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Baseball Game on Iwo Jima

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  • Baseball Game on Iwo Jima

    I just finished a book by Birdie Tebbetts, former catcher ,manager and scout in the major leagues. He was an Army officer during WWII and was put in charge of a baseball team of major leaguers that had to be ready to travel in the Pacific in a very short time with little notice. Well the most unusual request was to go play a game on Iwo Jima island not too long after the Marines took Mount Surabachi. My question is does anybody know anything or anybody that saw the game. Do you have pictures? Where was the field? Iwo Jima has become an interest of mine and I just heard about the baseball game.

    One of the funny stories that occured was the field was made quickly by the Seabees. They then put all these crates and ammo boxes and anything they could find all around the field to sit on. The Marines were everywhere, all beat up, bandaged, bloodied and dirty. They set up this area behind home plate for VIPs and somebody said, "You can't sit there somebody may get hurt." They were told, "After what they just went through, I don't think anybody cares about getting hurt at a baseball game. Just play ball!!!"

    How true, how true. Anything anybody can contribute should be very interesting.
    Jimmy Dugan: Because there's no crying in baseball. THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying! (Tom Hanks, "A League of Their Own" (1992)

  • #2
    Game included:
    Enos Slaughter
    Joe Gordon
    Howard Pollet
    Taft Wright
    Ferris Fain
    Tex Hughson

    During World War II, Tebbetts was assigned to put together an all- star baseball team as a morale builder for the troops, and the team was flown onto Iwo Jima to play one day after the U.S. flag was raised on Mount Surabachi.

    "With mortal shells still exploding nearby," Tebbetts said, "the Seabees bulldozed a baseball diamond right out of that burned rock on Iwo Jima. ... Our job, it turned out, was simple. To play ball. To put on a big league ballgame for 12,000 grimy, cheering, gun-toting soldiers. To take their minds off the sheer horror of what they had just been through
    Interesting to note they are both buried in the same county:
    Schrier, Col. Harold George b. October 17, 1916 d. June 3, 1971
    United States Marine Corps Lieutenant. One of the six Marines who raised the first American flag on Mount Surabachi on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. This flag was later replaced by the flag in the famous flag raising photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal of the Associated Press. He retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel. (Bio by: Erik Lander)
    Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton, Manatee County, Florida, USA

    Tebbetts, George 'Birdie' b. November 10, 1912 d. March 24, 1999
    Major League Baseball Player, Manager.He was a catcher for the Detroit Tigers where he was an all-star from 1940-42 and played in the 1940 World Series. He was also an all-star in 1948 and 1949 with the Boston Red Sox. After finishing his career as a player with the Cleveland Indians, he managed the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians.
    Saint Bernard Catholic Church Cemetery, Holmes Beach, Manatee County, Florida, USA


    • #3
      Always remember WWII


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