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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
by John Klima


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
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More About The Game Must Go on by John Klima
 
 
 
Overview

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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250064790
  • ISBN-10: 1250064791
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
  • Publish Date: May 2015
  • Page Count: 432


Related Categories

Books > Sports & Recreation > Baseball - History
Books > History > Military - World War II
Books > History > United States - 20th Century

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-03-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, it appeared as though baseball might be doomed, as established players and up-and-comers alike enlisted with the armed services. Klima's chronicle of the survival of the great American pastime during WWII zips along and offers great depictions of the players who made baseball history. He enthusiastically brings to life Hank Greenberg, the Detroit Tigers slugger who was the first Major League player to enter the Army; Pete Gray, the astonishing one-armed center fielder who played one season in the majors for the St. Louis Browns; and Billy Southworth Jr., whose father managed the St. Louis Cardinals, and who later died flying a B-17 during the war. He hits all the big names along the way as well: Stan Musial, Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, and Satchel Paige. Klima (Bushville Wins!) clearly illustrates that much of baseball as we know it today—the amateur draft, free agency, and the integration of African-American and Latino players, among other elements—took shape between 1941 and 1945. (Apr.)

 
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