Military veterans of Major League Baseball

Hank Bauer

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hank Bauer (image right) walked away from his gig as a minor league ballplayer and enlisted the Marine Corps, volunteering for the famed Marine Raiders – the predecessor of the modern Corps’ special operations component. Bauer spent 32 months in combat, including action in the Guadalcanal, Guam, and Okinawa campaigns. On Okinawa, Bauer commanded a platoon that was nearly wiped out by a Japanese assault – he was one of only six survivors of his 64-man platoon to survive the battle. Bauer earned two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts prior to his return to baseball after the war, where he would win seven World Series championships with the Yankees – and another as manager of the Baltimore Orioles.

Author: Chris Carter

7 thoughts on “Military veterans of Major League Baseball

  1. There have been thousands of baseball players that served. This post is updated as I have time. I didn’t know Pete Rose was a soldier though, thanks!

  2. You forgot: Dusty Baker, Tug McGraw, Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Bobby Tolan, Rod Carew, Darrell Evans, Joe nDiMaggio, Mickey Lolich, and many others

  3. Thanks BIll. I found a picture of Sgt. Greenberg standing next to fellow MLB vet Hank Gowdy, who served in both World Wars. Both men have been added to the post.

  4. And Certainly don’t forget about Hank Greenberg – Detroit Tiger slugger/ Hall of Famer – I believe he was the highest paid player in baseball at the time he enlisted when they introduced the Draft…Before Pearl Harbor – he then stayed the balance of the war in the Pacific/Burmese theater – prime playing years that he missed❗❗

  5. I haven’t forgotten about the Splendid Splinter; there are so many vets that played professional football and baseball to cover.

    In fact, I am working on a piece about Hall of Fame members that were military veterans. Thank you for the reminder though!

  6. I think you forgot about Ted Williams, who flew fighters with the USMC in both WWII and Korea. He lost five years playing baseball to serve his country in combat.

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