FanPost

Honoring Their Service

On this Memorial Day, I thought it would be appropriate to honor Tiger players who served in the military. Here are a few

Hank Greenberg - "Hammerin' Hank" was drafted in 1940, but released from service after Congress passed a law releasing men over age 28. He left the service December 5, 1941. After Pearl Harbor he re-enlisted, went to Officers' Candidates School and ended up Army Air Force, flying "The Hump" in the China-Burma- India theater.

Steve Souchock --- played for the Tigers in the 50's. During WWII he fought in the Battle of the Bulge with Patton's Third Army and earned the Bronze Star in Europe.

Ted Gray -- A home grown Detroit boy who played in the minors before enlisting in 1943 at age 18. He played a little baseball at the Great Lakes Training Center and then served in the Pacific theater as a Ship's Cook, Second Class. After the war, he returned to the Tigers and had a 6 - 2 record in 1948.

Johnny Lipon - A high school phenom who was drafted by the Tigers and played in the minors before enlisting in 1943. He trained at the Naval Air Gunners School in Jacksonville, FL and flew out casualties from the Okinawa region as part of an air-sea rescue group.

A lot of other players either enlisted or were drafted in WWII and served as "morale boosters," playing on military teams that toured the States, Europe and the Pacific. And Hal Newhouser, the great Tiger pitcher, was classified 4-F because of a leaky heart valve (though he tried to enlist several times.)

Today we honor all those who served and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice. I encourage you, as you enjoy your day off (or enjoy the fact that you have a job to go to) to remember all the men and women who have served and to thank them and their families.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the <em>Bless You Boys</em> writing staff.