1945 3rd Fleet vs 5th Fleet – Pacific Tour
When this simple and very humble sheet of paper was listed at auction a few years ago, either no other collectors took notice or they didn’t know what they were seeing. Without a single competitive bid, this 8-1/2″ x 11″ page holds the rosters of the Third and Fifth Fleet teams that toured the Western Pacific and Marianas to play ball for the troops in places such as Guam, Tinian, Saipan and Okinawa.
The Third and Fifth fleet teams were a concoction of Navy leadership that assembled these two rosters and chose men who played both domestically and in the Hawaii Leagues. Piggy-backing on the success (as massive crowds attended the) Army versus Navy All-Stars Championship (Service World Series) in the fall of 1944 that was played on Oahu, Maui and the “Big Island” of Hawaii. The majority of the men filling out these two rosters played for the Navy’s All-Star team that dominated the Army in the 11-game series winning eight, losing two and one, Game 10, finishing in a tie.
Following the second of two tours, the men were dispersed throughout the Pacific to serve at various Navy commands until they were eligible for discharge following the Japanese surrender.
This artifact dates from the first tour. The location of “Valor Field” is not yet known but the game was played on March 10, 1945. Note the misspellings of several players’ names on this typed sheet. The free-hand illustration and scorer’s grid demonstrates the expedient nature of the score sheet’s production and distribution ahead of the game.