There were heroes enough representing America first and the Major Leagues next
During the dark and angry years of World War Two, hundreds of them —
Such as the first to join, Hank Greenberg, enlisting very soon after we entered combat
And seeing bitter action in the China-Burma-India Theater during his four years of
Service; Yogi Berra, who earned multiple awards, and who on June 6, 1944
Was assigned to a Navy Rocket boat, equipped with machine guns firing and
Rockets launched at German defenses on Omaha And Utah Beaches on D-Day;
Bob Feller, who enlisted two days after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, eschewed
Playing baseball games to entertain his fellow troops, and instead attended
Gunnery school and then spent more than two long years in the Pacific Theater in
Naval combat as chief petty officer; Warren Spahn, who signed on with the
Army in 1942 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge; Hank Bauer, a tough
Multi-decorated Marine who fought in the bloody Battle of Okinawa and other
Pacific conflicts; Gil Hodges, who also fought in the Battle of Okinawa, among other clashes.

But that War (and the absence of the freedom for Black players to make the Show)
Also opened up for others opportunities to make The Major Leagues — players
Such as Danny Gardella, Giants outfielder — who was hit on the head by a ball
He tried to catch but who also hit .272 with 28 homers in 121 games in 1945;
Joe Nuxhall, who in June 1944 at age 15 became the youngest player ever
To appear in an ML game — a record to this day; such as Danny Sipek, a deaf player
Brought up by the Reds in 1945 after hitting .336 and .319 for Birmingham the previous
Two years; such as Pete Gray, who in 1944, playing for the Memphis Chicks, hit .333,
Slugged .439, led that Minor League with 68 steals, was the best outfielder statistically
And then was called up to play for the St. Louis Browns —
Not bad for a young man with no right arm!

The effects of war are wide-spread and let true strength shine through the darkness —

But better that we live in light.