List of players who played for the Phillies during or before WW II (1945 or earlier)
There are currently 6 living players who played for the Phillies in 1945 or earlier.
Three of the Six also played part of their careers in the post-war era that began in 1946.
Rank-Name-Position-Birthdate-Phillies Tenure-MLBTenure (age)
1. Al Monchak - SS- 3/5/1917 - Phillies 1940, MLB 1940. (97).
2. Lou Lucier - P - 3/23/1918 - Phillies 1944-45, MLB 1943-45. (96).
3.* Don Grate - P - 8/27/1923 - Phillies 1945-46, MLB 1945-46. (90)
4. Rogers McKee - P - 9/16/26 - Phillies 1943-44, MLB 1943-44.(87)
5.* Don Hasenmayer - 3B - 4/4/1927 - Philies 1945-46, MLB 1945-46.(87)
6.* Ralph 'Putsy' Caballero - 2B - 11/5/1927 - Phillies 1944-45, 1947-1952, MLB - same. (86).
* Played both in the Pre-War/War Era and the Post-World War Two Eras.
Caballero was a fixture as a Phillies reserve infielder for nearly a decade. He was in the majors at age 16 in 1944 and he was still just 22 when he was a member of "The Whiz Kids", the 1950 National League champion Phillies.
McKee also played with the Phillies for parts of two seasons when he was too young for the military draft during World War Two.
Last edited by philliesfiend55; 07-19-2014 at 04:13 PM.
It's interesting that three of the longest survivors McKee, Hasenmeyer and Caballero were signed and got their chance to play in the majors because they were under the military service draft age of 18. The talent/manpower shortage was so severe from the middle of WW II onward that major league teams, particularly second-division, losing teams like the Phillies looked to fill gaps, if only temporarily, by using players who were too young to be drafted. The late Granny Hamner, playing in the majors in 1944 at age 17, fell into this category as well.
McKee and Caballero were just 16 when they made their major league debuts in 1943 and 1944, respectively.
Last edited by philliesfiend55; 03-31-2011 at 06:18 AM.
With the deaths of Danny Litwhiler and Alex Pitko in late Summer/early Autumn 2011, now there are only eight living Phillies who played for the team in the World War Two years or earlier ((1945 or earlier). See changes above in post #1.
Last edited by philliesfiend55; 10-31-2011 at 02:41 PM.
With the passing of pitcher Barney Mussill in January 2013 there are now just seven living players who played for the Phillies in 1945 or earlier. (See list at top - Section #1).
That total was further reduced to 6 survivors with the death of 1944 Phillies shortstop Ford Moon" Mullen" at age 95, the following month.
Last edited by philliesfiend55; 09-04-2013 at 09:27 AM.
Monchak, 97 and Lucier, 96 are now among the 7 oldest living major leaguers. Grate also has reached age 90.