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Jun 7, 2021

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 elsewhere.
While President Roosevelt's now-famous "Green Light Letter" to MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis on January 15, 1942 ensured the game would continue unimpeded Stateside, hundreds of major-league and thousands of minor-league players soon found themselves drafted into, or even volunteering for active wartime duty abroad - including some of baseball's biggest stars of the era, like Joe DiMaggio, Pee Wee Reese, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial.
Baseball-in-wartime expert Gary Bedingfield ("Baseball in Hawaii During World War II") joins the 'cast to discuss the travails of these professional players across the war's Pacific and European theaters, who balanced combat-related "day jobs" with surprisingly competitive military league play - especially in Hawaii, where many of the game's best found themselves stationed at one point or another.