Baseball, it was quickly proven, was still the king of sports, the national sport for the GI.   Long before the regular equipment could be retrieved from Reims, gloves and balls and bats which, had somehow or other been "smuggled" through combat made their appearance.   The crack of the ball against wood replaced the sharp snap of rifle shots.  Pitchers (and would-be pitchers) began limbering up their arms.   Talk started of teams and intra-regimental schedules.  There was conjecture as to what the Division plans might be concerning a 76th ball team.   Soft-balls made their appearance.   More than an occasional window was broken by foul tips or wild throws.   American baseball was definitely in full swing in post-Nazi-Germany.
     By the end of July the Minuteman, the official 304th publication, was able to write: "As everyone no doubt knows the sports program of the 304th has taken quite a beating with the loss of so many of our good athletes.   We only hope that out of the scores of new men who are daily arriving for ultimate return to the States, we get some men interested in continuing with the competitive spirit we are used to seeing.   Fortunately, for us, we have not lost many of our baseball players . . .   The new field is in the Anti-Tank Company area . . .  Pfc. Frank Jennewein has taken over the management of the team in the absence of S/Sgt. Pierce Quinn, who injured his ankle in the process of showing one of the boys the proper way to slide . . .  Our softball league officially opened on Monday, July 16th . . .  The setup will be about the same as it was before with battalion and company leagues and then play-offs later on in the season."   And then by the first week in August they again recorded: "The 304th Regimental Baseball team has continued its comeback after losing several players via shipment.  This week they defeated the 385th, 13-2, driving Schumaker from the box and then Tuesday lost a heart-breaker to the 417th by the score of 2-1.  The 417th was a well played game and a fine pitching duel between Graham and Cathay. Jim Pette and Joe Donnelly have inspired the baseball team plenty.  They have helped to round out the team and give it added polish.  Both men have played professional ball . . .  If a most valuable ball player award is given at the end of the season Paul Mann . . . will be one considered highly."


Repro: original page 324

Baseball . . .

America is where Americans set their feet in groups of nine or more and have a chance to "talk" or "play" ball.  And when an army moves in this graduates into big league stuff.  It calls for uniforms, for real diamonds, spiked shoes, for umpires (the "no man's friend"), for fans.  It calls for choice sticks of hickory, for coke bottles (sometimes!), for hot arguments, for close decisions. It calls for being American--in the American way.

Repro: original page 325

A few months before they had just filled in the last squares of a pretty important box-score.  Now they laid aside the tools of that trade and turned to others more to their liking, more to their nature, by far. And yet the game they played now was the game that prepared them--the game that had made possible the superior way they came through the game just completed.
     War was not their game but they could play it when the need was. This was their game--their native game--and they showed Germany that their command of both was perfect.

Right in there!

Out of the ball park!

Put on your glasses, ya bum!

Picking one out of the sun--

Two runs across


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