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Game Must Go On : Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball On the Home Front in WWII

Game Must Go On : Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball On the Home Front in WWII - image 1 of 1

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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.

Baseball and the struggle to keep the game going at home during the war; the pivotal role played by President Roosevelt; and the divergent career paths of Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg and St. Louis Browns outfielder Pete Gray. Greenberg was the top slugger in the game when he joined the Army in 1941 and did not return to the majors until mid-1945. He represented the star player gone to war ? players such as Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn and other legends who sacrificed large parts of their careers for the war effort. Many other lesser-known but courageous ballplayers saw combat on land, sea and air ? in fighting against the Germans and the Japanese.
Taking their place were replacement players who didn?t belong in the majors in the first place, but whose resolve to see the game go on helped push the country to victory. Pete Gray was the most extreme replacement player of them all ? a one-armed outfielder who played the 1945 season with the Browns. He overcame the odds to fulfill his dream and in doing so became a shining example of baseball on the home front.
Together, everyone pulled together for victory, and Greenberg and Gray played each other in the last pennant race of World War II, because as FDR said before he died?The Game Must Go On.
Number of Pages: 418
Genre: Sports + Recreation, History
Sub-Genre: History, Armed Forces
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Author: John Klima
Language: English
Street Date: May 5, 2015
TCIN: 17178540
UPC: 9781250064790
Item Number (DPCI): 247-03-2458
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$23.79
MSRPReg: $27.99 Save $4.20 (15% off)
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