The Game Must Go on

The Game Must Go on

Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII

Book - 2015
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Baker & Taylor
"In the early days of WWII, President Roosevelt was faced with a difficult decision: stop all of professional baseball for the good of victory or lose a vital part of morale. Roosevelt's answer saved baseball for generations to come. He decided that THE GAME MUST GO ON. This is the story of American baseball during WWII, both the players who left to join the war effort, and the struggle to keep the game going on the home front. Many of the top players of the time left to join the war effort, such as Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Warren Spahn. However, no player symbolized the departing pro more than Hank Greenberg, one of the great power hitters of his time who joined the Army in 1941. Taking their place were replacement players who didn't belong in the majors in the first place, but who were resolved to keep the game going. Pete Gray was the most extreme of them all - a one-armed outfielder who played with the Browns. He overcame the odds and became a shining example of baseball on the home front. John Klima, former national baseball columnist for The Los Angeles Daily News, brings us this meticulously researched story and drops us straight into the action of WWII and classic American baseball. Culminating in the 1945 pennant race when Greenberg and Gray played each other, Klima shows us how baseball helped America win the war, and how baseball was shaped into the game it is today"--

McMillan Palgrave

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.



Baker
& Taylor

An account of how World War II impacted American baseball and how the sport in turn helped win the war describes how misfit replacements helped to keep the game alive when top players withdrew to serve in the military. By the author of Bushville Wins.
Describes the history of major league baseball during World War II, from the key players who left the league in order to join the war effort to such replacement players as Pete Gray, a one-armed outfielder who played with the Browns.

Publisher: New York, NY : Thomas Dunne Books, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250064790
Branch Call Number: 796.35764 K683g 2015
Characteristics: x, 418 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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cmlibrary_cwood Dec 21, 2015

The Game Must Go On centers on the survival of Major League Baseball during WWII as many of its best players were drafted to the War Front. Klima focuses on all of the changes MLB enacted in order to keep the game going and highlights some of the players who shined during this time both on and off the field. Overall an informative read, but it would have benefited from further editing and more focus on the characters rather than the statistics.

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