September 18, 2021

Remembering Baseball’s Heroes on VE-Day

May 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Baseball's Dead of World War II: A Roster of Professional Players Who Died in ServiceAs we celebrate the 65th anniversary of VE-Day, let’s take a moment to remember the 58 professional baseball players who lost their lives in the fight against Nazi Germany.

As you look through the list of names you will notice Herman Bauer, brother of Hank Bauer; Lefty Brewer, a promising young left-hander who spent some time on the bench with the Senators; Elmer Gedeon, another Senator, who played a handful of games with the big league club; Nay Hernandez, who played for the San Diego Padres and was killed in action after only being in military service for seven months; Art Keller, a promising young catcher in the Browns organization; Hank Nowak, a pitcher the Cardinals had high hopes for; Joe Pinder, a Medal of Honor winner at Normandy; Bill Sarver, a promising outfielder in the Yankees farm system; and Elmer Wright, a Browns pitcher who was among the first killed at Omaha Beach.

At the same time, let’s not forget the other 76 professional ballplayers who lost their lives fighting the Japanese or while in training in the United States.

What will it take for Major League Baseball to finally recognize these heroes of the game? These men who made baseball’s greatest sacrifice.


 

Player Name Position Years in Minors Service Date of Death
Herman A. Bauer C 1939-1941 US Army July 12, 1944 
Leonard E. “Link” Berry P 1937-1941 US Army December 24, 1944
Charles W. “Chuck” Bowers 2B 1942 US Army April 15, 1945
Forrest V. “Lefty” Brewer P 1938-1940 US Army June 6, 1944
Ordway H. “Hal” Cisgen P 1940-1942 US Army July 11, 1944
Clarence Clayton 2B 1944 US Army May 1, 1945
Howard W. DeMartini P 1937-1942 US Army December 24, 1944
John H. Fessler* IF 1938-1941 US Army June 10, 1944
Gene Gabrych* SS 1940-1941 US Army July 5, 1944
Elmer J. Gedeon OF 1939-1940 USAAF April 20, 1944
Conrad W. “Connie” Graff 1B/OF 1940-1941 US Army July 8, 1944
Alan S. Grant P 1941 USAAF December 29, 1943
William F. “Bill” Hansen OF 1941-1942 US Army Jan-45
Manuel P. “Nay” Hernandez OF 1944 US Army March 22, 1945
Ernest J. Holbrook 1B 1935-1936 US Army December 16, 1944
Ernest Hrovatic (Hrovatich) OF 1942-1943 US Army January 14, 1945
Ardys B. “Art” Keller C 36, 39-43 US Army September 29, 1944
Walter E. Lake C 1938-1940 US Army July 26, 1944
Theodore C. “Ted” Maillet P 1939-1941 US Army April 7, 1945
Dom P. Malchiodi C 1941-1942 USAAF May 31, 1945
John W. “Duck” McKee OF 1932-1934 US Army March 6, 1945
Paul V. A. Mellblom P 1938-1939 US Army January 14, 1945
George A. Meyer OF/SS 1942 US Army January 15, 1945
Joseph T. Moceri P 1941-1942 US Army June 30, 1944
William F. “Bill” Niemeyer P 40-42, 44 US Army March 4, 1945
Henry S. “Hank” Nowak P 1937-1941 US Army January 1, 1945
Joseph M. Palatas OF 1942 USAAF April 11, 1944
Metro Persoskie P/OF 1940-1942 USAAF February 22, 1944
Charles R. Pescod P 1937-1942 US Army December 2, 1944
John J. “Joe” Pinder, Jr. P 35-36, 38-41 US Army June 6, 1944
Luster Pruett* OF 1941 US Army January 11, 1945
Ernest R. Raimondi 3B 1936-1941 US Army January 26, 1945
Joseph W. Rodgers IF 1942 US Navy October 10, 1943
Michael L. Sambolich OF 1941-1942 USAAF November 4, 1944
William A. “Bill” Sarver OF 1938-1941 US Army April 6, 1945
Robert C. “Bob” Schmukal OF 1942 US Army October 3, 1944
Edward N. Schohl SS 1933-1940 US Army November 1, 1943
Carl H. “Kappy” Scott P 1934, 1936 US Army July 26, 1944
Donald R. Shelton P 1940 US Army September 15, 1944
Jack C. Siens P 1939-1940 US Navy September 10, 1943
Arthur H. “Art” Sinclair P 1938 US Army January 26, 1944
John M. “Mason” Smith P 1942 USAAF November 4, 1944
Marshall M. Sneed OF 1939-1940 USAAF February 22, 1943
Rodney L. Sooter P Did Not Play USAAF February 1, 1946
Earl V. “Lefty” Springer P 1940-1941 US Army January 25, 1945
Donald A. Stewart UMPIRE 1939-1940 Can Army March 13, 1941
Alvin “Bus” Stiewe SS 1936-1938 US Army February 15, 1945
Sylvester H. “Syl” Sturges OF 1939-1941 USAAF June 7, 1944
Steve L. Tonsick 1B 1937 US Army March 28, 1943
Joseph Vecchio* OF 1939 US Army November 16, 1944
Elmer J. Wachtler P 1942-1943 US Army January 5, 1945
Lester R. Wirkkala P 1935-1941 US Army September 7, 1944
Stanford G. Wolfson OF/IF/P 1941-1942 USAAF November 5, 1944
Alan Wray (Alan W. Lightner) OF 1939 US Army January 12, 1945
Elmere P. “Elmer” Wright P 1937-1940 US Army June 6, 1944
Frederick J. Yeske P 1941-1942 US Army December 21, 1943
John J. Zulberti IF 1937-1940 US Army January 21, 1944
George C. Zwilling SS Did Not Play US Army March 31, 1943

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