Happy Memorial Day. Let’s never forget our brave countrymen who died so we might live in freedom. If the season were to end today, the Twins would make the AL playoffs. Ed Kasputis interviews podcaster Paul Pleiss from talktocontact.com about the Twins and Joe Connor aka Mr. Sports Travel about things to do in the Twin Cities.
Hank Gowdy (1889 – 1966) was the first Major League player to enlist during World War I. Gowdy also enlisted in the military during World War II with the baseball field at Fort Benning bearing his name. During our last podcast (Episode 58 – Minnesota Twins), Ed Kasputis interviewed Frank Ceresi about this patriot.
Gowdy made his major league debut in 1910 with John McGraw’s Giants. A year later he was traded to the Boston Braves. In 1914, Gowdy was the Braves catcher. On July 4, 1914, the Braves were in last place in the National League. Two months later, the Braves were in first place and became the first team to win the pennant after being in last place so late in the season. Gowdy lead the Braves to a World Series sweep over the favored Philadelphia Athletics.
Gowdy has been unsuccessful in 17 attempts to be voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Gowdy passed away in Columbus, Ohio in 1966.
National Memorial Day Concert – Charles Durning
The American Cemetery in Normandy
Memorial Day 2011, our PhD Committee is back in beautiful Minneapolis but what a difference a year makes. The Twins are struggling and in last place. Ed interviews Stew Thornley about Harmon Killebrew. Frank Ceresi shares his thoughts on MLB veteran Hank Gowdy and and our PhD Committee debates whether playoff expansion is wise. Then we pack up for the Motor City. Next week, it’s time to ponder whether the Tigers can catch those Indians?
Edward Leslie Grant (May 21, 1883 – October 5, 1918) was one of three (3) Major League Baseball players killed during the Great War. Grant played third base for the Cleveland Naps (1905), Philadelphia Phillies (1907 – 1910), Cincinnati Reds (1911 – 1913) and the New York Giants (1913 – 1915). Grant usually batted lead off.
During the battle of Meuse-Argonne Offensive, all of Grant’s superiors were killed or wounded. Grant took command of his troops on a four day search for the “Lost Battalion.” During the search, an exploding shell killed Grant on October 5, 1918. This Patriot is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Lorraine, France.
This Patriot died at the age of 35. “Harvard Eddie’s” ultimate sacrifice has allowed his fellow countrymen to live free for another 92 years.