Keene: Honoring Texas baseball’s World War II veterans

From SABR member Anne Keene at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on May 27, 2019:

Fewer than 35 major-league baseball military veterans of the Second World War survive today. Five of these veterans live in Texas, three reside in the Fort Worth area, and they represent more than 500 major leaguers who paused their baseball careers to serve in the war.

Texas’ Greatest Generation big leaguers include Dr. Bobby Brown, 94, and Eddie Robinson, 98, of Fort Worth, Wayne “Twig” Terwilliger, 93, of Weatherford, Larry Miggins, 93, of Houston, and Frank Saucier, 92, of Amarillo. They knew Boston Red Sox hitter Ted Williams, a Marine Corps combat pilot who served in WWII and Korea, and shared the field with Jackie Robinson, an Army veteran, who broke the color barrier in baseball. As war veterans, these gentlemen know firsthand that freedom is priceless and take more pride in their military service than any laurel earned on the ballfield.

Retired cardiologist Dr. Bobby Brown, played on four World Series championships with the New York Yankees. After enrolling in Stanford University as a pre-med student, Brown joined the Navy in 1942. Known as the “Golden Boy,” he graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine while playing third base for the New York Yankees—a feat baseball fans may never again see in the majors. In 1952, Brown was called up for a second tour to serve as a doctor in the Korean War. He marched off a ship at Incheon, loaded down with equipment, on the opening day of the World Series as the Yankees faced the Brooklyn Dodgers, but never regretted his service.

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Originally published: May 30, 2019. Last Updated: May 30, 2019.