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Remembering the less-famous ballplayers who served

May 30, 2011, 9:52 AM EDT

Arlington cemetery

Happy Memorial Day everyone. Hope you have a nice day off and, as you’re having that day off, hope you take the time to think about why you’re getting it.

From a baseball perspective, we’ll no doubt hear and read stories today about the major leaguers who served in the military.  A good place to start with this is over at The Platoon Advantage, where The Common Man has some stories of some of the less-famous ballplayers who served out nation heroically and don’t tend to get a lot of general recognition for it.

We all know about Bob Feller and Ted Williams, and nothing can be taken away from their legacies as both ballplayers and servicemen. But we’d all probably do well to think about Gabby Street and Al Bumbry too.

  1. jimbo1949 - May 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    In respect to those ballplayers who served in WW2, I recommend: When the Boys Came Back – Baseball and 1946 by Frederick Turner.
    A nice history of baseball’s first year back from war.

  2. halladaysbicepts - May 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Ted Williams had balls the size of basketballs. Served in two wars, awesome fighter pilot with many confirmed kills. Missed 5 prime years of baseball in the service of his country. Greatest hitter who ever lived.

    Ted Williams – greatest American hero.

    • JBerardi - May 30, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      You hear that, less-famous ballplayers, some of whom lost their actual lives fighting in WWII? You’re second class heros.

    • The Common Man/ - May 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

      Celebrating the accomplishments of others does nothing to minimize the justifiably awesome heroism of Williams. Settle down.

    • mrchuckhall - May 30, 2011 at 4:22 PM

      Ted was an amazing man, and truly an American hero. My hero as a kid, no question. He’d be the first to tell you he wasn’t the only one, or the greatest. Bob Feller also served, and many others. God bless all of them who didn’t come up with a bad back when it was time to serve. No second-class heroes in that group.

      I’m going to have to look up that Frederick Turner book. Thanks, Jimbo1949.

  3. jwbiii - May 30, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    One of my grandfathers was a member of the battalion that Eddie Grant’s unit was trying to save.

  4. royalsfaninfargo - May 30, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    A wise man, much wiser than i, once said, “The only heroes are the ones who didnt make it back. The rest of us were just lucky.” As a vet and someone who has lost personal friends in the defense of our country thank you for you post.

  5. cur68 - May 30, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    If a Canadian might weigh in for a moment I’d like to direct your attention to these 2 guys; not ball players but 2 of the toughest guys I ever heard of. They deserve our attention too.

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