Friday, October 16, 2015

John Klima

John Klima is the author of the new book The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII.

From his Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: What were some of the reasons Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to support the continuation of baseball through World War II?

A: Public morale, public relations, something people could feel connected to during the war. Roosevelt saw it as a political device to connect himself to something people loved and didn't want to lose during the war.

He also saw the practical value of baseball as a social institution and a worthy piece of the domestic wartime economy.

Q: Two of the people on whom you focus in the book are Hank Greenberg and Pete Gray. Why did you select them?

A: I like right-handed power and guys who can run. Actually because they represented the two ends of the wartime baseball spectrum -- the guy who had it all and the guy who had nothing -- each giving themselves to the war effort in different ways.

Greenberg was the highest paid player in baseball, the most feared right-handed power hitter in the game, and he did not want to be seen as a guy who used baseball to get out of his duty.

Gray was ridiculed all the way up because...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue