Baseball is revered as the National Pastime in the United States. Remember, it was baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and some car company. The game captures the enduring image of the American spirit. Hand-in-hand with baseball in shaping the American image is our military.
Looming largest in the combined history of the two will always be World War II, when the players united with the fans, and baseball went to war. Some of the enduring memories of that time happened not on the playing field, but on the battle field. Stars on one, heroes on the other. Baseball was the greatest game, played by the greatest generation.
As time goes by, those who served and played have begun to leave us, and few remain. The impact of what happened will fade, but will never be forgotten, nor should it. There will always be those who will ensure they that we are always aware of this time.
Baseball in Wartime is a website dedicated to the memory and legacy of those who served. Brought to us by Gary Bedingfield, a Brit who is founder and editor of the site. As Gary calls states, it was 'Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice':
World War II was a trying time for the United States and equally so for baseball. More than 4,500 professional players swapped flannels for military uniforms to serve their nation and future Hall of Famers like Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams lost vital playing time in the prime of their careers. This is the story of baseball during World War II.A little about the website:
Baseball in Wartime is dedicated to preserving the memories of all baseball players (major league, minor league, semi-pro, college, amateur and high school), who served with the military during WW2. More than 16 million Americans and 1.1 million Canadians served with the Army, Navy, Army Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force and Merchant Marine in World War II. This site aims to preserve the memories of baseball during World War II and those whose baseball-playing lives were affected in some way by serving their nation.At the website, Gary provides history about the war and baseball, player biographies, an In Memoriam section, and the following areas:
This website is the beginning of a long project. The intention is to include ALL information on baseball relating to the Second World war. It's a pretty tall order but I'll certainly give it a go!
Baseball in WW2
Those Who Served
Hall of Famers
Battle of the Bulge
Additionally, Gary has a Baseball in Wartime blog, featuring many player profiles; and a newsletter to keep us updated. Additionally, as any good writer will do, Gary has published a book, Baseball's Dead of World War II.
Who is Gary:
Hi! Welcome to my website - I hope you like what you've seen so far.Gary was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, which appear below.
As you will have guessed by now my name is Gary Bedingfield. I live in Glasgow, Scotland and moved here four years ago from Enfield, north London. Why move 400 miles north? Well, this is where my wife, Lainy, is from, and Glasgow's a pretty good place to live.
Baseball during WWII has fascinated me for a long time - so much so that I've written a number of newspaper and magazine articles and a book on the subject.
This website is the beginning of a long project. The intention is to include ALL information on baseball relating to World War II. It's a pretty tall order and I doubt I'll see it completed in my lifetime but I'll certainly give it a go!
My intention with Baseball in Wartime is to make the site as interactive as possible. So I would love to hear from you. Tell me what you're interested in and why. I hope the website has what you're looking for, but if not I may well have the information stashed away in my extensive archives. If you're looking for information on something or someone in particular, email me the details and I'll do whatever I can to help.
Gary can be contatcted at firstname.lastname@example.org