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America’s favorite pastime, Baseball, was greatly affected
by the U.S. entering the war.  At one point, people though baseball would
be suspended.  As the U.S. entered WWII, everyone wanted to support their
country, so people volunteered for the military.  This affected all jobs,
including sports.  Many baseball players decided to quit their teams and
high paying salaries to go and fight in the war.  Famous baseball players
such as Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Bob
Feller, etc. all went to fight in the war.  Even factories that made
sports equipment switched gears and started to produce war supplies.  For
the players that did not enlist, people tended to look down upon them because
they felt that players were in great condition to fight.  Some people went
as far as saying that baseball should be suspended during the war time so more
players could enlist.  So, Baseball had a dilemma, should they continue
playing or shut down during the war.  The Sporting News decided to ask military
members for their opinion.  Private John E
Stevenson wrote to them, “Baseball is part of the American way of life.
Remove it and you remove something from the lives of American citizens,
soldiers and sailors.” Private Clifford P Mansfield also said, “For
the morale of the soldier and the morale of America itself, ‘keep ’em
playing’.”  President Franklin D. Roosevelt also received a
letter from the commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.  Landis
wanted to know if Roosevelt thought baseball should be suspended.
 Roosevelt had a love for baseball, so when he got this letter he wrote
back right away saying, “I honestly feel
that it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.”  He also elaborated saying that people need
baseball to take their minds off the hardships of work and war.  Even
though FDR said baseball does not have to be suspended, there were still some
critics that disagree. Many thought that the players were trying to avoid going
to the war.  FBI director J. Edgar Hoover disproved those claims and said
that the FBI would have reports of players avoiding the war, but they don’t.
 Overall, Baseball went through a rough patch by having a lot of their
talent go to war, but in the end the sport would prevail, as many people
supported the game.  After all, Baseball is known as America’s favorite
pastime.

 

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