Season of '42: Joe D, Teddy Ballgame, and Baseball?s Fight to Survive a Turbulent First Year of War

Season of '42: Joe D, Teddy Ballgame, and Baseball?s Fight to Survive a Turbulent First Year of War

by Jack Cavanaugh


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Big league baseball would seem to have been a hard sell in 1942. World War II was not going well for the United States in the Pacific and not much better in Europe. Moreover, the country was in drastically short supply of ships, planes, submarines, torpedoes, and other war materials, and Uncle Sam needed men, millions of them, including those from twenty-one through thirty-five years of age who had been ordered to register for the draft, the age range of most big league baseball players.

But after a “green light” from President Roosevelt, major league baseball played on in 1942 as it would throughout the war. It turned out to be an extraordinary season, too, spiced by a brash, young, and swift St. Louis Cardinal team that stunned the baseball world by winning the World Series. The 1942 season would be overshadowed by war, though, with many people wondering whether it was really all right for four hundred seemingly healthy and athletic men to play a child’s game and earn far more money than the thousands of young Americans whose lives were at risk as they fought the Germans and Japanese abroad.

In Season of ’42, veteran sportswriter Jack Cavanaugh takes a look at this historic baseball season, how it was shaped and affected by the war and what, ultimately, it meant to America.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613217689
Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date: 03/03/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jack Cavanaugh is a veteran sportswriter whose work has appeared most notably on the sports pages of The New York Times. He is the author of The Gipper (2010), Giants Among Men (2008), and Tunney (2006), which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in biography. Currently an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a columnist for the Stamford Advocate, he lives with his wife in Wilton, Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Opening Day and More Bad War News 18

Chapter 2 The War Gets Closer to Home 41

Chapter 3 Baseball's Gypsies and Their Mudcat Band 62

Chapter 4 Turning Point in the Pacific War? 79

Chapter 5 Baseball by Twilight 85

Chapter 6 Pistol Pete and Leo the Lip 104

Chapter 7 The Donora Greyhound 118

Chapter 8 Playing in Their Brother's Shadow 125

Chapter 9 The U-Boat Commander from the Brooklyn Navy Yard 131

Chapter 10 Riding the Rails 138

Chapter 11 Saboteurs Land on Long Island 146

Chapter 12 The "Mighty-Mite" Yankee Shortstop from Brooklyn 163

Chapter 13 A Pint of Blood Gets You into the Ballpark 176

Chapter 14 Running Doubles into Singles 187

Chapter 15 Last of the 400 Hitters 195

Chapter 16 Guadalcanal and a Dramatic Pennant Race Back Home 203

Chapter 17 A Mismatched World Series? 233

Epilogue 267

Acknowledgments 286

About the Author 290

Bibliography 291

Index 294

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