Monday, June 30, 2014

The Boys of Summer Visit Mare Island, 1945

From the Mare Island Grapevine  -  Friday, February 23, 1945

“Big League Stars Visit Hospital”

“It was quite an exciting day last Tuesday when the world famous baseball players of the past and present baseball world visited the Mare Island Naval Hospital. They helped spread good cheer and enjoyment for the patients and staff members with their humorous stories and jokes of the national pastime.

Ty Cobb
“Among the group were Ty Cobb, the greatest baseball player of all time, formerly with the Detroit Tigers and other clubs; Lefty O’Doul, manager of the San Francisco Seals, formerly with the Brooklyn Dodgers; Dolph Camilli, manager of the Oakland club, and formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies; JoeGordon, now a sergeant in the Army Air Corps stationed at Hamilton Field, former famous keystoner of the New York Yankees; and Joe Marty, also a sergeant at Hamilton Field, formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Others present were Jim Tobin, great pitcher for the Boston Braves; Augie Galan, star outfielder of the Chicago Cubs and Brooklyn Dodgers; Ernie Lombardi, catcher for the Cincinnati Reds and N.Y. Giants. And last, but by no means least, Oscar Vitt, one-time manager of the Cleveland Indians, who is noted for his deep bellow which is so familiar to all fans of the American League.

Lefty O'Doul
“Probably the most appreciated and truthful statement was made by Joe Gordon when he thanked Tony Lazzari for retiring, thus to allow him (Gordon) to take over.

“After a short movie of the World Series of 1944, Manuel Duarte [owner of the Oakland Oaks] acted as the “Professor” in a Baseball Quiz, in which the patients participated. The winning team with a score of 560 points had as their members Pfc. Straub, Pfc. Pitzer, Pfc. Sims who was high man and Cpl. White. The other team put up a good fight with a score of 333 points. The ballplayers, accompanied by W.A. Brown of the Oakland Tribune brought prizes for the winners.

“Later in the afternoon the players visited the wards where they talked with the bed patients who were not able to attend the theater performance.”

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