According to historian Jim Leeke, author of “From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War,” approximately 38 percent of active Major League players went on to serve, and eight current or former players were either killed in action or died of illness during the war. – library of Congress blog
Teams played short handed, players paid a price for their heroism. The great Christy Mathewson did not get to action on the front – the war ended – but he was exposed to mustard gas in training and it was the cause of his early death.
In WWII the leagues were short of players and scrambled for players to fill the rosters regardless of talent. 500 served, two died, and the record book was changed in many ways https://www.nytimes….rld-war-ii.html
Yogi Berra was at Omaha Beach, Wilhelm and Spahn at the Battle of the Bulge, and Bob Feller lost four prime years. Put those years on their resume and they become even more immortal in the baseball world.
In Korea Whitey Ford, Willie Mays, and Don Newcombe served and Ted Williams flew 39 combat missions – how many hits and home runs is that worth?
Players served in Vietnam War and have been part of every conflict. We do not have a baseball game to attend this year, but lets remember these men along with out relatives and neighbors on memorial day.