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U.S. Army Introducing Baseball In Germany


U.S. Army Introducing Baseball In Germany

Before us officers and men of the famous Second Division are watching a ball game at Neuwied (noi'vët), Germany, headquarters of the Third Brigade, Army of Occupation. These games, held in May, 1919, were for the army championship, division pitted against division. They were as cleverly played and hard fought as national and league games in the States, for nearly all of the players were professional ball players enlisted in the army, each team the pick of 30,000 men. Officers and men swarmed to the games with the enthusiasm of real fans, traveling many kilometers in huge army motor trucks. Hundreds of these trucks were parked near the diamond, and after the game, in wild confusion, from 5,000 to 8,000 doughboys streamed over the level fields, each seeking the one particular truck that would carry him back to his barracks.

In the foreground, on the right, sits a group of officers, captains, first lieutenants and "shavetails" (slang for second lieutenants). Behind them, on the bank, are grouped privates. Note how intent they are on the game—there must be men on bases. In the rear we see the players' shed, and back of it the grandstand. True democracy is in force on this grandstand—officers and men sit side by side, first come first served.

There is always a fringe of German civilians at these games—middle-aged men, youths and maidens, observing with stolid amazement the actions of those "mad" Americans, those husky men chasing a little white pill over the ground, running around a circle and going at the whole inexplicable business with the same "pep" they went "over the top." Lat. 50° N.; Long. 7° E.

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General McIndoe Field at Neuwied, Germany
General McIndoe Field at Neuwied, Germany, named in memory of the Regiment's former commander.
 
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