Scoring the 1945 Navy All Star Championship Series

Collecting an entire set or series of anything is a common behavior of those who obsesses over filling in the gaps or holes in collections. Manufacturers of keepsakes devise plans and construct schemes that are fashioned to touch specific nerves of those who are entirely obsessive-compulsive or just possess enough of the “disorder” to trigger exhaustive searches.  Sports card companies created sets that contained upwards of 400 cards (along with checklists) that triggered kids to buy more wax packs in order to compete their sets. In the 1950s and 60s, kids would scour neighborhoods for empty soda bottles seeking to cash in on the deposit refunds in order to buy more packs of cards. Despite efforts such as these, it still proved difficult to compete a set, leading kids to engage in other activities (such as trading with other collectors).

Though I did collect baseball cards, I don’t recall ever having completed the assembling a set but the OCD behavior remains within me.  With my current baseball militaria interest combined with the decade spent researching and documenting artifacts (either collected or relegated to missed opportunities), my knowledge in what exists has grown and I have been documenting various artifacts and effectively creating my own checklists of sorts. As I scan through my (physical) archive of military baseball scorecards and scorebooks, I am amazed not solely by what I have but also by the gaps where there should be additional pieces. Unlike card collecting where there were thousands upon thousands of copies of each card issued, scorecards and programs were printed in very limited numbers and, due to their intended use, were discarded following each game in large percentages.

With WWII’s official end following the signing of the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay, leadership across the services worked in earnest to transition the ranks from the role of a fighting a fighting force to one of occupation, peace-keeping and reconstruction. Most of those in uniform were awaiting word of when they would be released and returned to their pre-war lives which included the thousands of former professional ballplayers who were spread across the two principal war theaters.  Three weeks after VJ-Day (September 2, 1945), Navy leadership took advantage of the opportunity to entertain those personnel who were on duty or R&R in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands. With so many of the game’s best and brightest stars still serving in the South Pacific and fresh from competition in the service team leagues, Vice Admiral Sherwood Ayerst Taffinder, Commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District along with the commanders of Third (Halsey), Fifth (Spruance) and Seventh (Kinkaid) Fleets conceived an idea to assemble the greats of the game who were still serving in the Pacific on active duty in the Navy.

Beginning on September 26, 1945, the series between the American League and National League All Star players serving within the Navy’s active duty ranks descended upon Furlong Field at the U.S. Army Air Forces base at Hickam Field for a seven-game series. The championship was more of a hybridization of Major League Baseball’s World Series and All-Star Game as the rosters were replete with stars from all levels of baseball including both the major and minor leagues (see: A Pesky Group of Type-1 WWII Navy Baseball Photos).

What is fascinating about the series is the seemingly abundance of a variety of artifacts originating from the games. In recent years, such treasures from the games have ranged from signed baseballs, photographs and ephemera such as ticket stubs, programs and scorecards.

This American vs National League All Stars scorecard was created for the seven-game series in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, played at Furlong Field. It is a single sheet, bi-fold piece, printed on a very rudimentary, inexpensive paper stock. The original owner scored the on field proceedings from game 5 of the series.

Scorekeeping was devised by Henry Chadwick in 1870 to provide a means for statistical analysis of the performance of ball-players.  While the term, “score-keeping” seems to infer management of the overall progress of the number of runs scored by each participating team, the practice is custom method of shorthand that employs a pre-printed grid on which to plot the progression of the game along with the performance of each individual player.  From the early years up to present day, pre-printed scorecards have remained relatively unchanged.

This program with scorebook example from the same series has a more professional appearance and design and is even more scarce than the rare hand-illustrated scorecard from the same 1945 All Star series (image source: Hunt Auctions).

A present-day scorecard may be purchased at the game for a few dollars, depending upon whether one is visiting a major or minor league ballpark or, as is with my own local minor league team, are given away with paid admission to the game. While most scorecards are disposed of soon after the game, some folks collect them.  A scored (used) card is an historic record of a game, preserving a moment in time for others (who can read scorekeeper’s shorthand) to look back upon. Scorebooks, scorecards and programs are highly collectible, especially when they are attributed to a notable game or series.

With the 1945 Navy All Star Championship series in Hawaii, two different scorecards or scorebooks have surfaced in the last few years that are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of quality and professional appearance.  One, a blue halftone booklet that features two photos of battleships in action with the title, “Here Comes the Navy” in script across the top.  The booklet was produced specifically for the All Star Baseball Series at Pearl Harbor.  The other piece is more specifically a scorecard that is entirely hand-illustrated (by an unknown, as of yet, “LT Topper, U.S.N.R.”) including the front and rear covers and the inside scoring grid and rosters. The cartoon-like drawings on the front and back covers feature whimsical caricatures of sailor-ballplayers and an umpire, reminiscent of 1930s comic strip characters.

The cover art on this scorecard is hand-illustrated showcasing the popular caricaturization present in the era and commonly seen on newspaper sportspages.

The LT Topper-illustrated scorecard shares its paper medium with several other Pearl-Harbor originated scorecards which is very rough and yellowed with age, indicative of its low-cost to-produce. In the last ten days, three examples of this version have been listed and sold at (online) auction with two of them being scored from the same game. Due to the scarcity of any scorecards from the 1945 Navy All Star series, they tend to garner significant activity from collectors which drives the bidding fairly high ($80-$120), in contrast to major league scorecards from the era (which tend to hover around $30-$60).

Since there were seven games in total, some collectors might be driven to seek out scorecards that were scored for each game from the 1945 Series which could push the total investment (if one is successful in landing the associated card for each) towards $1,000.

The star-power of the rosters of these games far surpassed what was fielded at the major league baseball All Star Game in 1944. The game that was scored on this card was the fifth of the seven game series.

The scorecard provides clarity as to the players who were brought in for the series. In the previous Chevrons and Diamonds article, the rosters (that I published) were an assemblage of names, culled together from news clippings and other accounts.

American League Roster:

1Johnny PeskyBoston Red Sox 
2Ned HarrisDetroit Tigers 
3Tom CareyBoston Red Sox 
4Jack ConwayCleveland Indians 
5George StallerPhiladelphia Athletics
6Lumon HarrisPhiladelphia Athletics
7Rollie  HemsleyNew York Yankees 
8Bob KennedyChicago White Sox 
9Al LyonsNew York Yankees 
10Bob LemonCleveland Indians 
11Chet HadjukChicago White Sox 
12Eddie McGahBoston Red Sox 
13Harry HughesAtlanta 
14Sherry RobertsonWashington Senators
15Bill MarksRochester 
16Barney LutzSt. Louis Browns 
17Eddie WeilandChicago White Sox 
18Hank FeimsterBoston Red Sox 
19Fred HutchinsonDetroit Tigers 
20“Schoolboy” RoweDetroit TigersManager
21Ken SearsNew York Yankees 
22Jack PhillipsNew York Yankees 
23Ted WilliamsBoston Red Sox 
24Dick WakefieldDetroit Tigers 
25Jack HallettPittsburgh Pirates (Chi. White Sox) 
26Mickey McGowanTexas League (Atlanta Crackers) 
27Warren Delbert Bat Boy

National League:

1Jerry Lonigro Bat Boy
2Ray HamrickPhiladelphia Phillies 
3Larry Varnell Coach
4Ray (Bobby) CoombsJersey City (NY Giants) 
5Whitey PlattChicago Cubs 
6Wes LivengoodMilwaukee Brewers (Cin. Reds) 
7Hank SchenzPortsmith Cubs (Chicago Cubs) 
8Charley GilbertChicago Cubs 
9Wimpy QuinnLos Angeles (Chicago Cubs) 
10Eddie ShokesSyracuse Chiefs 
11Clyde ShounCincinnati Reds 
12Russ MeersChicago Cubs 
14Stan MusialSt. Louis Cardinals 
15Bob UsherBirmingham Barons 
16Billy HermanBrooklyn DodgersManager
17Steve TrambackJersey City (NY Giants) 
18Cookie LavegettoBrooklyn Dodgers 
19Gil BrackBrooklyn Dodgers 
20Bob SheffingChicago Cubs 
21Dick WestCincinnati Reds 
22Lou TostBoston Braves 
23Johnnie McCarthy Coach
24Ray LamannoCincinnati Reds 
25Hugh CaseyBrooklyn Dodgers 
26Jim CarlinPhiladelphia Phillies 
27Billy BarnacleMinneapolis Millers 
28Dee MoorePhiladelphia Phillies 
29Aubrey EppsPittsburgh Pirates 

The task to gather them all is a daunting one and I doubt that there will be any measure of success in focusing on this goal.

With nearly 150,000 troop in attendance, the series was a success as service members began to rotate home.

Game 1 September 26, 1945Furlong Field  26,000NL over AL 6-5
Game 2September 28, 1945Furlong Field  28,000NL over AL 4-0
Game 3September 29, 1945Furlong Field  28,000NL over AL 6-2
Game 4October 3, 1945Furlong Field  18,000AL over NL 12-1
Game 5October 5, 1945Furlong Field  22,000NL over AL 4-3
Game 6October 6, 1945Furlong Field  25,000AL over NL 5-2
Games, dates outcomes and attendance.

Al Lyons202000.000111000
Fred Hutchinson107.2000.000449430
Bob Lemon101.1010.000222000
Luman Harris2117110.500429340
Hank Feimster100.1010.000444010
Eddie Weiland101.1010.0006513860
Jack Hallett119101.000117630
American League pitching stats for the Navy World Series.

Lou Tost3219200.66776171140
Max Wilson2116110.5004411561
Clyde Shoun205.1010.000668360
Hugh Casey101101.000000110
Ray (Bobby) Coombs203000.000001210
Wes  Livengood104000.000779040
Ray Yochim104000.000203130
National League pitching stats for the Navy World Series.

Jack Conway2B23445100001430.17419211
Johnny PeskySS234913101300130.39113183
Chet Hajduk1B12145100000100.3333220
Ken Sears1B12347001300010.3332120
Ted WilliamsRF11336001200050.273600
Bob Kennedy3B19348101500220.21110113
Dick WakefieldLF14345100200330.286701
Jack PhillipsCF/1B8011000000200.125601
Rollie HemsleyC13066000210010.4622320
Eddie McGahC6100000000200.000310
Joe GlennC2011000000000.500100
Bill MarksLF/RF13122000000210.1541611
Al LyonsP/CF9136001100100.333110
Barney LutzCF6125001300010.333200
Ned  HarrisCF1100000000000.000000
Sherry Robertson3B1000000000010.000011
Schoolboy RoweLF3125001200000.667000
Packy Rogers 2000000000010.000000
Fred HutchinsonP3000000000100.000010
Bob LemonP0000000000000.000000
Luman HarrisP3000000010010.000030
Hank FeimsterP0000000000000.000000
Eddie WeilandP4000000010000.000150
Jack HallettP4011000000010.250000
American League batting stats. Johnny Pesky was crowned MVP despite the AL’s loss.

Charley GilbertCF27347001300220.1481501
Jim Carlin3B244711101100340.2923141
Billy Herman2B2012200010 130.10015153
Stan MusialRF20347001200040.200510
Mizell PlattLF24367100200600.2502110
Wimpy Quinn1B23188000101100.3484321
Ray LamannoC143610101200110.4291240
Bob ScheffingC8133000100110.3751300
Hank SchenzSS/2B3012100210000.333250
Ray HamrickSS18233000110410.16717130
Lou TostP5000000120110.000230
Max WilsonP5000000010000.000120
Clyde ShounP1000000000010.000020
Hugh CaseyP1112100100001.000010
Ray (Bobby) CoombsP0000000000000.000000
Dick West 2000000000000.000000
Gil Brack 1000000000000.000000
Dee Moore 1000000000100.000000
Wes  LivengoodP2000000000100.000010
Ray YochimP1000000000000.000000
Bub UsherRF1000000000000.000000
Batting stats for the National League.

About VetCollector

I have been blogging about Militaria since 2010 when I was hired to write for the A&E/History Channel-funded Collectors Quest (CQ) site. It was strange for me to have been asked as I was not, by any means, an expert on militaria nor had I ever written on a recurring basis beyond my scholastic newspaper experience (many MANY decades ago). After nearly two years, CQ was shut down and I discovered that I was enjoying the work and I had learned a lot about my subject matter over that period of time. I served for a decade in the U.S. Navy and descend from a long line of veterans who helped to forge this nation from its infancy all the way through all of the major conflicts to present day and have done so in every branch of the armed forces (except the USMC). I began to take an interest in militaria when I inherited uniforms, uniform items, decorations from my relatives. I also inherited some militaria of the vanquished of WWII that my relatives brought home, furthering my interest. Before my love of militaria, I was interested in baseball history. Beyond vintage baseball cards (early 1970s and back) and some assorted game-used items and autographs, I had a nominal collecting focus until I connected my militaria collecting with baseball. Since then, I have been selectively growing in each area and these two blogs are the result, Chevrons and Diamonds ( The Veterans Collection (

Posted on October 25, 2018, in Ephemera and Other Items, Score Books, Scorecards and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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