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Greatest athletes to serve in the armed forces

doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

The title of the thread says it all, let's have em.

Comments

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll get the ball rolling before I turn in for the night, Roberto Clemente, US Marine Corps, 10 years

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One more, Corporal Leon Spinks, US Marine Corps.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    One more, Corporal Leon Spinks, US Marine Corps.

    Well, 2 outa 3 ain't bad. 😉

  • LandrysFedoraLandrysFedora Posts: 1,709 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Roger Staubach

  • GroceryRackPackGroceryRackPack Posts: 2,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,178 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You nailed some good ones DD

    🇺🇸

  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 11,593 ✭✭✭✭✭

    David Robinson, aka The Admiral.

    Not very many top level athletes choose to serve in the Miltary today.

    Had Ali not objected to being drafted and instead entered the military, he would likely be at the top of the list of athletes who served in the military. Ali was and likely always will be considered the GOAT in boxing.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Chuck Bednarik, US Army Air Corps, he was a waist gunner on a B-24 liberator who went on 30 missions in WW2.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sgt. Joe Louis, US Army.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yogi Berra joined the United States Navy in 1943, and served as a gunner's mate on the attack transport USS Bayfield during the Normandy landings. A Second Class Seaman, Berra was one of a six-man crew on a Navy rocket boat, firing machine guns and launching rockets at the German defenses on Omaha Beach.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Whitey Ford, US Army, served in Korea from 1951-52.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Jack Dempsey, US Coast Guard, the photos below he is pictured with Ernie Pyle and circling Okinawa with a rifle in his hand.

  • coolstanleycoolstanley Posts: 2,375 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not American but the greatest and most famous in the World who served would be Roger Federer.

    Terry Bradshaw was AMAZING!!

    Ignore list -Basebal21

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    Chuck Bednarik, US Army Air Corps, he was a waist gunner on a B-24 liberator who went on 30 missions in WW2.

    DD - I never liked you until now.

    Keep up your nice posts such as this, and it's possible I may place you on my list for a holiday gift basket. Last holiday season, a marbled fruit cake was the featured item in the basket.

    😉

  • craig44craig44 Posts: 10,230 ✭✭✭✭✭

    the first that come to my mind are Ted and Bob Feller.

    so many past greats have served. can you imagine modern day players doing the same? Tillman is the only one I can think of and that was 20 years ago.

    George Brett, Bobby Orr and Terry Bradshaw.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @doubledragon said:
    Chuck Bednarik, US Army Air Corps, he was a waist gunner on a B-24 liberator who went on 30 missions in WW2.

    DD - I never liked you until now.

    Keep up your nice posts such as this, and it's possible I may place you on my list for a holiday gift basket. Last holiday season, a marbled fruit cake was the featured item in the basket.

    😉

    No fruit cake, if I receive another fruit cake as a gift I swear I'll scream!

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting story, Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson served in the chemical services unit in WW1, if you know anything about WW1 then you know it was a horrific war, a lot of weapons were first used in that war, the tank, the flame thrower, and chemical gas was used as a weapon. Anyway, Ty Cobb told an interesting story about almost getting killed in the chemical services, don't know if it's true or not.

    How did baseball great Ty Cobb almost die in World War I?

    Augusta's Ty Cobb was known as one of baseball fiercest competitors, and no doubt many of his opponents would have liked to do him in. The closest that came to happening, however, was not on a baseball field, or back alley, but the battlefields of World War I France.

    Exactly what happened, depends on whose memory we believe.

    Most biographers let Cobb, one of baseball's first Hall-of-Famers, tell the story.

    The close of the 1918 baseball season found the "Georgia Peach" an Army captain in the Chemical Warfare Service. There he joined other baseball notables – Christy Mathewson, Branch Rickey and George Sisler – in training recruits on handling poisonous gas, one of the war's more insidious innovations.

    It was terrible.

    At the first sign or scent of "the sweet smell of death," soldiers were expected to strap on the yellow, begoggled masks and begin breathing through a hose attached to a charcoal filter.

    To teach this procedure, the Army would march the men into an airtight chamber, give a hand signal, then pump the room full of poisonous gas as the soldiers rushed to put on their masks.

    Most of these recruits were not the cream of the military crop. Cobb would later call them "culls," rejects from other units. But it was thought they would pay attention if their instructors happened to be among the biggest stars in professional sport. It should be noted the celebrity instructors had received their own training just a week before.

    Things did not go well on a fall day in 1918 at the Hanlon Air Base in Chaumont, France. Eighty men had entered the sealed chamber, but almost none of them saw the hand signal signifying that poisonous gas was being pumped into the room.

    When the recruits suddenly smelled the gas, pandemonium broke out.

    "I'll never be able to forget that day when some of the men – myself included – missed the signal," Cobb later wrote in his autobiography "My Life In Baseball."

    "Men screamed to be let out when they got a sudden whiff of the sweet death in the air. They went crazy with fear and in a fight to get out jammed up in a hopeless tangle," Cobb wrote.

    "I fixed my mask, groped my way to the wall and worked through the thrashing bodies to the door. Trying to lead the men out was hopeless. It was each of us in there for himself."

    Sixteen men were laid out afterward and eight of them died, Cobb would write. It was a detail repeated by subsequent authors Al Stump and Charles Alexander.

    Cobb said he was sick for a week, coughing and discharging liquid from his lungs.

    Mathewson never recovered, Cobb would insist, and the lethal poison "Matty" had gulped that day would hasten his death from tuberculosis seven years later.

    It was the story Cobb would tell the rest of his life, but it was not the story Mathewson biographer Ray Robinson told.

    Tuberculosis, a common affliction in the Mathewson family, is what led to his death, not the accident Cobb so vividly described, Robinson wrote.

    He also quoted Branch Rickey, the baseball exec who broke the sport's racial ban by playing Jackie Robinson, saying Mathewson didn't suffer as Cobb described.

    "I was with him immediately afterward," Rickey said. "and to my knowledge Matty had no mishap." In fact, Rickey said he watched as Mathewson won a field training broad jump contest soon after.

    There was, however, a later incident, Robinson wrote, in which Mathewson could have sustained a more serious gas exposure. It was also known that he suffered from a bout of the Spanish Flu that struck thousands in military service.

    The most recent Cobb biographer, Charles Leerhsen, offers the old star's recollection, but also reports there is no evidence to corroborate the fatal mishap, just Cobb's account.

    The war, itself, ended soon after the accident and Cobb went back home to Augusta, where he marked his 32nd birthday a week before Christmas and told reporters he might be ready to retire.

    He didn't.

    In 1919 he would return to the Detroit Tigers and win the American League batting title.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 27,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @doubledragon said:
    Interesting story, Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson served in the chemical services unit in WW1, if you know anything about WW1 then you know it was a horrific war, a lot of weapons were first used in that war, the tank, the flame thrower, and chemical gas was used as a weapon. Anyway, Ty Cobb told an interesting story about almost getting killed in the chemical services, don't know if it's true or not.

    How did baseball great Ty Cobb almost die in World War I?

    Augusta's Ty Cobb was known as one of baseball fiercest competitors, and no doubt many of his opponents would have liked to do him in. The closest that came to happening, however, was not on a baseball field, or back alley, but the battlefields of World War I France.

    Exactly what happened, depends on whose memory we believe.

    Most biographers let Cobb, one of baseball's first Hall-of-Famers, tell the story.

    The close of the 1918 baseball season found the "Georgia Peach" an Army captain in the Chemical Warfare Service. There he joined other baseball notables – Christy Mathewson, Branch Rickey and George Sisler – in training recruits on handling poisonous gas, one of the war's more insidious innovations.

    It was terrible.

    At the first sign or scent of "the sweet smell of death," soldiers were expected to strap on the yellow, begoggled masks and begin breathing through a hose attached to a charcoal filter.

    To teach this procedure, the Army would march the men into an airtight chamber, give a hand signal, then pump the room full of poisonous gas as the soldiers rushed to put on their masks.

    Most of these recruits were not the cream of the military crop. Cobb would later call them "culls," rejects from other units. But it was thought they would pay attention if their instructors happened to be among the biggest stars in professional sport. It should be noted the celebrity instructors had received their own training just a week before.

    Things did not go well on a fall day in 1918 at the Hanlon Air Base in Chaumont, France. Eighty men had entered the sealed chamber, but almost none of them saw the hand signal signifying that poisonous gas was being pumped into the room.

    When the recruits suddenly smelled the gas, pandemonium broke out.

    "I'll never be able to forget that day when some of the men – myself included – missed the signal," Cobb later wrote in his autobiography "My Life In Baseball."

    "Men screamed to be let out when they got a sudden whiff of the sweet death in the air. They went crazy with fear and in a fight to get out jammed up in a hopeless tangle," Cobb wrote.

    "I fixed my mask, groped my way to the wall and worked through the thrashing bodies to the door. Trying to lead the men out was hopeless. It was each of us in there for himself."

    Sixteen men were laid out afterward and eight of them died, Cobb would write. It was a detail repeated by subsequent authors Al Stump and Charles Alexander.

    Cobb said he was sick for a week, coughing and discharging liquid from his lungs.

    Mathewson never recovered, Cobb would insist, and the lethal poison "Matty" had gulped that day would hasten his death from tuberculosis seven years later.

    It was the story Cobb would tell the rest of his life, but it was not the story Mathewson biographer Ray Robinson told.

    Tuberculosis, a common affliction in the Mathewson family, is what led to his death, not the accident Cobb so vividly described, Robinson wrote.

    He also quoted Branch Rickey, the baseball exec who broke the sport's racial ban by playing Jackie Robinson, saying Mathewson didn't suffer as Cobb described.

    "I was with him immediately afterward," Rickey said. "and to my knowledge Matty had no mishap." In fact, Rickey said he watched as Mathewson won a field training broad jump contest soon after.

    There was, however, a later incident, Robinson wrote, in which Mathewson could have sustained a more serious gas exposure. It was also known that he suffered from a bout of the Spanish Flu that struck thousands in military service.

    The most recent Cobb biographer, Charles Leerhsen, offers the old star's recollection, but also reports there is no evidence to corroborate the fatal mishap, just Cobb's account.

    The war, itself, ended soon after the accident and Cobb went back home to Augusta, where he marked his 32nd birthday a week before Christmas and told reporters he might be ready to retire.

    He didn't.

    In 1919 he would return to the Detroit Tigers and win the American League batting title.

    I find it difficult if not impossible to believe that poison gas would be used during a training exercise. I could envision possibly pumping in something that smelled similar to the poison gas, but not the actual poison gas.

  • doubledragondoubledragon Posts: 22,147 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @stevek said:

    @doubledragon said:
    Interesting story, Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson served in the chemical services unit in WW1, if you know anything about WW1 then you know it was a horrific war, a lot of weapons were first used in that war, the tank, the flame thrower, and chemical gas was used as a weapon. Anyway, Ty Cobb told an interesting story about almost getting killed in the chemical services, don't know if it's true or not.

    How did baseball great Ty Cobb almost die in World War I?

    Augusta's Ty Cobb was known as one of baseball fiercest competitors, and no doubt many of his opponents would have liked to do him in. The closest that came to happening, however, was not on a baseball field, or back alley, but the battlefields of World War I France.

    Exactly what happened, depends on whose memory we believe.

    Most biographers let Cobb, one of baseball's first Hall-of-Famers, tell the story.

    The close of the 1918 baseball season found the "Georgia Peach" an Army captain in the Chemical Warfare Service. There he joined other baseball notables – Christy Mathewson, Branch Rickey and George Sisler – in training recruits on handling poisonous gas, one of the war's more insidious innovations.

    It was terrible.

    At the first sign or scent of "the sweet smell of death," soldiers were expected to strap on the yellow, begoggled masks and begin breathing through a hose attached to a charcoal filter.

    To teach this procedure, the Army would march the men into an airtight chamber, give a hand signal, then pump the room full of poisonous gas as the soldiers rushed to put on their masks.

    Most of these recruits were not the cream of the military crop. Cobb would later call them "culls," rejects from other units. But it was thought they would pay attention if their instructors happened to be among the biggest stars in professional sport. It should be noted the celebrity instructors had received their own training just a week before.

    Things did not go well on a fall day in 1918 at the Hanlon Air Base in Chaumont, France. Eighty men had entered the sealed chamber, but almost none of them saw the hand signal signifying that poisonous gas was being pumped into the room.

    When the recruits suddenly smelled the gas, pandemonium broke out.

    "I'll never be able to forget that day when some of the men – myself included – missed the signal," Cobb later wrote in his autobiography "My Life In Baseball."

    "Men screamed to be let out when they got a sudden whiff of the sweet death in the air. They went crazy with fear and in a fight to get out jammed up in a hopeless tangle," Cobb wrote.

    "I fixed my mask, groped my way to the wall and worked through the thrashing bodies to the door. Trying to lead the men out was hopeless. It was each of us in there for himself."

    Sixteen men were laid out afterward and eight of them died, Cobb would write. It was a detail repeated by subsequent authors Al Stump and Charles Alexander.

    Cobb said he was sick for a week, coughing and discharging liquid from his lungs.

    Mathewson never recovered, Cobb would insist, and the lethal poison "Matty" had gulped that day would hasten his death from tuberculosis seven years later.

    It was the story Cobb would tell the rest of his life, but it was not the story Mathewson biographer Ray Robinson told.

    Tuberculosis, a common affliction in the Mathewson family, is what led to his death, not the accident Cobb so vividly described, Robinson wrote.

    He also quoted Branch Rickey, the baseball exec who broke the sport's racial ban by playing Jackie Robinson, saying Mathewson didn't suffer as Cobb described.

    "I was with him immediately afterward," Rickey said. "and to my knowledge Matty had no mishap." In fact, Rickey said he watched as Mathewson won a field training broad jump contest soon after.

    There was, however, a later incident, Robinson wrote, in which Mathewson could have sustained a more serious gas exposure. It was also known that he suffered from a bout of the Spanish Flu that struck thousands in military service.

    The most recent Cobb biographer, Charles Leerhsen, offers the old star's recollection, but also reports there is no evidence to corroborate the fatal mishap, just Cobb's account.

    The war, itself, ended soon after the accident and Cobb went back home to Augusta, where he marked his 32nd birthday a week before Christmas and told reporters he might be ready to retire.

    He didn't.

    In 1919 he would return to the Detroit Tigers and win the American League batting title.

    I find it difficult if not impossible to believe that poison gas would be used during a training exercise. I could envision possibly pumping in something that smelled similar to the poison gas, but not the actual poison gas.

    I agree, to risky to pump in poisonous gas when a harmless chemical would serve the same purpose, to make sure the mask worked, but who knows, I haven't dug that deep into it.

  • perkdogperkdog Posts: 29,178 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not the greatest but one of the toughest baseball players

    Hank Bauer served as a Marine Raider in the Pacific

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