Gardner: Roy Gleason was only MLB player wounded in Vietnam war

From Sam Gardner at on August 11, 2015:

Baseball was the least of Roy Gleason’s worries during the fall and winter of 1968, as the former Dodgers outfielder sat day after day in a room at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, recovering from injuries suffered in Vietnam that July.

At that time, Gleason wasn’t reflecting about his first major-league hit, a double in his only big-league at-bat, or whether it might also be his last. He wasn’t concerned, either, with the World Series ring that his eight games in the big leagues earned him in 1963 — a piece of memorabilia that was curiously absent when the contents of his foot locker were returned to him that November.

He wasn’t thinking about spring training or whether the shrapnel that littered the left side of his body might put him at a disadvantage if and when he reported to Vero Beach. No, Gleason, who was drafted into the Army during spring training in 1967, was just happy to be anywhere at all after the ambush, sparked by an explosion from above that came just late enough to spare him his life.

“I was just ecstatic,” the 72-year-old Gleason said in an interview with FOX Sports last week, “that I was alive and back home.”

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Originally published: August 17, 2015. Last Updated: August 17, 2015.