Playing for Their Country: Baseball During World War II

Essay by tdesando86University, Bachelor'sA-, June 2007

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.”-James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams, 1989IntroductionSince the time of the American Civil War, the sport of baseball has been, and continues to be an important piece of American popular culture. Most Americans, including myself, knew how to through a baseball and/or swing a baseball bat before they could even understand the aspects of the game. Baseball has been the one mainstay of American culture through both the good times of our country and the bad. Mainstays, such as baseball, are ultimately perpetuated by respect; as in respect for the players, managers, and the game itself.

As with anything else that stands the test of time, baseball has turned itself into a tradition of American culture, thus living up to its nickname, “America’s national pastime. The question then remains, can an American foundation, like baseball, allow citizens to maintain some sort of normalcy during troubling times? The answer to this question is yes. During World War II, the sport of baseball was used to create a sense of normalcy for American citizens.

Major League BaseballThe date is December 7, 1941, and the Empire of Japan has just engaged in a sneak attack against the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy at the naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. United behind the president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, America was ready for and expected war after the events of the “date which will live in infamy”. So how does this...