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Author Topic: Tigers re-start spring training today at the CoPa  (Read 58 times)
Master of disaster

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« on: July 01, 2020, 10:17:10 AM »

WITH sports all but destroyed by the Chinese Lung AIDS, it's at least a little relief that the boys of summer are re-taking the field after a disastrous month of "negotiations" that alienated just about everybody.

Even during WWII it wasn't this weird for baseball, which started "spring training" on today, July 1st, when it's 90 degrees out.  It's not to make comparisons to WWII given the strangeness.

During WWII FDR specifically kept baseball going throughout the war, despite several of the sports greatest stars either volunteering or being drafted, including legends like Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams.  34 future Hall of Famers would eventually serve in the war.

For the Tigers, it meant losing one of their greatest players:

"Detroit Slugger Hank Greenberg, a celebrated star of the time and future Hall of Famer, received his draft call on May 7, 1941.

"Hammerin' Hank" had played in three World Series and two all-star games - he hit 58 home runs in 1938 (just two short of Babe Ruth's 1927 record) and was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1940.

Greenberg gave up his $55,000 yearly salary for $21 per month Army pay and reported to Fort Custer, Michigan. He told The Sporting News, "If there's any last message to be given to the public, let it be that I'm going to be a good soldier."

Greenberg was 30 at the time and effectively ended his career to re-join.  He had previously served and even though there was a law which exempted ex-warriors from the draft if they were 28 years or older, Hank re-joined anyway.

While the players today aren't taking the same risks, it must be acknowledged that there is at least some.  And yes, they are paid vastly more then $55K even in adjusted dollars, but in a real sense it won't matter - the boys of summer are back, and that's a good thing.

Hammering Hank, what a stud

« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 10:22:16 AM by jdv » Logged

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