30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Real American Heroes

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of the word "hero" is a person who is greatly admired.

The word came up in one of my classes yesterday after a student asked why they had tomorrow off.  We discussed how Veterans Day is a special day where we honor those how have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  A few students shared names of their family members and friends who are currently in the military, which eventually led to the conversation of "heroes".

When asked who my "hero" is... the first person that popped into my head was my father.  I actually consider both of my parents to be my heroes, but for different reasons.

While I was growing up, Mama Fuji stayed at home, took care of the family when we were sick, helped me with my homework, and played catch with me in the front yard... whereas Papa Fuji supported his family, instilled character into his children, motivated us to try our best and be honorable human beings.

When I was older, I found out that my father served in the Korean War and that's when it hit me.  Papa Fuji was a real American hero.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a Whitey Ford autograph for my left-handed pitcher project and after reading up on him, I discovered that he too served stateside for the U.S. Army in 1951 and 1952 during the Korean War.

Well kicked off a chain reaction and before I knew it, I was reading up on a bunch of MLB players who served in the military during the war.

Teddy Ballgame Flew 39 Combat Missions in Korea

The Colonel Flew 63 Combat Missions in Korea

The Say Hey Kid was Drafted in 1952: Served Stateside

Mr. Cub was Drafted in 1951: Served in Germany

Mr. Neighbors was a Pilot with 13th Bomb Squadron
Missing in Action: August 8th, 1952

Now in the past, I've often told my students that parents, family members, police officers, fire fighters, doctors, teachers, and other people who are good role models in their immediate lives make excellent "heroes"... while encouraging to rethink famous people they've never met.

But after reading about all of these gentlemen and other great Americans who made sacrifices for our country... I'm starting to reevaluate my definition of "hero".

Thank you Dad.  Thank you Whitey.  Thank you Mr. Neighbors.  Thank you Ernie.  Thank you Willie.  Thank you Jerry.  Thank you Ted.  And thank you to all of our military veterans who have served your country.  You're all real American heroes in my book.

Happy Veterans Day!


  1. Unreal to have think of all the players who served in the armed forces, even during the primes of their careers. Different times.

    1. I know right... Ted Williams would have had 600 home runs easy. Different times for sure.

  2. Great post Fuji. My dad is also a Korean War vet

    1. Thanks. I've sort of been on a Korean War kick lately. Can't wait to sit down with my dad and hear some first hand history.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Matthew! Hope things are going well. Sorry haven't been able to read everyone's blogs lately... but I hope to catch up on everyone's posts over the Thanksgiving break.