The Game Must Go On Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 5/5/2015
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

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On December 7, 1941, as the battleships of Pearl Harbor smoldered, one of the most powerful athletes in America, Detroit Tigers MVP Hank Greenberg, made a tumultuous decision-to leave the baseball field for the field of war.

His decision left baseball's place during the war uncertain as more and more ballplayers, famous and unknown alike, put off their careers to go into the fight. President Roosevelt was faced with a difficult decision: stop all of professional baseball for the good of the victory, but, in doing so, risk losing a vital part of morale. He decided that, whatever it took, THE GAME MUST GO ON.

This is the story of American baseball history during World War II-of both the players who left to join the war and of the ones who struggled to keep the game alive on the home front. Taking the place of the big shots turned soldiers, sailors, and combat pilots were misfit replacement players. While Greenberg represented the player who served, Pete Gray symbolized the player who stayed. He was a one-armed outfielder who overcame insurmountable odds to become a professional athlete.

John Klima drops us straight into 1941-1945. Culminating in the 1945 pennant race where Greenberg and Gray's paths memorably crossed, Klima shows us how World War II made the country come of age and took baseball with it. This is the story of how the games we play changed because of the battles we fought.

Author Biography

JOHN KLIMA is the author of Bushville Wins! and Willie’s Boys. He was the national baseball columnist for The Los Angeles Daily News and his column writing has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors. Klima’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN.com and The Los Angeles Times.

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