6 of the best baseball players who have served
Major League Baseball is “America’s pastime”. Regardless of what public opinion suggests, baseball is still the king of American sports in the eyes of literally Billions around the world.
Its reputation as an American gamer is no doubt helped by the fact that many of the game’s greatest legends also share a legacy of service throughout various conflicts in American history.
Take a look at any top 25 list and you’ll see that many of the greatest players in the game, at one time or another, wore a very different uniform.
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. That alone is enough to be notable in most historical canons. Add to that the fact that Jackie Robinson was also a hell player, winning rookie of the year, an eventual MVP and becoming an everlasting All-Star and you have yourself a formula for retired jerseys.
“The Say Hey Kid” was an All-Star every year of his career, including the two seasons he missed while serving his country. After winning Rookie of the Year in 1951, he then served in the Korean War from 1952 to 1953.
He took third place on the all-time home run charts, although he fell two spots with the rise of modern hitters. Still, being a top-five home run king and a stalwart All-Star are hallmarks of a great career.
One of the best of all time.
Yogi Berra served in the United States Navy during World War II, leaving the service with a Purple Heart after participating in D-Day just a year before beginning his MLB career.
Fortunately, his injury did not hamper his career much. He then appeared in All-Star Game 18 of his 19 years in the league.
Ted Williams, the original “The Kid”, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox at age 19. Instead of donning a jersey after being picked up by the team, he donned a uniform and enlisted as an airman in the United States Navy during World War II. He actually returned to service in the Korean War in 1952.
To date, he is the last player to hit over .400 for an entire season. His career has shown such incredible hitting prowess that one of his nicknames is “The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived”.
Joe DiMaggio was one of the biggest stars of his time and in all of baseball history. He was the Mike Trout of his day, which says a lot about Trout’s game and his skill ceiling – but I digress. How famous was he? Well, had enough clout to end up in a power couple with Marilyn Monroe. Not bad.
To top it all off, he served two years in the US Army right in the middle of his career.
Much like Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky and their respective sports, Babe Ruth’s name has long been linked to the American pastime.
His trade from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees marked the start of an 86-year “curse.” It also sparked a fiery rivalry between the two teams.
Babe Ruth was drafted in World War I and found a place in the Army National Guard.