Keene: First, the Yankees played the Indians; then World War II took the field

From SABR member Anne Keene at the New York Times on July 28, 2018:

During World War II, baseball not only survived, it thrived. Games were turned into dazzling patriotic shows, and an extravaganza like the all-star game featuring the greats of the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers at Polo Grounds on Aug. 26, 1943, raised $800 million in war bonds.

But another war-relief game that summer, which raised far less money, left an enduring mark on baseball.

On July 28, 1943, the main event came after the Cleveland Indians beat the Yankees, 6-2, at Yankee Stadium.

A United States Navy baseball team known as the Cloudbusters, manned by major league players training to become fighter pilots, took the field to face a blended Yankees and Indians team branded as the Yanklands.

The team names may have been unfamiliar to the fans, but the players were not. The Yanklands were managed by Babe Ruth, who had been recruited to reel in dollars for the exhibition, one of several games that season designed to benefit war-relief efforts and the American Red Cross.

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Originally published: July 30, 2018. Last Updated: July 30, 2018.