Bates: Remembering the first major-leaguer to die in war

From SABR member Mike Bates at The Hardball Times on May 26, 2017:

The point of Achilles’ story is this: Heroes are supposed to be remembered. That’s the bargain we implicitly make with them, that their sacrifices will become part of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Of course, heroes don’t engage in their adventures, be they large or small, because of that notoriety. They do it because it’s the right thing. And it’s because they do these right things that we laud them. George Washington beat the British and willingly gave up power. Ted Williams sacrificed years of his career to fight for his country. David Denson risked his career before it even truly began to come out as gay.

But in almost all cases, we eventually fall short in this bargain. Heroes are forgotten and become lost to time. There are simply too many. With more being created every day, sadly, we can’t keep up with them all. Perhaps, in atonement, we can revisit one this Memorial Day that we don’t talk about enough. We can dust off the legacy of the first confirmed major league baseball player to be killed in action, Eddie Grant, remembering him, and by extension, all those others whom we forget.

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Originally published: May 26, 2017. Last Updated: May 26, 2017.