30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Night Five: World War II Veterans

I've always had a deep admiration and have been fascinated by athletes who set their careers to the side and risked their lives to help protect our country during times of war.  The take the word "sacrifice" to a completely different level.

Tonight, I thought I'd share five pieces of sports memorabilia from my collection of baseball hall of famers who happened to fight for our freedom during World War II.

#1:  Warren Spahn

1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #WS

Spahn was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, where they were surrounded by Germans in the middle of one of the coldest winters on record.

#2:  Jerry Coleman 

Jerry Coleman Autographed Ball
(Tristar Authenticated)

Coleman flew 57 combat missions in a Douglas SBD Dauntless as part of the VMTB-341 (Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 341) against the Japanese in the South Pacific.

#3:  Yogi Berra

1999 Century Legends Epic Signatures #YB

Berra was on a boat 300 yards off the coast of Omaha Beach on June 6th, 1944.  D-Day.  Their task was to protect the troops landing on the beach with machine guns and rockets against the Germans.

#4:  Bob Feller

Bob Feller Autographed Ball

Feller served on the USS Alabama as a Chief Petty Officer from 1943 to 1945.  The USS Alabama was involved in a handful of battles in the Pacific Theater of Operations.

#5:  Ted Williams 

1987 Perez Steel Great Moments
(PSA/DNA Authenticated)

Technically Williams didn't see any active combat during World War II.  However he did spend three years during the war learning how to fly while setting several combat training records.  After the war, he returned to baseball.  In 1952 he was recalled to active duty and served in the Korean War where he flew 39 combat missions.

I'd like to thank all of these guys and the millions of other brave men and women who have served or who are currently serving in our country's armed forces to protect and keep our country safe.  Words cannot truly express how grateful I am for the sacrifices made for me, my family, my friends, my students, and all of the other people who live in this great country.

Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. I knew you'd come through with a Veteran's Day-themed list. These legends truly were American heroes. As baseball fans we all ponder what their career stats would be like had they not lost so many years to WW2 - but what would our country have lost without their service?

    Also, I want a poster-sized copy of that Williams card framed and hanging up in my office. That's a picture-perfect card.

  2. Makes ya think how many future Stan the Mans, Bob Fellers, Yogi Berras, poets, authors, and scientists didn't make it back. What potential was lost to humanity

  3. Great post. I really enjoyed. Thanks.

  4. It's quite incredible the things you do in times like WWII. All these players did what they could to help just like other people from so different backgrounds and professions. I love to read and watch docs about WWII(it's kinda morbid sometimes...but it was such an important moment in worlds history...and we who still were born during Cold War, maybe still feel a bit more connected to WWII than younger people). So this post was quite a reading. I've known players did served USA in WWII but didn't know the details where they were station or what they did. Great post. One to pin to remember.

  5. chris - great point. every soldier played a role in the war. as for the williams... that's exactly why i chased this specific card. love dick perez paintings

    brady - very true. that's why i'll never take my freedom for granted.

    bulldog - thanks for taking the time to read it :)

    ana lu - i'm a huge fan of wwii documentaries and movies too. i watch band of brothers on hbo at least once a year.