The waning days of an American summer always have been a special time—a mixture of carefree pleasure and a growing poignancy that soon it all will be over—a time for the great outdoors, for barbecues, bathing suits, and of course, baseball. But during World War II, when the national pastime became superseded by the national purpose, bats and gloves were laid aside as the greats of the game answered the call. The 36 Hall of Famers who served in the Big One were just the tip of the iceberg, as more than 500 major leaguers and more than 4,000 minor leaguers made the switch from team uniform to military uniform.
Pieces of the Past
By Eric Mills