Swartout: World War II and minor-leaguers in the ‘Greatest Generation’

From Harry Swartout at Sports Illustrated on May 25, 2017, with mention of SABR members Jacob Pomrenke and Kit Crissey:

I never met my paternal grandfather, Harry Alvin Swartout. He died when my dad was just 12, but I knew two things about him: He fought in World War II and he played minor league baseball. For Memorial Day this year, I decided to finally learn more about my grandfather, and accidentally discovered an entire generation of would-be pro baseball players who sacrificed their shot at the big leagues to fight for America.

When my Grandma died a few years back, she left us a trunk filled with smoky, dusty papers and mementos, everything from the 1969 newspaper featuring the moon landing to bowling league membership cards. At the bottom, under a large box of costume jewelry, Grandma had buried Grandpa Harry’s heirlooms, essentially all that was left of his legacy. Harry Alvin would have been 93 this year and all of his close family and everybody he mentioned serving or playing ball with has died. The documents are what we have left.

Read the full article here: https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/05/25/harry-alvin-swartout-world-war-ii-minor-league-baseball

Originally published: May 25, 2017. Last Updated: May 25, 2017.