Third Army – Baseball Championship Series
Perhaps one of the most famous (if not the most famous) of the military baseball games during World War II, was the European Theater of Operations (ETO) World Series in 1945. Following the capitulation of the remainder of the Third Reich’s leadership, the America military brass, recognizing that the need to transform the combat-experienced and fight-minded troops into an occupation force, began a call to assemble and organize a baseball league among the troops remaining throughout the European continent. What resulted was more than 200,000 GIs assembled into teams that would culminate with a champion by the end of the summer. An effort to create ballfields and put together equipment, arrange for officials and scorekeepers in order to schedule and play games as men were beginning to rotate from Europe to the United States or to other active combat zones (in the Pacific Theater).
By the end of summer, a handful of teams were playing in lower level championship series (similar to today’s Division and League Championships of the MLB) as the division and then the higher levels (such as the 7th Army) as the elimination rounds paired the field of top performing teams toward the crowning of an ultimate champion. The Third Army Championship, a best two of three games series, was a playoff round with the victor (the would-be crowned Third Army Champions) facing the OISE All-Stars in the ETO World Series. The Third Army Championships pitted the 76th Infantry Division Onaways (who had recently defeated the Seventh Army Champions, the 29th Infantry Division Blue and Grays) against the Red Circlers of the 71st Infantry Division.
This scorebook is the only one that this collector has seen in nearly a decade of searching for military baseball ephemera. It is a single-page, with the cover and art on the front fold and the Third Army’s schedule of events and activities printed on the back fold. On the inside folds, the rosters and scorecards for each squad are printed, rotated 90-degrees, counter-clockwise and stacked vertically. The paper stock (a single 8.5″ x 11″ sheet), is a considerable upgrade from that of the other military scorecards and scorebooks listed in the Chevrons and Diamonds digital library.
Each team’s roster possesses players with a level of professional baseball experience or expertise that far surpasses that of a common soldier.
# – Pre-war Minor Leaguer
## – Pre- and Post-war Minor Leaguer
* – Pre-war Major Leaguer
** – Pre- and Post-war Major Leaguer
& – Post-war Major Leaguer
&& – Post-war Minor Leaguer
76th Infantry Division Onaways:
This roster featured nine players who possessed professional league talent (including Cecil Travis, a pre-war infielder for the Washington Senators who was three-time MLB All-Star that many believed was well on his way to Hall of Fame candidacy before he left for the war)and played on minor or major league teams either before or/and after the war.
|Last (listed on roster)||Full Name||Position|
|Bundrick (Bundirck)||Bundrick (Bundirck)||IF|
|Mayr||Bill Mayr (Meyers or Meyer)||1B|
71st Infantry Division Red Circlers
This roster featured fifteen players who possessed professional league talent and played on minor or major league teams either before or/and after the war.
|Van Robays||Maurice Van Robays||OF|
Umpires listed: Doyle, Hurley, McKinley
- Authenticating a Military Championship Baseball
- European Theater Baseball (the 29th Infantry Division Blue and Grays at Nurnberg)