Schuster: One season of glory: World War II players filled the gap

From SABR member Joe Schuster at The National Pastime Museum on December 13, 2017:

Even before the United States entered the Second World War in December 1941, baseball’s powers-that-be were assessing how it might affect the game. This was especially true when, in late summer 1940, Congress began debating instituting a military draft.

In response, The Sporting News ran a commentary discussing how a draft might impact the game, saying in part:

The earliest effect will be on the young player market. Scouts already have been advised to go slow on purchases of youthful, unmarried minor league players . . . . This state of affairs . . . will stimulate interest in the past-30 players, of whom too many have been scorned in the past.

As we know, Congress did institute a draft—in fact, the very week The Sporting News editorial appeared. In all, 10 million American men served in the military during the war; roughly 500 were Major Leaguers.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: December 13, 2017. Last Updated: December 13, 2017.