Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

  • Home
  • Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice Welcome to the Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice page. Remembering baseball players who lost th
(1)

Here's a crazy story about a foul ball that traveled 15 miles in World War II.
20/07/2024

Here's a crazy story about a foul ball that traveled 15 miles in World War II.

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

Yet another minor league player added to the list of those killed in military service during WWII. Doug Campbell of Miss...
22/05/2023

Yet another minor league player added to the list of those killed in military service during WWII. Doug Campbell of Missoula, Montana, was signed by the Dodgers in 1940. He briefly played with Fargo-Moorhead and later served with the Marine Corps. He was killed in action on the first day of battle on Tarawa.

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

A. D. Breeding becomes the 33rd player added to the list of minor leaguers killed during the First World War.
21/05/2023

A. D. Breeding becomes the 33rd player added to the list of minor leaguers killed during the First World War.

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

Here's the 171st minor league player to lose their life in military service during WWII. Johnny Bunnell was signed by th...
21/05/2023

Here's the 171st minor league player to lose their life in military service during WWII. Johnny Bunnell was signed by the Washington Senators at the age of 17.

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

Cliff Kraemer is the latest addition to the Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice website. A former minor league pitcher, he was...
21/05/2023

Cliff Kraemer is the latest addition to the Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice website. A former minor league pitcher, he was killed in action in Germany on March 16, 1945. You'll find his biography below.

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

As far as I can tell, minor league catcher Mike Michot is the only former professional baseball player to be awarded the...
11/08/2022

As far as I can tell, minor league catcher Mike Michot is the only former professional baseball player to be awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal in World War II.
During the 1920s, Michot played for the American Association's Louisville Colonels and in the New England League before joining the Louisville Police Department. He served with the Coast Guard during WWII and made 56 round trips across the English Channel.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/decorated/michot-mike.html

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

Although I've heard about this story before, it's good to see it hasn't been forgotten.
11/08/2022

Although I've heard about this story before, it's good to see it hasn't been forgotten.

P. Goldsmith Sons Co. from Cincinnati hid radios inside of baseball to communicate with American prisoners of war in N**i Germany. Bob Doolan, of Colerain, was one of those prisoners.

Baseball and the military has been intertwined since the Civil War with the loss of many great players over the years. B...
30/07/2022

Baseball and the military has been intertwined since the Civil War with the loss of many great players over the years. Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice strives to keep alive the memories of these soldier-athlete heroes www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com

Maybe you read my recent Baseball in Wartime newsletter that featured biographies on 172 former pro baseball players who...
13/07/2022

Maybe you read my recent Baseball in Wartime newsletter that featured biographies on 172 former pro baseball players who were killed in WWII. At the time of writing I knew the list would continue to grow. Today, I found player number 173. Ken Clark played shortstop for Fremont in 1940, batting .357 in a handful of games before being given his release. You'll find his biography in the link below.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/clark-ken.html

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

The latest edition of the Baseball in Wartime newsletter includes brief biographies on all 172 professional baseball pla...
22/06/2022

The latest edition of the Baseball in Wartime newsletter includes brief biographies on all 172 professional baseball players who lost their lives in military service during World War II.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/BIWNewsletterVol14No59June2022.pdf

Each day I walk my dog along the beach between Ardrossan and West Kilbride, and this is the view I see. Had I been here ...
06/06/2022

Each day I walk my dog along the beach between Ardrossan and West Kilbride, and this is the view I see. Had I been here in March 1944, I would have seen a military transport ship on its journey from Northern Ireland to Gourock, Scotland, about 20 miles along the coast.

On that ship was Forrest “Lefty” Brewer, a 25-year-old paratrooper with the US 82nd Airborne Division, and a former minor league baseball pitcher. Lefty won 25 games with St. Augustine in 1938 and earned a late-season spot on the bench with the Washington Senators. He never appeared in a major league game but continued to pitch in the minors until he was drafted into military service in March 1941.

After arriving at Gourock in March 1944, Lefty boarded a train for Nottingham, England, where he remained until the night of June 5, 1944, when he was among 24,000 Allied paratroopers who descended into the darkness and chaos of Normandy, France, on the eve of D-Day. Dropped miles from his intended drop-zone, Lefty – a natural leader – rounded up stragglers and led them to a rendezvous point close to the La Fière manor, a half-dozen stone farm buildings, which stood on the east bank of the Merderet River, about two miles west of Sainte-Mère-Eglise.

German troops were entrenched at the manor and the paratroopers made an attack at about noon. Lefty was a squad leader, and in the words of Bill Dean, who had served with Lefty for more than two years, “One helluva fire fight erupted.”

Despite heavy resistance the paratroopers’ attack was successful, but shortly afterwards they were counterattacked by an overwhelming German force of tanks and heavily armed infantry. Lefty was killed in a hail of gunfire.

Thank you, Lefty. And thank you to the more than 4,000 Allied servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice, 78 years ago today, so we can enjoy the freedom we now have.

Now available! During the summer of 1940, in contrast to the downwardly spiraling political relationship between Japan a...
06/04/2022

Now available!
During the summer of 1940, in contrast to the downwardly spiraling political relationship between Japan and the United States, the Keio University baseball team traveled from Tokyo to the Hawaiian Islands. Aloha and Sayonara tells the story of the last Japanese baseball team to visit the Hawaiian Islands – a tradition that dated back to 1908 - before the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. With game-by-game, and almost day-by-day coverage, this is a never-before-told insight into the lives of 15 young Japanese college students who came to play baseball, the game they loved, and were soon to be in deadly conflict with their new-found friends. Aloha and Sayonara explores their early years, their time in Hawaii and then follows the young players’ journey back to Japan. For some, the journey continues to post-war professional baseball. For others it ends on the battlefields of the Pacific islands. Featuring photographs that haven’t been seen for over 80 years, Aloha and Sayonara takes you back to the summer of 1940, when baseball was the number one game in town.
Available from amazon in USA, Canada, Japan, UK and Europe
慶應義塾体育会野球部 / Keio University Baseball Club
慶應義塾 / Keio University
Keio University Global Page


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WQB2NLL

Aloha and Sayonara: The 1940 Keio University Baseball Tour of Hawaii

George “Bogey” BogovichBogovich was one of many eccentric ball players that showed brief glimpses of brilliance in Organ...
05/04/2022

George “Bogey” Bogovich

Bogovich was one of many eccentric ball players that showed brief glimpses of brilliance in Organized baseball during the 1930s. A hard-throwing left-hander with a shaggy mop of black hair, an unbuttoned jersey and suffering recurring bouts of homesickness, he always had a word or two for the local reporters. By 1945, his brief career in baseball was a distant memory, the world was at war and Bogovich was on his way to the Pacific as a private first-class in the United States Army.

George E. “Bogey” Bogovich was born on September 15, 1914 in Masontown, Pennsylvania. His parents, Mike and Mary, were immigrants from central Europe, arriving in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Mike worked in the coalmines of western Pennsylvania, supporting a family of five daughters and two sons. The two boys George and Eli - were the last-born children. George followed his father into the coalmines, but baseball was his true love and something for which he possessed a great talent. Having pitched for the local American Legion junior team in the late 1920s, he hurled for sandlot teams, including Edenborn in the Dice-Spalding League in 1932, Miraclean of the same league in 1933, and Republic of the Industrial League in 1934. By 1935, he was pitching for Filbert of the Western Pennsylvania League and Royal of the Tri-County League, attracting a great deal of attention from local scouts who were keen to sign the hard-throwing lefty.

Bogey signed with the Charleroi Tigers of the Class D Penn State Association in August 1935, as they tried in vain to secure a place in the play-offs. The 20-year-old showed promise as his raw talent produced a 6-0 three-hitter over the Washington Generals on September 1, securing a contract for the following year. In 31 appearances for the Tigers in 1936, Bogey had 8 wins against 13 losses with a 5.23 ERA. His season highlight was a 5-0 six-inning no-hitter against the McKeesport Tubers on August 26.

Bogey was invited to spring training with the Fort Worth Cats of the Class A1 Texas League for 1937, a huge jump from Class D ball of the year before. Despite showing promise his spring performance was hampered by concern over the critical illness of his father, which led to him leaving the club and returning to Pennsylvania. Although he was still the property of the Fort Worth ball club, Bogey began working in the coalmines. “I get down in the mine,” he later recalled, “but I don’t dig no coal. I long to pitch some more. So I hit the road again.”

But Bogey didn’t hit the road as far as Fort Worth, Texas. In fact, he didn’t hit the road particularly far at all. He chose instead to remain in the local area and play for semi-pro teams around Pennsylvania and West Virginia, often using a false name to hide his connection with the Fort Worth club. “Just when I would get settled with some semi-pro outfit,” he explained, “a major league scout would come nosing around, and I would have to leave in the night. And I would get in a new town and look in the box scores in a paper and select me another name and then report to a local semi-pro manager.”

By the late summer of 1937, Bogey was pitching for Edenborn, the Fayette (Pennsylvania) County champions. Using the alias, George “Judy” Steiner, Bogey threw a no-hitter and struck out 18 for Edenborn in his first appearance in the NABF (National Amateur Baseball Federation) tournament at Dayton, Ohio, and was mobbed by scouts. The Dayton Herald of September 13 featured an impressive article about “Steiner” that included three photographs of the youngster. But Billy Doyle, the Detroit scout, knew exactly who “George Steiner” was. “There’s no use fooling with that kid,” Doyle told the other scouts. “His name’s Bogovich, and he belongs to Fort Worth.” Bogey and the Edenborn team were subsequently thrown out of the tournament for using an illegible player.

After working the coalmines during the off-season, Bogey was back at the Fort Worth Cats’ spring training camp in 1938. “Bogovich…is reported just about as fast as they come,” declared the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in March, and the 23-year-old made the team’s roster for the start of the regular season, leading to a host of crazy antics for sports writers to devour. In one game, he threw the ball clear over catcher Vern Mackie’s head and into the grandstand. Mackie rushed out to the mound to find out what the trouble was. “Nothing,” Bogey calmly replied. “I was all right, just taking my time getting a good windup. When I looked down at the plate, that big batter had a mean look in his eye and was drawing that bat back. I knew he’d hit one over the fence for sure. So, I just put the ball where he couldn’t reach it. I fooled him, didn’t I?”

Another time, Bogey stated that he thought that pitchers’ arm troubles were mostly mental. “Me, I never think of my arm,” said Bogey, “so it never bothers me...I never wear no jacket between innings or rub my arm or nothing. In fact, I don’t know I got an arm until I get out there and start chucking.”

On the Cats’ first road trip, Bogey’s restaurant bill included ci******es, ci**rs, chewing to***co and magazines. When the team’s business manager explained that the club was not responsible for such items, Bogey replied: “Okay, but you hadn’t ought to talk like that to a poor, overworked, hard-up rookie.”

After once telling Vern Mackie, who, at the time, was probably the best catcher in the Texas League, that he was doing something wrong behind the plate, Mackie told Bogey, “Listen punk, all you have to do is try to get that ball over the plate, some way or another. I’ll catch ‘em. Anyway, I play ball in leagues where they wouldn’t even sell you a ticket to get in the park.”

Bogey struggled to get the ball over the plate and made six appearances during the early part of the year for an ERA of 15.43. He then went AWOL again on June 3. Bogey returned five days later and told the Cats’ business manager Cecil Coombs that he’d like to play for Lake Charles (the Cats’ Class D affiliate in the Evangeline League) if the pay there was the same as at Fort Worth. Bogey was promptly suspended.

It was the end of Bogey’s minor league career, but his baseball-playing days were far from over. Working in the coal mines during the off-season, Bogey made a name for himself as the best pitcher in western Pennsylvania, pitching for Edenborn, Isabella and Buffington in Fayette County’s semi-pro Big Ten League until being inducted in the army in November 1943. The following February, with overseas service looming, Bogey married 24-year-old Emaline Ciaramella. They made their home, albeit briefly in Edenborn, Pennsylvania.

His younger brother, Eli, had entered military service with the army the year before. Despite serving with different divisions, their lives were on course for a series of tragic similarities.

Private First-Class George Bogovich was with the 106th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Infantry Division, when he arrived at Okinawa on April 9, 1945. Only 340 miles from mainland Japan, Okinawa was the final Allied amphibious landing of the war. It was also the largest in the Pacific campaign and proved to be the bloodiest. Just over two weeks later, on April 26, during the battle to secure Machinato Airfield from the Japanese, Bogovich was killed in action. He was 30 years old and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

The day after Bogey’s death, his 26-year-old brother, Eli, arrived at Okinawa with the 306th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Infantry Division. Also, a private first-class, Eli was awarded the Bronze Star twice before being killed in action on May 19. In the space of three weeks, Mike and Mary Bogovich had lost both their sons on a remote island in the Pacific, 7,500 miles from Pennsylvania. Emaline had lost her husband of just 14 months*.

Both George and Eli remain on an island in the Pacific. They are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, better known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii. George is at Plot D16. Eli is at plot D38.

In July 1945, ceremonies were held for Bogey before the Dice-Spalding League game between the Edenborn and Johnny’s Inn teams. A further ceremony was held in 1946, before a Big Ten League game and Joe Petko, league president, called it “the most impressive ceremony I have ever seen, befitting every district ball player giving his life during World War II.” In 1954, Bogey was among the first inductees in the Big Ten Fayette County Baseball Hall of Fame.

The closing of western Pennsylvania coal mines starting in the 1950s, saw the demise of semi-pro baseball and with it went the memories of players like George “Bogey” Bogovich. Seventy-seven years after his death, Bogey is all but forgotten. He hasn’t been inducted in the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame, which was founded in 2008, and it was by chance that my friend, Jack Morris, stumbled across Bogey’s name. He’ll soon be added to the Baseball’s Greatest Sacrifice website where his exploits on the ball field and ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield will be preserved for all future generations.

*Emaline’s tragedy didn’t end with the loss of Bogey. She remarried some years later, to a gentleman named Pritz. His first name was the same as Bogey’s brother, Eli. They had a daughter, Charlotte, who graduated from West Virginia University and was an elementary school physical education instructor. Charlotte was killed in an automobile accident, aged 24, in 1973. Emaline passed away in 2006, aged 87.

Now available for free download!Baseball in Wartime Newsletter No 57 | Pearl Harbor 80th AnniversaryAs we approach the 8...
05/12/2021

Now available for free download!

Baseball in Wartime Newsletter No 57 | Pearl Harbor 80th Anniversary
As we approach the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this month's Baseball in Wartime Newsletter looks at the links between baseball and that infamous day. The newsletter features an adapted version of the December 7, 1941 account that can be found in my latest book "Baseball in Hawaii During World War II."

I hope you enjoy this newsletter. I'd love to hear your comments.
https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/BIWNewsletterVol13No57Dec2021.pdf

On October 12, 1918, three former professional baseball players lost their lives while serving with the military during ...
13/10/2021

On October 12, 1918, three former professional baseball players lost their lives while serving with the military during the First World War.

Tom Burr, who had appeared in one game as an outfielder with the New York Yankees in 1914, was killed when his plane collided with another on a training flight in France.

Harry Glenn, a catcher with the 1915 St. Louis Cardinals, died of pneumonia while serving with the Signal Corps’ Aviation Mechanics Training School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

James O'Rourke, a minor league outfielder who played 91 games with the Middletown Middies of the 1913 New York-New Jersey League, was killed in action when his battalion was leading an attack at Fleville in the Argonne Forest, France.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/burr_alex.html

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/glenn_harry.html

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/orourke_james.html

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II is the only complete history of the national pastime played in the Hawaiian Islan...
08/10/2021

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II is the only complete history of the national pastime played in the Hawaiian Islands between 1941 and 1945. Furthermore, it delves into Hawaii's links with the game dating back to the 19th century. The book includes the exploits of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Stan Musial and many more.

343 pages, 100s of photos and 160 biographies. Do you have your copy yet?

Amazon (USA) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091FNNDCJ
Amazon (UK) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B091FNNDCJ

On this day, October 6, 1942, minor league pitcher Bill Marzalek was killed in a training accident while serving with th...
06/10/2021

On this day, October 6, 1942, minor league pitcher Bill Marzalek was killed in a training accident while serving with the 504th Field Artillery at Fort Huachuca, Texas. In 1941, his only season in the minors, he won 7 games for the Oil City Oilers.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/marzalek_bill.html

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

On this day, October 5, 1918, major league infielder Eddie Grant was killed in action in France while leading a search f...
05/10/2021

On this day, October 5, 1918, major league infielder Eddie Grant was killed in action in France while leading a search for the Lost Battalion (nine companies of the 77th Division, roughly 554 men, isolated by German forces). He was the only former big leaguer to be killed in action during World War I (Pitcher Robert "Bun" Troy died from wounds two days after Grant was killed).

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/grant_eddie.html

On this day, October 5, 1945, minor league pitcher Walt Navie took his own life while serving with the Army in Texas. A ...
05/10/2021

On this day, October 5, 1945, minor league pitcher Walt Navie took his own life while serving with the Army in Texas. A 20-game winner with the Rayne Rice Birds in 1939, Navie had served in the Pacific Theater during the war and no one will ever know how much his combat experience effected him.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/biographies/navie_walt.html

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

The latest edition of the Baseball in Wartime Newsletter is now available and contains a biography on minor league pitch...
04/10/2021

The latest edition of the Baseball in Wartime Newsletter is now available and contains a biography on minor league pitcher Stan Ferek, who served with the Marine Corps during WWII. The newsletter also contains a listing of major league and minor league players who were decorated while in military service in WWII.

https://www.baseballsgreatestsacrifice.com/BIW%20NewsletterVol13No56Sep2021.pdf

"Baseball in Hawaii during World War II" is the first and only full account of the national pastime in the Paradise of t...
02/09/2021

"Baseball in Hawaii during World War II" is the first and only full account of the national pastime in the Paradise of the Pacific during the 1940s. More than 300 pages, 100-plus photos and biographies, and year-by-year accounts including league standings and batting averages provide a detailed insight into the role baseball played in the war effort against Japan https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091FNNDCJ

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II is the 300-page untold story of how baseball entertained thousands of American se...
25/08/2021

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II is the 300-page untold story of how baseball entertained thousands of American servicemen who were stationed in Hawaii before heading to the death and destruction of Pacific island combat against the Japanese. Written by 25-year wartime baseball historian Gary Bedingfield, this book contain hundreds of unseen photos and biographies on all the key players. Get your copy for $19.99 from amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091FNNDCJ

Chet Romanowski is the latest member of our community that remembers baseball players who died in military service. Chet...
28/07/2021

Chet Romanowski is the latest member of our community that remembers baseball players who died in military service. Chet was killed in France in July 1944. Read the full story by clicking on his biography below.

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice remembers all those players who lost their lives while in military service

Very proud to have teamed up with the awesome Gary Joseph Cieradkowski to bring you this biography on former Brooklyn Do...
16/07/2021

Very proud to have teamed up with the awesome Gary Joseph Cieradkowski to bring you this biography on former Brooklyn Dodgers catcher “Pudge” Gautreaux

I'm very pleased to have Gary Bedingfield, World War II baseball expert and author of the new book "Baseball in World War II Hawaii," as a Guest Author to introduce one of the ballplayers who made service baseball in 1940s Hawaii possible... [...]Read More

Really enjoyed this chat with Rob Neyer
14/06/2021

Really enjoyed this chat with Rob Neyer

On this week's episode of SABRcast Rob Neyer is joined by baseball historian Gary Bedingfield. Along with a discussion of Gary's extensive research into the players who served in the military during World War Two, the pair discuss the baseball played by these servicemen during their time away from t...

Here's podcast I recently did with the good folks at Good Seats Still Available A nice opportunity to chat about wartime...
07/06/2021

Here's podcast I recently did with the good folks at Good Seats Still Available A nice opportunity to chat about wartime baseball and my new book "Baseball in Hawaii During World War II."

https://goodseatsstillavailable.com/listen/2021/6/6/episode-218-baseball-goes-to-war-with-gary-bedingfield

In our Episode 104 with David Hubler & Josh Drazen, we examined the existential crisis faced by organized baseball during the first half of the 1940s, when America's heightened involvement in World War II threatened to shut down pro leagues entirely as the country focused its attention els

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II. Every victory and every tragedy.
31/05/2021

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II. Every victory and every tragedy.

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II

Relics of wartime military baseball turn up in the most unexpected places. This baseball, signed by players of the US 36...
26/05/2021

Relics of wartime military baseball turn up in the most unexpected places. This baseball, signed by players of the US 36th Division from shortly after the First World War, was found in a flea market in Brussels, Belgium.

"Baseball in Hawaii During World War II" is available now from amazon and all good bookstores.
26/05/2021

"Baseball in Hawaii During World War II" is available now from amazon and all good bookstores.

Baseball in Hawaii During World War II

Address


Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Shortcuts

  • Address
  • Alerts
  • Claim ownership or report listing
  • Want your museum to be the top-listed Museum?

Share