While the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals were winning pennants and facing off in the World Series, another group of players was fighting it out on a skinned-out college field in North Carolina in 1943. They wore the Cloudbuster Nine baseball jersey. They were fighter-pilots-in-training at an elite naval academy that shaped American heroes like George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, John Glenn and Paul “Bear” Bryant. This unlikely wartime team trained on and off the baseball diamond and included Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky and Johnny Sain. Their batboy and mascot was a kid named Jim Raugh who dreamed of baseball greatness and got to know his heroes as they practiced and played in dozens of games, including a war-bond exhibition with Babe Ruth. While Jim did become a college All-American, he failed a major-league bid with the Detroit Tigers years later. If his daughter, author Anne Keene, hadn’t stumbled upon his scrapbooks, this little-known tale of pilots, players, patriotism and a father’s unrealized dreams might never have been told.
Eight Cousins Books, our co-host, will have copies of this book at the talk.
The book will also be available in the store at 189 Main Street in Falmouth.