George Earnshaw was a World Series champ and WWII hero


George Earnshaw

The college standout takes an unconventional path to pro ball George Earnshaw took the road less traveled. Throughout his life he made unexpected decisions that always had a way of working out. Living on his own terms he became the right-handed ace of a baseball dynasty and a World War II hero. Earnshaw was a star in football, basketball, and baseball at Swarthmore College and later a member of the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. On the pitcher’s mound the 6’4″, 210-pounder was an especially imposing presence. When he left the school in 1922, baseball scouts tabbed him as the top local prospect. The International League’s Double-A Baltimore Orioles were Earnshaw’s most persistent suitor. When they wouldn’t agree to his demand of $600 per month, Earnshaw took a job with his uncle’s transportation business in Newark, New Jersey. He later joked he was the only holdout in baseball history who had yet to play a professional game. Over the next couple of years, the Orioles reminded Earnshaw of their interest each time they traveled to Newark to play the Bears. When his uncle’s business closed in 1924, Earnshaw finally took the Orioles up on their baseball offer. More than two […]

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Al Niemiec was a hero to WWII veterans returning to baseball


CooperstownExpert.com

A fine second baseman Al Niemiec played in just 78 big league games but made his presence felt throughout the game. Niemiec sued baseball in a landmark court case, earning a win that sent ripples throughout the game.  Niemiec played in 199 minor league contests before getting a September call up to the Red Sox for nine games in 1934. He spent the next year back in the bushes before being traded to the Athletics in a package that sent Hall of Fame slugger Jimmie Foxx to Boston. Though Niemiec spent most of season with Connie Mack in Philadelphia, it would be his last as a big leaguer. By 1938 Niemiec moved to the Pacific Coast League for a five-year run that included three consecutive championships with the Seattle Rainiers. The ’41 season was a good one for Niemiec. He hit .297 while leading second basemen in fielding for the third straight season. For his efforts, he was named the PCL’s outstanding player at his position. Niemiec joins the war effort At the end of the following season Niemiec was called to serve in the US Navy.  He stayed in the military until his honorable discharge in January of 1946. When retired […]

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954