New Robert Weintraub book follows 1940s baseball players off to war

From David Martindale at The Star-Telegram on March 27, 2013, with mention of SABR member Robert Weintraub:

Imagine what big-league baseball would be like if hundreds of the game’s best players up and disappeared at the same time.

Imagine if they were away not just for part of one lost season, like in the infamous strike season of 1994, but for an excruciating span of several years. Even if the sport soldiered on with second- and third-rate replacements, the change would inevitably create an emptiness of summer.

Then picture a nation’s insatiable hunger for the game once all the greats suddenly returned.

That’s what it was like during and after the World War II years, when about 500 major leaguers, including all of the game’s biggest stars, such as Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Joe DiMaggio, exchanged their baseball duds for military uniforms.

Robert Weintraub’s The Victory Season, out Tuesday, is a meticulously researched and elegantly written chronicle of what happened in 1946, when our ballplayer-soldiers returned from duty overseas for what very well might have been the most glorious summer that baseball has ever known.

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Originally published: March 28, 2013. Last Updated: March 28, 2013.