USASTAF Major League Baseball All Stars

This all-star game program was created for the September 7, 1945 game held on Guam. The “Wingmen” of the 314th Bomb Wing led by Enos Slaughter, Birdie Tebbetts and Joe Gordon defeated the “Flyers” by a score of 13-10.

By 1945, there was little doubt as to the outcome of the War however what was not known is when it would conclude and just how many more losses American families would have to suffer. During the previous year, units in the Pacific Theater, while on R&R on a few of the islands that were well protected from the reaches of the enemy, games were being played by the average Joes (which often included professional ball players).

General Carl A. Spaatz (shown lighting his pipe) soon after he arrived on Guam to assume command USASTAF (image source: http://www.gblume.com).

When the game between the Wingmen and Flyers on the Island of Guam was played, 25 days had elapsed since Major Charles Sweeny piloted the B-29 “Bockscar” over Nagasaki delivering the atomic bomb, Fat Man over the target-city. With only four days elapsed since the Japanese envoys Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu signed the Instrument of Surrender, ending World War II. Thirteen months prior, the Battle of Guam ended (on August 10, 1944) allowing Navy CBs to transform the (formerly-Japanese-held) island into a staging area for the pressing the attack, driving the enemy towards his homelands.

Even as the USASTAF Major League All Stars game was being played on Guam, one lone enemy combatant (Private Bunzō Minagawa held out from 1944 until May 1960 ) evaded capture on the island and would continue to do so for another 15 years.

This view of the full program and page orientation shows how the printing is oriented on this single sheet of paper.

The design of the program from the game is a departure from what could be considered “normal” among wartime military baseball publications. This four-page booklet is printed on one side of a single-sheet of paper and then hand-folded into quarters. The paper is a rather heavy, yet rudimentary stock which has most-likely contributed to (my copy’s) survival of handling and storage. This example is well-worn and shows signs of ink or paint spills. The cover is adorned with a hand-written (in pencil) note:

“Names of players inside | Games played on Guam during August + Sept. 1945”

The two interior pages provide rosters of each team which include the team members’ name, rank, position and previous professional ball-playing experience.

Wingmen:

Silvera Charlie Cpl C American Association
Storie Burl S/Sgt C Texas League
Mazur Johnny Cpl C Piedmont League
Hughson “Tex” Pfc P Boston Red Sox
Dean “Chubby” Pfc P Cleveland Indians
Lien Al Cpl P Pacific Coast League
Kehn “Chet” Pfc P Brooklyn Dodgers
Schmidt “Big Bill” Sgt p Pacific Coast League
Kowalski Ed Pfc P Semi-Pro
Chandler Ed Cpl P Pacific Coast League
Gill George Cpl P Detroit Tigers
Fain Ferris S/Sgt IF Pacific Coast League
Sturm Johnny Sgt IF New York Yankees
Lodgiani Dario Sgt IF Chicago White Sox
Lilly Art Cpl IF Pacific Coast League
Dillinger Bob Pfc IF American Association
Riggs Lew Cpl IF Brooklyn Dodgers
Rojek Stan Sgt IF Brooklyn Dodgers
Wright Taft Sgt OF Chicago White Sox
McCormick “Mike” Cpl OF Cincinnati Reds
Mills Buster 1st Lt OF/Mgr Cleveland Indians
West Max Cpl OF Boston Braves

Flyers

Tebbetts “Birdie” Capt C/Mgr Detroit Tigers
Leonard Will Cpl C Pacific Coast League
Gabrielli Tom Pfc C Pony League
Pollet Howie Pfc P St. Louis Cadinals
Olsen Al Cpl P Pacific Coast League
Popovich Nick Pfc P Pacific Coast League
Ardizoia “Rugger” Cpl P New York Yankees
Hudson Sid Sgt P Washington Senators
Pitter Roy Cpl P Eastern League
DeRose Carl Cpl P Can-Amer League
Goletz Stan 1st Lt P Chicago White Sox
Stevens “Chuck” Cpl IF St. Louis Browns
Reich Herman Cpl IF Pacific Coast League
Gordon “Flash” Joe Cpl IF New York Yankees
Adams Bob Cpl IF Cincinnati Reds
Hitchcock “Billy” Maj IF Detroit Tigers
Fernandez Froilan Cpl IF Boston Braves
Judnich Walt Sgt IF St. Louis Browns
Jensen Johnny Cpl OF Pacific Coast League
Slaughter “Country” Sgt OF St. Louis Cadinals
Lang Don Cpl OF Boston Red Sox
Marty Joe Sgt OF Philadelphia Phillies

This action photo of Joe “Flash” Gordon was taken during one of the All Stars games on the Marianas Islands – shown here on Tinian.

The back page includes and action photo of Joe Gordon with a caption that reads, “Tinian – Joe “Flash” Gordon, popular Yankee second baseman crosses home plate after a long right field home run. Umpire Vince Smith, Pirate Catcher, watches while Don Lang, Boston Red Sox, prepares to bat.”

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