeated Patton's Third Army team for the championship. The GI World Series was held just after hostilities ended in Europe and started with a series of playoffs featuring teams from the Army, Navy and Army Air Force. Each service and European sector had their own championship series and the best unit team from each met in a playoff.

While all of these teams had at least one or two former big leaguers, the Third Army almost had an all-star team. The 71st Infantry won the right to represent the Army in the playoffs, but in gearing up for the series, Patton combed through the ranks of the entire army in Germany and through a series of dubious transfers, funneled all the men with big league experience into his Third Army team. Harry "The Hat" Walker, Benny Zientara, Ewell Blackwell, and Johnny Wyrostek were among the marquee names of Patton's team.

(I have a Third Army scorecard from the playoffs which I will post in its own thread).

The OISE All-Stars were managed by former Dodgers and Cardinals pitcher Sam Nahem. Former Pirates pitcher Russ Bauers was on the team, but he was well past his big league prime at this time. There rest of the players were semi-pro or low-level minor leaguers - but the OISE team had two aces up their sleeve - future Hall of Famers Leon Day and Willard Brown. The OISE team has been called the first integrated service team, and very well may have been. Led by the pitching of Day and Nahem, the OISE All-Stars beat the Third Army 3 games to 2.

A neat side-story is that when the OISE team returned to their base after their victory, their commanding general threw a party for the whole group, and bucking the integration norm in place throughout the US Army at the time, included Leon Day and Willard Brown.

The story of the '45 GI World Series is being floated around for a Hollywood movie, and the whole story can be found HERE at my website. I was friends with Leon Day, and learned of this fascinating series from him back in the '80's. He told me his Game 2 victory over the Patton's men was his finest game.

Although the story of the GI World Series has been mentioned in several books, I did extensive research into the whole playoff and championship series and self-published a small booklet about it. I'm proud to say this is the most accurate and extensive documentation on this obscure "World Series" to date.

This is the scorecard from the GI World Series games played in Reims, France. It is printed on very delicate paper and has a rustic illustration on the cover that tries to mimic the scorecards found back in the States. I have never seen any other scorecard from the 1945 GI World Series and can't imagine there would be many left out there, as the GI's most likely tossed them before they were shipped home. This one has a two-page insert that gives the bios of all the players on the OISE and Third Army rosters. I would venture to guess that this is a handout given out to the press who covered the games.

An awesome piece of baseball history that includes the Negro Leagues, early integration, General George S. Patton and the Greatest Generation!

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Old 07-14-2019, 04:41 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
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Hey!

Interested in this, and possibly a couple of others of yours.

How much are you looking for on this? Thanks!
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