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That's the legendary green monster the left field wall.
At Boston's Fenway Park.
Home -- the Boston Red Sox I'm Oliver North.
This is war stories.
During World War II.
Ballparks like Fenway were -- greatest -- for millions of Americans tonight -- story on America's national past time.
And the people who played it.
Helped boost the country's morale during the war.
More than 500 Major League ballplayers.
And 4000 minor leaguers served in the military.
Star players like Ted Williams Bob Feller Joseph DiMaggio and Warren -- traded one uniform for another.
War stories sat down with some of baseball's greatest legends to talk about those dark days join us tonight pro war stories -- From the ballpark to the battlefield.
Baseball and World War II.
It was a different world.
Different generation of people Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling -- a passion beyond the game that's made -- a World Series champion.
The generation that fought in World War II continues to inspiring.
A plan based on very proud of what I do serve in the armed forces you're putting your life.
On the line for your country and the freedom of people don't even.
Living your country and -- -- just can't even put on the same things they talk about it like it happened we were supposed to go and we -- we have.
More important engine doing the ball game in this -- -- Urban Renewal and I'm no hero.
-- don't come back -- -- a World War II combat veteran baseball hall of Famer.
87 year old Bob -- legendary pitching career began in the sand lots of van meter Iowa where he was raised -- -- hog farm.
Baseball and -- -- about you play in those days.
Inaudible my father is your sense that you're going to be tried for something like baseball owns -- farm.
Under any idea that but the culminated in nine years older being your farmer all ever wanted there was a Major League Baseball putter worked.
-- a ball players have always been.
Working people that otherwise might be in the minds -- in the cotton -- Or or farming and -- as an -- bill Mallon is the author of Ted Williams at war.
You could get paid reasonably well and could be a bit of a start here and great.
Feller was good the youngest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball -- signed with the Cleveland Indians for a whopping 101000 dollars.
He was just sixteen years old.
Was that unusual bound to be that you know.
Probably was -- usual.
-- gotta -- bonus was an autographed baseball and they.
Has that contract on the piece of hotel stationery.
-- -- folks say when when you sign that there are very happy and don't really bother my mother most.
-- -- -- -- -- and I want to do.
Baseball had -- great appeal to people in both towns and cities.
To play -- parks and things and that it's just something connected to -- The American people and that time and place -- only spread.
Baseball had a grip on the American populace.
That debt -- no professional sports has ever had.
War stories -- -- -- baseball historian -- in time Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles baseball as democratic everybody has an equal opportunity.
Strike out -- to -- to succeed.
Yet the function together is that -- called America's pastime because.
From little Tillman died they all wanted to be ball.
Of course playing baseball on satellites up there since.
Best of five boys nineteen year old Dominic DiMaggio was another sand lot player who dreamt of a Major League career.
When it came to baseball -- a lot to live up to -- always.
Trailing my Brothers -- with two years owner Joseph was the Yankee put.
-- -- It is taking 36 rookie season with a New York Yankees DiMaggio had 29 home runs helped -- Yankees today pixels he's also the first rookie to play in an all star game -- always.
That through natural.
Was just from natural born baseball.
And it wasn't as easy for don't know that in 1937.
Joseph began his rise to super stardom as a Yankee a determined down -- -- Lester the minor league San Francisco seals the same team would show it started out.
Just four years earlier.
Because islanders side of that war Margaret glasses.
And this was an absolute no no -- -- Broke into baseball.
And to triple -- baseball -- analyzed from anywhere.
-- glasses but the young center -- soon learned that poor eyesight wouldn't be is only obstacle.
There was a newspaper man in San Francisco who thought that Joseph DiMaggio was a great player.
And that he was right by killing them and I -- -- -- say that young guys playing from the field from San Francisco.
Displaying their only because children.
That can itself.
Gave me the determination.
To say I'm going -- asking.
-- 37 season it -- filler announces he's gonna and next various parts of -- blatantly and movies.
His forces in Austria.
Do you remember anybody in those times talking about.
Not really of the 1938.
You can read headlines -- it was moving from one country -- -- country and then the other and -- an -- he's 39 I knew we're going to be you know war.
For the summer of 1940 Britain stood alone against the axis onslaught that it already playing France Belgium and the Netherlands.
Uses the draft comes along -- to register did you register back in Iowa -- Cleveland orexigen McDonald on Ohio Cleveland Indians ace Bob Feller had just thrown his first no hitter.
The sporting news named the strikeout -- the number one Major League player of 1940.
But -- -- war.
The effect of the draft began to be felt in the major players were getting drafted in nineteen -- Greenberg we drafted him.
And Hank Greenberg was a huge hero for the Detroit Tigers a huge home run hitter.
It was the first time -- saw this -- When they got here as a player more stories met up with mr.
Red -- 86 year old Johnny Pesky at Boston's Fenway Park.
Raised in Portland Oregon by 1941.
The former John burlesque of it should -- -- Red Sox farm teams for two years.
Did you play -- 41 season here.
No 41 -- -- -- ago I was in class being.
-- a Major -- as -- he had to shortstop position on the Red Sox roster at Fenway.
His future teammate Ted Williams had been knocking him out of the park there for two years much of our -- this if you had had.
That same season Joseph DiMaggio -- baseball fans with -- in fifth and sixth consecutive games Joseph we're tough to close.
56 and treatment work on -- computer equipment at 56.
Season ended of course and in the early October.
Ted Williams had just 406 in the final days of September.
And all the ballplayers went home couple months later December 7 1941.
The world was change.
The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor left more than 4400 Americans dead.
And -- The nation where were you on December 7 1941.
Of the Japanese.
I was coming home from -- And someone had the radio on -- going into my house the Japanese just.
Pearl Harbor and now I've -- well my god.
41 that was after my first year pro ball.
-- Nigerian living on the.
There's like Johnny Pesky we're on the brink of making the major leagues for the first time would he ever make it come.
But when you have to go off to war that that this wasn't known.
I was driving in June Chicago from the farm in Iowa to someone 1940 -- contract.
-- and I heard about the Pearl Harbor.
Two days later one of baseball's biggest stars hung up the spikes and enlisted in the navy nobody came -- -- and said.
And Bob -- not a good idea I don't think they're happy about it.
But they knew that salute the same -- everybody in this country knew it was time to fine.
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