On December 7, 1941, as the battleships of Pearl Harbor smoldered, one of the most powerful athletes in America, Detroit Tigers MVP Hank Greenberg, made a tumultuous decision-to leave the baseball field for the field of war.
His decision left baseball's place during the war uncertain as more and more ballplayers, famous and unknown alike, put off their careers to go into the fight. President Roosevelt was faced with a difficult decision: stop all of professional baseball for the good of the victory, but, in doing so, risk losing a vital part of morale. He decided that, whatever it took, THE GAME MUST GO ON.
This is the story of American baseball history during World War II-of both the players who left to join the war and of the ones who struggled to keep the game alive on the home front. Taking the place of the big shots turned soldiers, sailors, and combat pilots were misfit replacement players. While Greenberg represented the player who served, Pete Gray symbolized the player who stayed. He was a one-armed outfielder who overcame insurmountable odds to become a professional athlete.
John Klima drops us straight into 1941-1945. Culminating in the 1945 pennant race where Greenberg and Gray's paths memorably crossed, Klima shows us how World War II made the country come of age and took baseball with it. This is the story of how the games we play changed because of the battles we fought.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.60(d)|
About the Author
JOHN KLIMA is the author of Bushville Wins: The Wild Saga of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the Screwballs, Sluggers, and Beer Swiggers Who Canned the New York Yankees and Changed Baseball and Willie's Boys. He was the national baseball columnist for The Los Angeles Daily News and his column writing has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors. Klima's work has also appeared in The New York Times, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN.com and The Los Angeles Times.
Table of Contents
To the Front: A Note to the Reader vii
Part I The Green Light, 1941
Chapter 1 Good-bye, Hank 3
Chapter 2 Ghost on His Shoulder 15
Chapter 3 Billy and the Kid 28
Chapter 4 War! 38
Chapter 5 The Green Light 50
Part II Over the Hump, 1942-1944
Chapter 6 Earn It 69
Chapter 7 A New Contraption 79
Chapter 8 Bad Check 90
Chapter 9 Billy's War 107
Chapter 10 Too Tall, Too Short, Too Young, Too Old 120
Chapter 11 Plasma for the Soul1 141
Chapter 12 Time for Miracles 152
Chapter 13 Satisfied to Be Alive 171
Chapter 14 Guts of Our Kids 186
Chapter 15 Baseball in the ETO 197
Chapter 16 One Man Short 212
Chapter 17 He Died on the Water 230
Chapter 18 One Arm, One Leg, One Nation 245
Part III Waiting for Hank, 1945
Chapter 19 Long-Lost Hero 261
Chapter 20 Another War Begins 276
Chapter 21 Waiting for Hank 290
Chapter 22 As Large, as Strong, as Powerful 307
Chapter 23 No Singing in the Shower 330
Chapter 24 Take That, You Fuckin' War 342
Chapter 25 The Comeback Kids 356
Chapter 26 The $300,000 Home Run 373
Epilogue: V-Mail 388