In 1943, while the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals were winning pennants and meeting in that year's World Series, one of the nation's strongest baseball teams practiced on a skinned-out college field in the heart of North Carolina. Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Johnny Sain were among a cadre of fighter-pilot cadets who wore the Cloudbuster Nine baseball jersey at an elite Navy training school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As a child, Anne Keene's father, Jim Raugh, suited up as the team batboy and mascot. He got to know his baseball heroes personally, watching players hit the road on cramped, tin-can buses, dazzling factory workers, kids, and service members at dozens of games, including a war-bond exhibition with Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium.
Jimmy followed his baseball dreams as a college All-American but was crushed later in life by a failed major-league bid with the Detroit Tigers. He would have carried this story to his grave had Anne not discovered his scrapbook from a Navy school that shaped America's greatest heroes including George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, John Glenn, and Paul "Bear" Bryant.
With the help of rare images and insights from World War II baseball veterans such as Dr. Bobby Brown and Eddie Robinson, the story of this remarkable team is brought to life for the first time in The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II.
|Publisher:||Sports Publishing LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Anne R. Keene is an Austin, Texas-based writer who focuses on narrative nonfiction. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism, she began her professional career working as a speechwriter on Capitol Hill. Today, she earns national awards as a storyteller for corporate clients, and has been honored with the Writers' League of Texas nonfiction award. Passionate about historic preservation and athletics, Anne is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. She is married and has a teenage daughter.
Claudia Williams is the last surviving child of Ted Williams. She penned a loving and forthright memoir, Ted Williams, My Father. As the daughter of a World War II and Korean Conflict combat pilot, and one of the greatest athletes who ever lived, Claudia strives to inspire future generations with examples of the courage and principles that her father exhibited his entire life.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Babe's Yanklands Versus the Navy Pilots, July 28, 1943 vii
Foreword Claudia Williams xix
Part I May 11, 1943
Chapter 1 The "Baseball Squad" 3
Chapter 2 The Comeback Kid 7
Chapter 3 Ration-League Baseball 11
Part II The Trunk
Chapter 4 A Trunk Holding Secrets 27
Chapter 5 The Size of a Dream 31
Chapter 6 My New Friend Ted 39
Chapter 7 A Dream Team 43
Chapter 8 A Train to Durham 56
Chapter 9 The Last Living Player 68
Chapter 10 A Batboy's Perspective 86
Chapter 11 Ted Who? 90
Part III The World's Most Difficult Training Program
Chapter 12 The Pre-Flight Spark 97
Chapter 13 Tom Hamilton, The Fighting American 101
Chapter 14 Winning the One Big Game 115
Part IV The Right Stuff
Chapter 15 The Right Stuff Culture 125
Chapter 16 Caldwell Hall-The Theory of Flight 128
Chapter 17 The Fathers of Survival Training 132
Part V Graham's Field of Dreams
Chapter 18 When The Navy Marched Into Chapel Hill 143
Part VI Playing Baseball Military Style
Chapter 19 Walking Billboards for Baseball and That Ain't All 165
Chapter 20 The Season Continues 178
Chapter 21 Babe's Last At-Bat-The Yanklands 195
Part VII Graduation
Chapter 22 Ted's Next Station 211
Chapter 23 A Cloudbuster Reunion in Hawaii 232
Chapter 24 The Nine-After the War and the .5 Percent 243
Chapter 25 Extra Innings 254
Part VIII Always a Baseball Player
Chapter 26 The Love of the Game 265
Chapter 27 Longing for the Old Leaguer 279
Epilogue: Forever a Batboy 287
Appendix-Major League Players Who Trained at Chapel Hill During World War II 296
Photo credits 341
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is a must for all fans of Baseball, WW2 Military History, Naval/Marine Corps History, and the great Ted Williams. This book paints a unique portrait of Ted Williams as a humble young man, not often seen in other books or articles on the complicated man. This is also written from the view of the authors father, who was the Batboy for the Navy air Cadet Team at Chapel Hill, NC. Great book!
Must read for Carolina fans!