Essay on American Baseball in the Korean War

3277 Words Apr 19th, 2013 14 Pages
American Baseball: Serving in Korea, but Larger than the War

The Korean War, ranging from 1950-1953, marked the end to a major era in the sporting world as it was the last time professional athletes were expected to fight in war, regardless of their status as celebrities. Because of the time frame of the Korean War, famous athletes such as Ted Williams, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle, some of the greatest to ever play the game of baseball, were expected to be willing and able to fight. Each one of these men had different stories and attitudes when they were called on to serve, but one common denominator of all the men is that their legacies as soldiers were soon forgotten, whether positive or negative, in favor of their legacies as
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Because of this, on April 30th, the Boston Red Sox hosted a “Ted Williams Day” at Fenway Park before starting what could have been Williams’ final career game. Williams was showered by gifts, affection, and support by the thousands of fans, players, and coaches at the stadium that day, showing the tremendous support they had towards whom they considered to be a national hero (Montville p. 155). Williams was sent to Korea on May 1st and was plugged into action nearly immediately. Throughout his time in Korea, Williams flew 39 missions, including having to have an emergency landing on the belly of his plane after being hit with enemy fire ( Williams p. 250). Williams did not mind the service, but sorely missed baseball and was ecstatic to learn of his discharge on July 28th, the day after the ceasefire (Williams p. 255). He immediately returned to Boston in hopes of resuming his baseball career, and was greeted with a hero’s welcome (Williams p. 179). Williams was followed closely by reporters and other media in hopes to get a picture of America’s war hero. He was immediately signed to a contract by the Boston Red Sox, his old team, and inserted into the starting line-up. Williams proved the war did not end his career and went on to play for seven more years for the Red Sox. Sadly, once his playing career concluded, many forgot about his service to our nation and focused solely on his playing career. Williams statistics are among the best of all-time, however,

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