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They -- at the top -- -- game and know what you're.
And heroes don't come back for more.
But for them sacrifice wasn't just about scoring models we've come quite to that from my address.
If Williams had to do something I would do it without question and those orphans.
Well from the ballpark.
To the battlefield.
Baseball and World War II.
That's next on war stories.
That's the legendary green monster the left field wall at Boston's Fenway Park.
-- the Boston Red Sox I'm Oliver North this is war stories.
During World War II ballparks like Fenway were a great escape from millions of Americans tonight one story on the national pastime.
And the people who played it.
Who's the country's morale during the war.
More than 500 Major League ball players and 4000 minor leaguers served in the military.
Star players like Ted Williams Bob Feller Joseph DiMaggio and warrants bond 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 -- It was a different world.
Then a different generation of people.
Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling has a passion beyond the game that's made -- -- World Series champion.
The generation that fought in World War II continues to inspiring.
A plan based on very proud of what I do you serve in the armed forces -- putting your life.
On the line for your country in the freedom of people don't even.
Live in your country and -- -- just can't people balancing steps.
They talk about it like it happened we were supposed to go and we when we -- more important to do when the ball game in this.
-- Urban Renewal that I know what you're.
Heroes don't come back from wars.
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 harsh -- to the bathroom and you play -- -- -- Inaudible my father -- -- sense that you're going to be tried for something like baseball -- farm.
-- never had any idea that culminated in nine years older urban farmer Oliver wanted to it was a Major League Baseball putter worked.
On a ball players have always been working.
People that otherwise might be in the minds -- in the cotton.
Or or farming and baseball is an escape bill -- who's the author of Ted Williams at war.
You could get paid reasonably -- 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 in 1935.
He was just sixteen years old.
Was that unusual -- to be that.
You know probably was unusual.
I -- -- bonus that was an autographed baseball and -- That contract on a piece of hotel stationery.
Which -- folks say when when you signed up that are very happy and don't really bother my mother most.
I never got homesick.
-- doing what I want to do.
Baseball had -- a great appeal to people in both towns and cities.
Play it parks and things and it into something connected to -- The American people -- that time and place and only spread.
Baseball had a grip on the American populace that that no professional sports.
Has ever had.
More stories that that would baseball historian -- and time Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles baseball -- everybody has an equal opportunity.
Strikeout per -- -- -- Yet the function together as a team called America's pastime because.
From little Tillman died they all wanted to be ball.
Of course playing baseball on.
Her youngest of five boys nineteen year old Dominic DiMaggio was another sand lot player who -- -- a Major League career.
When it came to baseball he had a lot to live up to I always.
Trailing my Brothers Carroll is two years -- Joseph was the Yankees put.
-- -- -- It's taking 36 rookie season with a New York Yankees -- -- example Bruins -- Yankees today so he's also the first rookie to play in an all star game you always.
That from natural.
It was just from natural born baseball.
-- -- This wasn't as easy for -- that in 1937.
Joseph began his rise to super -- as a Yankee a determined down league the last two of 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 -- man and a broken -- baseball.
Into triple -- baseball let's analyze from and you.
Of the young center -- soon learned that poor eyesight wouldn't be -- only obstacle.
There was a newspaper man in San Francisco.
Who thought that Joseph DiMaggio was a great -- And then he denied by killing them and I -- -- -- -- -- young guy playing from the field San Francisco.
Displaying their only because children.
That in itself.
Gave me the determination.
To say I'm going forward skin.
I'm 37 season it'll filler announces he's -- and next various parts of some people and -- lose his forces and Austria.
If you remember anybody in those times.
-- -- -- Not really but the 1938.
You can read headlines note it was moving from one country -- one country and then the other and planet he's turning I knew we're going to be you know war.
For the summer of 1940 Britain's little -- against the axis onslaught that have already played France Belgium and the Netherlands.
Didn't draft comes along -- -- registered register back in Iowa including.
An 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 as the war.
The effect of the draft began to be felt in the major players were getting drafted in nineteen -- Greenberg drafted him.
And -- Greenberg was a huge hero for the Detroit Tigers a huge home run hitter.
It was the first time so -- well when I got here as a player more stories met up with mr.
-- -- 86 year old Johnny -- at Boston's Fenway Park.
Raised in Portland Oregon by 1941.
The former -- but let's give it should play -- Red Sox farm teams for two years.
Did you play through -- season here.
No 41 -- it really ago I was in class being.
-- -- -- -- As pesky -- 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 I think I -- -- here they have.
That same -- Joseph DiMaggio amazed baseball fans with -- and fifth and sixth consecutive games Joseph was tough and close.
He's top commuter and -- -- at 56.
Season ended of course and -- early October.
I had 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 shocked the nation where were you on December 7 and.
From 41 and the Japanese.
I was coming home from mass.
And someone had the radio on just go into my house the Japanese just.
Pearl Harbor and now live oh my god.
41 -- -- after my first year Pro -- I think you're living on.
It's like Johnny Pesky we're on the brink of making the major leagues for the first time.
What he ever make it now but we have to go off to war that there just wasn't known.
I was driving into -- Carlo from the farm in Iowa to someone 1942 contract.
And heard about the Pearl Harbor.
Two days later one of baseball's biggest stars hung up spikes and enlisted in the navy nobody can -- and said.
About color not a good idea I don't think they're happy about it.
But -- -- salute the same with everybody in this country -- -- -- time to -- For more stories returns the fascinating story of gold -- Baseball's things.
It will lead to Europe but the Pacific America's love of Major League Baseball was in -- How do you justify playing baseball.
When our country's life has threatened it just seems income growth and -- -- -- -- on Atlantis.
Kennesaw mountain Landis was the Commissioner of Baseball went straight to the top for guidance in the game's future kind of wrote a letter.
Asking permission Franklin Roosevelt -- baseball continued during this national emergency viewing your orders and Roosevelt wrote.
The famous response which is called the green light letter I honestly feel that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going that meant that the folks in baseball -- official stamp of approval.
Georgia native and future baseball hall of Famer -- -- are well was -- 24 year old radio broadcaster when he enlisted in the Marines are -- begin writing for the marine magazine leather neck.
I did stories and -- news.
About the fellas that had their.
-- in sport before they enlisted in the Marines.
Or maybe some stories about the marine -- right that.
On April 18 1942 lieutenant colonel Jimmy Doolittle let a daring bombing raids that targeted mainland Japan.
As always surprise attack on -- harbor the Japanese have been rampant in the Pacific.
Doolittle raid was the -- good news for America in World War II but many never -- the major leaguer who played the bulls in the mission success.
Journeyman catcher in Princeton grad.
Over the city -- -- conflict different languages that he committed any of them Moe berg is -- -- in 1934.
He played for the American all stars that went over Japan.
And the harbors those pictures used by June 2.
After quitting baseball in 1939 the mystery is where we can music like the -- for the Office of Strategic Services.
He was a great conversation with -- -- -- don't do very intelligent but I had no idea that -- was fine.
According to -- they came into the Red Sox and I got to finish the year out tech.
Williams had three years in the major leagues.
And they hit it -- somehow.
Had six sportswriters about 510.
-- -- -- from what Jeff combination in a way of Williams had to do something I would do without question.
Ted Williams -- we needed to serve the country and that when he finished out that 1942 season.
He had Johnny Pesky actually signed up program.
To learn how to become naval pilots.
It was related to get called and luckily we got to finish the year.
Pesky -- Williams may have been on the way to flight school but her fellow red -- down -- -- -- you know poor vision once again become an obstacle.
Told meaning I'm sorry dollars and I can.
Because -- my time and say look I want to be in the navy he said I could draft a letter.
And an -- the war department and request.
That you would like to -- Taken into the pain because we feel that you know athletic ability we'll offset here hindsight.
Sixty days later I have in the mean if you look at their rosters compared to 1943 roster -- say it's important to.
Things would lose like eight or 91010.
There's players -- off toward the all American girls professional baseball league was formed to fill the void and -- of Spain.
The stock was off.
By that we had him.
Really great times with different team and we really had to fight to him.
Putting year old budding talent for the court -- -- will have an eventual eleven teams in the league when listings that are out there.
And -- -- for.
-- -- Player who felt the squeeze of the draft with twenty year old self ball in Missouri native -- mark.
In 1942 we was pitching with a saint Paul saints who locals say and cinema draft notice.
And that -- combat engineers it would.
Jump -- clips and book reviews from obstacles it would be almost a year before -- shipped out from North Africa.
That he got a taste of what lay ahead commanding officer.
We demonstrating -- yourself.
And -- often and guilty as Martin continued training in the swamps of Louisiana Bob Feller had already decided.
He didn't want to -- -- naval -- I was going to be physical fitness instructor in the medium.
But and I met with the program and -- -- more college.
Took my assignment aboard the battleship Alabama.
Was commissioned in Norfolk and Hampton roads -- -- -- we sent him and you get to be used to -- or chiefs and officers and regularly do like.
It's a tournament and if you like that -- not a -- where a war to fight one.
Shipping out here it was rough on hall of Famer money urban.
In more ways than one.
That's next on war stories.
I only 94.
43 the United States was -- and -- Most major and minor leaguers -- traded one uniformed throw another.
Many of them were offered noncombat roles was -- preferential treatment only to.
That player allowed it to be sure I got privileges.
But I didn't want him while -- combat in Alabama.
When the Alabama's commissions she goes initially -- -- -- gunners -- chief at that point.
I did the job as a gun captain -- -- firing so you got fired but it was a treasure.
Hunters who got his attention to salute -- were coming after.
Like -- aboard the Alabama and other midwestern boy playing minor league ball was about to go straight from the diamond for the -- Lucy and just -- her -- and since the season.
Then you can during.
-- born and raised on the hill and Saint Louis future hall of Famer Lawrence Yogi Berra -- at a young age baseball was his future.
Your parents were immigrants that come from new coach and my dad and go from there have -- useful for instance you go to work.
My oldest brother of both hopeful and saying he could roll Cleveland my dad would let him go.
And you have to progress sentencing was browns and -- don't want to remind -- and -- -- sensible reasonable person who can only go.
They're the ones who.
Given the chance to go and I always -- my dad said dad.
You know from -- and they're born -- and then there.
Eighteen year old girl was playing for the cars and Norfolk Virginia when he joined the navy in 1943.
There through violence and reluctant bull.
Joined did you know how close ensure those things were supposed to get knowledge -- know darn thing hard.
I just wondered if it did do so move.
In this instance.
The train alone.
They've been but then enjoyed -- I don't boat.
-- on the West Coast another eighteen year old California native Jerry Coleman.
Had just finished high school in his first season in the minors when he entered the naval aviation cadet.
Program you start at 530 every day go -- 930 at night and then there's always something happening very little of that time off to enjoy yourself.
Poll and wound up flying for the Marines the decision motivated by one of world war two's greatest pilots until -- And running around Guadalcanal and I've gone -- my training period and I wanted to kill four can.
I really did -- know probably to become a marine whatsoever.
Born in Alabama and one of ten children.
Future hall of Famer Monte -- grew up playing baseball and orange New Jersey.
I had five Brothers and not enough -- justice.
And we all played baseball a -- -- -- high school superstar money was well on his way to becoming a professional athlete.
Like America baseball was segregated.
-- -- for the Negro League I got to know all on the building.
Changed and -- Negro League stars after that I grew up try to emulate them -- I got into.
And an eagerly preparing to return for another season of summer ball urban path took a different term -- -- drafted.
And all of a sudden got to go to the army and leave alive leave -- -- and so -- So my whole world changed after his training urban and the rest of the thirteen thirteenth general service -- -- -- for England.
Do you remember that it would -- you're on it Britannia.
-- -- big English ship how's the weather term.
Which -- was good thing because the weather.
Kept the submarine from -- they didn't move the ship -- -- nineteen days later.
We -- landed in Liverpool England.
As America -- -- boys across the globe.
-- -- in the forty ninth combat engineers found themselves in the unforgiving say a lot of north Africa's Sahara Desert.
Think it was November and shipped out from North Africa.
Pat and Montgomery -- the allies to victory driving the desert -- Erwin Rommel out of North Africa.
For that mission complete the forty ninth combat engineers were off to their next battle.
Arriving in England Maureen Martin could tell something big was coming we knew -- Don't you -- and said you're gonna serve a lot by just watching.
-- war stories returns.
You'll hear it -- the Normandy invasion.
In one single -- -- Berlin 606.
The American bombers dropped 16100 tons of bombs.
Over -- 170 German fighters were blown from the sky.
In the Pacific simultaneous drive toward Tokyo by general Douglas macarthur's army.
And admiral Chester Nimitz is navy and Marines -- allied landings and Y -- you know we talk.
-- -- In May of that year Johnny Pesky Finnish navy flight training.
What it was now commission is instant but that's image earning his wings proved harder in fielding a ground my -- wasn't exactly the best thing.
I scared you -- import.
Particularly his teammate and fellow aviator Ted Williams only -- terrible that.
But that's a good little -- -- who -- Lara ever stopped at a pesky flu an airplane like he had stolen -- yeah that's right yes very nice man.
Ted Williams -- says you have to be the dumbest guy I've ever been around one of the shortstop shortcomings.
Navigation I could.
Why I didn't know where the hell I was going.
Without I'm an -- -- -- -- Amadeus you know and I and the Louisville and rollovers in the -- -- -- Well I go back and I have no idea alignment that kind of panicked and didn't.
Land -- aircraft in this field -- felt like god and -- so anyway.
If -- -- comes over here with the matters study a lot yesterday was -- employees throughout airports.
He's so I thank him.
I'm going down this field I'm not a wide open.
About halfway down and his big tree.
-- -- was pulled back and my stick.
I go there's an airport right there that had -- talented.
We were flagged me.
In late spring of 44 more important -- -- and Yogi Berra were all in southern England.
When you've got to England did you know that you -- gonna make the Norman England.
No we found out there.
-- out there that -- for training and good things -- -- -- -- -- for an invasion of -- -- playing baseball with no.
And -- there altering altering.
What impressed us more and anything else was called the equipment.
The in the nation in penalties.
And the trucks and the tanks and gasoline alcohol stacked up and and alongside the road we knew that you know the invasion there buddy did you see a lot of sign of the damage done by the Luftwaffe.
We did you know they clashed at -- Clement.
-- getting a chance to go to London caused vomiting constantly sentinel both bomb though there.
We -- we knew about him.
As money -- -- prepared for the invasion of Normandy boring marked the rest of Charlie company forty ninth combat engineers still -- English Channel.
Whether it was a bad for a while social we couldn't get -- Our doors and stepped up water waist -- we don't.
Martin what historical all week.
Political -- it's up to 5000.
And related and the day 6 June 1944.
Artillery over what is going on.
My cousin came in I think it was two hours after I I did.
He was killed -- that would be.
Did you have a sense when that leanings and way.
What do momentous.
Event you're engaged and those wholesome grains and promote and ordered him.
Like a black -- Seaman first class Yogi Berra was aboard a rocket boat.
Designed to -- German positions at -- all beat.
Carlson yes that's when they're.
Sports -- musical -- and -- who said what and who wouldn't and didn't.
-- -- -- -- You get into it get there until -- first of August and we went we had an Omaha Beach.
And I'll never will forget this gives a big -- college -- of across the entrance.
And besides sit through these portals.
America's finest soldiers have -- -- release of and we -- bridge before we got in Maryland river we had to capture that and hold it -- we.
And -- -- -- the bridge by.
It took it from us we don't you.
Thousand miles from clients the Japanese held island of Guam Saipan tinian -- under American attack and Bob Feller on the USS Alabama was there.
Our target area was -- -- on the west side of the and beside him.
And leveled with it and after.
For the ladies the Alabama turned to the task of defeating a Japanese cover stroke.
Japanese chief of staff at -- we -- Toyota were the mobile fleet.
Nine carrier's five battleships and fourteen losers who repel the invasion.
The skies over the marianas islands some 1000 American and Japanese planes.
He's -- the greatest dog fight ever.
Decided to double the got a rich if I pulled the trigger as flight.
Shipment but and yeah.
Everything from an interval we did you never knew what and what we'll probably won't.
-- -- -- Marianas -- -- it's one of the great victories of World War II didn't work out too well for the Japanese.
-- -- he was over.
-- -- -- -- -- Roosevelt's decision to keep baseball going benefited more than those working for victory on the home front.
Were broadcast on the radio work is so important -- the men and women overseas they gave them hope that it McManus.
Very important to have that feeling that.
Something good was happening back home and we could follow it wherever we would go.
You can to -- you always got to -- listening was good the plane was even better baseball played -- -- Involved there were about to get that up was very very hard -- product he's.
Military also put on games between the troops and raise money through -- blown -- And national pastime gets on the bandwagon.
And -- diamond festival has put on that a Major League.
800 million dollars is that an illusion of baseball fans but the problem.
When I was an enemy.
We had a pretty good baseball team down brought up -- Play -- game against the Red Sox and when are the price of admission if I remember correctly with the -- Sold ago.
-- -- -- -- -- And it was baseball an important morale factor for Americans.
Well they said it was -- know what we've we've played we've had some teams.
The forward area is one of them places like that they had some good teams probably had better players who have played in the major.
Baseball also became a way to settle age old rivalries.
-- -- series played in Hawaii in the summer of 44.
-- was challenged to a world Pacific World Series.
Sent to a human where are our best baseball -- And ailments -- always gotta feeling according to -- a couple analysts here and Australia.
Nine cents cents home.
Bring them hidden within 48 hours we have -- -- game high school board role.
-- and then there is proof your resume on me in from Australia.
I mean we were slaughtered in the -- -- -- -- war stories returns Jerry Coleman starts flying -- bombing missions in the South Pacific.
I was scared you know I was -- my daughter anything I for the Japanese what they're up against it would never serve.
And -- -- of flight school Jerry Coleman arrived at Guadalcanal and August of 44.
He was assigned in the and that's been recording one a marine attack squadron known as the -- turtles who wants.
You go to war with turtle.
But we were stationed -- first that.
Green island -- in the Philippines with what was your first aircraft this morning.
It wasn't as he'd be dive bomber known as.
What kind of bombs and thousand.
What they call those grass -- he definitely.
I wonder if there.
-- and applying.
How many -- If you.
The mission I hated most of all the factors that are.
Nothing around the water and applied.
Sort of thing you do something for shipping whatever was hated.
As Coleman battled the Japanese of those guys Bob Feller continue to faced them on the Philippines city.
When you're in -- enormous and can US cents from being part of something that is.
I'm not really.
You know when -- -- you -- -- what did you think your moral.
He's gonna happen during the course we were aware of the -- leader we had a very menace that he was tall orders you wrote -- a couple really big typhoons well.
We had a hundred million mile sustained winds -- 220 guys some three destroyers.
There are no typhoons in Europe that -- the winner of 44 that was slow lots of end bone chilling cold.
Scores could be human -- you know since the world shall call.
And this and that we will have more you know concerned about keep them warm and then we -- about fighting.
It was well -- I can remember Christmas morning.
Sitting up against three.
And I don't wish gold -- and -- my feet where -- are not.
On that frigid Christmas morning more important was one of thousands of Shiites in the -- and forced -- -- You're facing there's less cash and massive German counterattack.
-- -- -- -- Speaking on the ground.
Rain -- I wish the new unified.
Because they wouldn't on the most of them in the -- made him.
Great to go to my uniforms.
And spoke perfect English that -- sort of questions like.
Hit homeowners -- -- saying we're.
The battle of the bulge cost more than 101000 American lives and was one of the bloodiest engagements -- bulwark through.
Money Irvin and his engineers were in brands hoping for a piece of the action.
Probably about -- have not been able to make the big contribution we wanna fight to us from -- -- drafted him.
Gratitude changed really got a little advice from a sergeant just back from the front.
Germany 88 very deadly hit very accurate.
Hey should it bother you guys I wouldn't complain -- much anymore.
You know what we did at Laurie Martin's survive the battle of the bulge but in march of 45 he was shot in the leg while on patrol in Germany.
You have to lately.
And so nurse looked at -- record so.
Occupation baseball player.
And particularly get this new drug now.
She's -- to kill is infections are.
Confusion -- operation and making you -- that the new drug was penicillin she signaling.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- I -- she was from Georgia.
They may 1945.
As more and Martin lay in -- hospital Germany's surrender ended the war in Europe.
In the Pacific the fierce battle for open already.
The US forces closed in on Japan.
Is you're -- get.
-- to go Detroit in -- against Japan yet.
You know we've told me in my group Japan are also to pick up a -- and hit the mainland in November of 1945.
Operation downfall a two part plan to invade mainland Japan was scheduled to begin November.
But in August 2 atomic bombs made downfall.
It's estimated one million American casualties.
That's why I'm here to this day because I really feel and I -- gonna -- that Japan and the intensity of that war there.
I might not be here.
The boys of summer return home.
That's next on war story.
The war baseball provided a welcome respite from reality piece meant two things one we had triumphed over -- And to baseball's biggest names were back on the diamond.
46 -- led the league most everything with those stores -- church and broke broke to strikeout record.
It's a no hitter in Yankee Stadium.
With a winning -- the all star game in Fenway Park.
Okay wouldn't hit two home runs.
And the broke immediately -- are consistent -- time.
I agree here in 946.
-- can we wouldn't blue moon Woodson.
Yeah have -- we'll -- it when you first saw means that.
You can enlighten them offensive -- were sort of removed sort of his visit I said yes I do it then started to lighten.
A three time American League MVP Yogi Berra played nineteen years with the Yankees.
A ten time World Series champion he was selected in the American League all star team every year.
We're going to bring computers store and share would -- the observations that you'd better you know Bob Feller.
There's a really rough where he was really rough on me until he found out I had served income.
That's -- -- can you bring beautiful time he's -- guys whose wife Carmen greatly.
As a pitcher Bob Feller won two and 66 games and struck out 2581.
Batters have been using.
And world -- Boston nearly forces.
I think four to six with a speculative for baseball.
We're able to come back.
-- are well broadcast his first game for the Atlanta crackers in 1946.
In 1960 he moved to Detroit where he announced for 42 seasons.
I've had a great life friends great part of it was thing in the Marines for four years.
I was signed by the New York Giants.
And I 1949 it would you got the information.
Useful soon that you -- Yeah.
I've been selected as a means to be the first at that time post got a way back in 1936.
So they had selected me the -- first looked up.
How can you argue with the job that -- again.
Do like to keep Jackie Robinson from scoring.
-- 51 Ruben was with the giants for one of baseball's most famous moments.
It was the deciding game of the special -- -- between New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers the state.
The National League pennant and a trip to the World Series.
In the bottom of the won't.
-- -- --
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