Who's on First: Replacement Players in World War II
During World War II, 533 players made the major league debuts. More than 60% of the players in the 1941 Opening Day lineups departed for the service and were replaced not only by first-times but also many oldsters. Hod Lisenbee was 46. POW Bert Shepard had an artificial leg, and Pete Gray had only one arm. The 1944 St. Louis Browns had 13 players classified 4-F. These are their stories. More
This is a book about baseball’s true “replacement players.”
During the four seasons the U.S. was at war in World War II (1942-1945), 533 players made their major-league debuts. There were 67 first-time major leaguers under the age of 21 (Joe Nuxhall the youngest at 15 in 1944). More than 60 percent of the players in the 1941 Opening Day lineups departed for the service. The 1944 Dodgers had only Dixie Walker and Mickey Owen as the two regulars from their 1941 pennant-winning team.
The owners brought in not only first-timers but also many oldsters. Hod Lisenbee pitched 80 innings for the Reds in 1945 at the age of 46. He had last pitched in the major leagues in 1936. War veteran and former POW Bert Shepard, with an artificial leg, pitched in one game for the 1945 Senators, and one-armed outfielder Pete Gray played for the St. Louis Browns.
The war years featured firsts and lasts. The St. Louis Browns won their first (and last) pennant in 1944 — a feat made more amazing by the fact that they had not finished in the first division since 1929. The 1944 team featured 13 players classified as 4-F. The Chicago Cubs appeared in the 1945 World Series but have not made it back since.
In addition to player biographies, a chapter on each team in wartime in included. Some 53 members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) have contributed to this volume. We invite you to sit back and relax as you learn Who's on First?
Includes contributions by: Alan Cohen, Ashlie Christian And Armand Peterson, Bill Nowlin, Bob Brady, Bob Lemoine, Bob Mayer, Bob Webster, Charles Faber, Charlie Weatherby, Chris Rainey, Cort Vitty, David Finoli, David M. Jordan, David Raglin And Barb Mantegani, David W. Pugh, Don Zminda, Duke Goldman, Greg Erion, Gregg Omoth, Gregory H. Wolf, J. G. Preston, James D. Smith, Iii, Jay Hurd, Jeff Marlett, Jeff Obermeyer, Jim Sweetman, Joanne Hulbert, John Shannahan, Leslie Heaphy, Lyle Spatz, Marc Lancaster, Marc Z Aaron, Mark S. Sternman, Mel Marmer, Merrie A. Fidler, Michael Huber, Michael Huber And Rachel Hamelers, Mike Mcclary, Peter C. Bjarkman, Rex Hamann, Rich Bogovich, Richard Cuicchi, Richard Moraski, Rory Costello And Lou Hernández, Seamus Kearney, Sidney Davis, Steve Smith, Thomas Ayers, Tom Hawthorn, Walter Leconte
Partial Table of Contents:
The Business of Baseball
During World War II
“But Where is Pearl Harbor?” Baseball and the Day the World Changed, December 7, 1941
The Tri-Cornered War Bond Baseball Game
Mystery Member of the ‘45 Braves
John “Fats” D’Antonio
Tomás de la Cruz
New York Giants
St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox
The Frostbite League: Spring Training 1943-45
The 1944 Red Sox: What Could Have Been
Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees
St. Louis Browns
Senators Who Died in Combat
The All-Star Games in the War Years
Wartime Baseball: Minor Leagues, Major Changes (San Diego to Buffalo)
Impact of WWII on the Negro Leagues
Baseball’s Women on the Field During WWII
In-season Exhibition Games During Wartime
The Double Victory Campaign and the Campaign to Integrate Baseball
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