More Than A Game: The Role of Baseball in American Civilian and Military Society During World War II
Jacobs, Benjamin R.
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Baseball's role in America during World War II is a well-documented one. Professional baseball players pulled double-duty, serving both as professional baseball players, but at the same time as ambassadors to the American people on behalf of the war effort. Players participated in charity games to raise funds and pledged percentages of their salaries toward the purchase of war bonds. IS People were given free admission to games in exchange for needed goods, such as paper and scrap metal. In 1942, a second All Star Game was organized, "with the winner of the regular game facing an All Star service team, the money from both to be passed on to relief and other war-related funds. Another example was the "War Bond League" of New York City. The league, was established in which players for the Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants were given performance votes and popularity votes by supporters who purchased bonds as votes. Over $1 billion was raised by this War Bond League as baseball parks became an important, if not key, center of the war bond drives. There were numerous attempts on the part of Major League baseball to raise money for the war effort. As an example, one night, three games played at Chicago's Comiskey Park, Detroit's Briggs Stadium and Yankee Stadium in New York brought in something over $171,000 and put the big league total for the campaign comfortably above $500,000.