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

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Macmillan, May 5, 2015 - Sports & Recreation - 336 pages

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.


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THE GAME MUST GO ON: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII

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A sweeping saga of baseball during World War II: of the players who enlisted and fought overseas, of the ones who replaced them and of the significant changes in the culture.Most fans know that the ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

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, and The Los Angeles Times.

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