tv Lou Dobbs Tonight FOX Business March 27, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
me. i'll be back tomorrow morning on "mornings with maria" on the fox business network. have a beautiful holiday, everybody. tonight on "war stories." they were at the top of their game. >> i'm no hero. heroes don't come back from wars. >> but for them sacrifice wasn't just about scoring runs. >> we want to fight. that's the reason. >> william said to do something, i would do it without question. >> i never saw so many strangers in my life. >> from the ballpark to the battlefield, b war ii. that's next on "war stories." ♪ that's the legendary green
monster, the left field wall at boston's fenway park. i'm oliver north. this is "war stories." . tonight we'll show you how america's national pasttime and the people who played it help boost the country's moral during the war. more than 500 major league ball players and 4,000 minor leaguers served in the military. star players like ted williams, warren spawn traded one uniform for another. "war stories" sat down with some of baseball's greatest legends to talk about those greatest days. join us tonight for a special, from the ballpark to the battlefield, baseball and world war ii. ♪ >> it was a different world then, a different generation of
people. >> boston red sox ace curt schilg have a passion. the generation that fought in world war ii continuing to inspire him. >> i'm playing baseball. i'm proud of what i do. you serve in the armed forces, you're putting your life on the line for your country and the freedom of the people that don't even live in your country. i can't put it in the same strots fear. >> we were supposed to go and we went. >> we had more important thing to do in the ball game. i wanted everybody to know i'm not hero. heroes don't come back from wars. >> 87-year-old bob feller's legendary pitching career began in iowa where he was raised on a hog farm. >> baseball and horseshoes is about the only thing you can play in those days. i played a lot of ball with my father. >> is there a sense you're going to try for something like baseball instead of farming?
>> i had no idea of ever being a farmer. all i ever wanted to do was a major league baseball player and i worked at it. >> a lot of ballplayers have always been working people that otherwise might be in the mines or the cotton mills or farming. and baseball was an escape. >> bill is the author of "ted williams at war". >> you could get paid reasonably well and be a little bit of a star if you're ever good. >> feller was good. he signed with the cleveland indians for a whopping $10,000 in 1935. he was just 16 years old. >> was that unusual to be that young? >> probably was unusual. i got -- my bonus was an autographed baseball and a contract on a piece of hotel stationa stationary. >> what did your folks say? >> they were really happy.
i never got home sick. i was doing what i wanted to do. ♪ >> baseball had a great appeal to people in both towns and cities. you could play in the parks and cities and something connected the american people in that time and place and it only spread. ♪ >> baseball had a grip on the american populous that no professional sport has ever had. >> "war stories" sat down with baseball historianed to anton in los angeles. >> everybody has an equal tunt to strike out, to hit, to succeed. you have to function together as a team. it's called america's past time but from lit toll when men died, they all wanted to be ballplayers ♪ >> i was playing baseball on the sand lots of san francisco. >> the youngest of five boys, 19-year-old dominic dimaggio was a sand lot player who dreamt of
a major league career. but when it came to baseball he had a lot to live up to. >> i always found myself trailing my brothers. joe was two years old. >> joe was the yankee clipper, joe dimaggio. dimaggio hit 29 home runs and helped lead the yankees to the world series. he's also the first rookie to play in an all-star game. >> he was an absolute natural, just a natural born baseball player and natural born hitter. >> it wasn't as easy for come, but in 1937 joe began his rise to superstardom as a yankee, a determined come made the rosster of the minor league, the san francisco seals. >> because iz was near sited i worn horn rimmed glasses enthis was an absolute no-no. no young man ever broke into
americans dead and shocked the nation. >> where were you on december 7th, 1941. >> i was coming home from mass and someone had the radio on and i go into my house, the japanese just bombed pearl harbor. >> now, oh my god. '41. that was after my first year in proball. johnny pesky was on the brinks of making the major leagues for the first time. would he ever make it or would he have to go to war. that wasn't known. >> i heard about the pearl harbor. >> two days later, one of baseball's biggest stars hung up his spikes and enlisted in the navy. >> nobody came to you and said hey, bob feller, not a good idea? skbr i don't think they were happy about it. but they knew what everybody else knew in this country, it was time to fight. >> when "war stories" returns,
january 1942, as war raged in europe and the pacific, america's love affair with major league baseball was in jeep parody. >> how do you justify playing baseball when your country's life is threatened. it seems incongruent. >> kennesaw mountain landis was the commission of baseball. he went straight to the top for guidance on the game's future. >> he wrote a letter asking permission of franklin d. roosevelt, should baseball continue during this. we await your orders. >> and roosevelt wrote, i honestly feel it would be best if for country to keep baseball going. >> it meant that the folks in
baseball had an official stamp of approval to continue. >> bernie har well was a broadcaster when he enlisted in the marines. he began writing for the marine magazine "leather neck". >> i wrote about people who had been in sports before they enlisted in the marines or maybe stories about marine teams that were playing at that time. ♪ >> on april 18th, 1942, lieutenant colonel jimmy dolittle led a daring campaign that targeted mainland japan. >> astonishing realism. >> following the surprise attack on pearl harbor, the japanese had run ram present in the pacific. this was the first good news for america in world war ii but many never heard of the mayor leaguer who played a role in the mission's success. princeton grad mo burr.
>> they said he could speak six different languages but couldn't hit any in any of them. >> in 1944 he played for the american all stars that went over to japan. and he took pictures of the military installation taens harbor. those pictures wrs used. >> after quitting baseball in 1939, he would continue his exploits as a spy for the office of strategic services js he was a great conversationist, easy to talk to, very intelligent but i had no idea he was spying. >> '42 season i came to the red sox and i got to finish the year out. >> ted williams had three years in the mayor leagues when johnny a began. they are kind of a mutt and jeff combination. >> if williams said that do something, i would do it without question. >> ted williams needed to serve the country and when he finished
out that 1942 season, he and john my pesky signed up to learn how to become naval pilots. >> luckily we got to finish the year. >> pesky and williams may have been on their way to flight school, but for come dimaggio, poor vision would once again become an obstacle. >> the opt tom tryst told me, i'm sorry, the navy won't take you because of your eyesight. i said look, i want to be in the navy. he said he could draft a letter and send it to the war department and request that you would like to be taken in to the army because we feel that your athletic ability would offset your eyesight. 60 days later i was in the navy. >> teams would lose eight or nine, ten players. >> as the players went off to war, the gerl's baseball league was formed to fill the void and
please the fans. >> we had some really great times with different teams. and we really had to fight the win the game. >> 20-year-old dottie collins pitched for the fort wayne daisys. >> it was very popular. we used to pack them in fort way wayne. >> one may nor league player who felt the squeeze of the draft, he was pitching for the st. paul saints when uncle sam sent him a draft notice. >> i ended up in the combat engineers, jumping off of cliffs, blowing up wrijs and obstacles. off for north a year before africa but he got a taste of what laid ahead. >> the commanding officer was demonstrating dynamite and stuff and it went off and killed him. >> as he continued training in the swamps of louisiana, bob feller already decided he
department want a kushy naval assignment chblt i left the program and went to war college and took my assignment aboard the battleship alabama. was commissioned in norfolk. >> did anybody say wait a second, how did you get to be a chief so fast? >> a lot of the chiefs were regulars and they didn't like it. i told them i don't care if you like it or not. i came in to win a war and tonight one. >> it's rough on monte irvine in more ways that one. that's next onononononon ♪ i'm savin' you five hundred coming soon from progressive, it's "savin' u," the new hit single from the dizzcounts. ♪ cash money ♪ the biggest discount and understand... ♪ the dizzcounts.
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states was battling on two fronts. both major and minor leaguers have traded one uniform for another. many of them were offered noncombat roles. >> preferential treatment only if that player allowed it to be. >> sure i got privileges. but i didn't want them. i wanted combat in the alabama. >> when the alabama is commissioned she goes initially to the east coast. are you a gunner's meat chief at that point mpl? >> i did the firing. every company that fired was a tracer and i presume i got the attention of some of those pilots that were coming after us too. >> like feller on word the alabama, another werner was about to go straight from the diamond to the deep blue sea. >> i just turned 18, they said you can finish the season and then you can join the navy. >> born and raised on the hill in st. louis, future hall of faker lawrence yogi bearer.
>> my dad didn't know the first thing about baseball. he said you go to war. my older brother was the best ballplayer in the family. he could have gone to cleveland. my dad wouldn't let him go. and my other brors could have signed as well. they're the ones who gave me the chance to go. and i always kid my dad, i said, dad, you know if you let your sons play ball you would have been a millionaire. >> 18-year-old bearer was playing for the tars in norfolk, virginia when he joined the navy in 1943. >> volunteered for a rocket boats. and i said i'm going to join them. >> did you know how close in shore those things were supposed to get? >> no. i didn't know a darn thing about them. i waned to do something, move out. i kind of enjoyed it. we had our own boat. >> over on the west coast
another 18-year-old, california native jerry coleman had just finished high school and his first season in the minors when he entered the cadet program. >> you start at 5:30 in the morning and go to 9:30 at night. very little time off to enjoy yourself. >> coleman ended up flying for the marines. >> joe fosz is running around when i was going through my training period and i wanted to be joe fosz, jr. i really did. there was no problem for me to become a marine whatsoever. >> born in alabama and one of ten children, future hall of famer monte irvine grew up playing baseball in orange, new jersey. >> i had five brothers and four sisters. and we all played baseball. >> a four sport high school superstar he was well on his way to becoming a professional athlete. but like america, baseball was segregated. he headed for the negro leagues.
>> i got to know all of the negro league teams and stars. after i grew up and tried to emulate them once i got into the negro leagues. >> preparing to return for another season, irvine's path took a different turn. >> i was drafted and all of the sudden i go to go to the army, leave my wife and my baby and so on. so my whole world changed. >> after his training, irvine and the rest of the 13th general service engineers shipped out for england. >> do you remember what ship you were on? >> yes, big english ship. >> how was the weather? >> terrible. which again was a good thing because the weather kept the submarine from really operating. didn't lose a ship or a man. 19 days later we landed in liverpool, england. ♪ >> as america shipped its boys across the globe, morery matter. and the 49th combat engineers found themes in the unforgiving
sand lot of north africa's desert. >> it was terrible, filthy, dirty. scared to death. >> patton and montgomery led the allies to victory. with that mission complete, the 49th combat engineers were off to their next battle. arriving in england, morery martin could tell something big was coming. >> we knew we were going into battle. >> yogi bearer once said you can observe a lot from just watching. when "war stories" return, audi pilotless vehicles have conquered highways, mountains, and racetracks. and now much of that same advanced technology is found in the new audi a4. with one notable difference...
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bombs. in the pacific, a simultaneous drive toward tokyo by general mccar thur's army moved forward. in may of that year pesky finished flight training. he was now commissioned. earning his wings proved harder than fielding a grounder. >> my flying wasn't the best. i scared a few people. >> particularly his teammate and fell row aviator, ted williams. >> he thought i was terrible. for such a good ballplayer, you're the worst player i ever saw. >> johnny pesky flew an airplane like he had steel arms. >> yeah, that's right. >> one of the shortcoming, navigation. >> i would fly but i didn't know where the hell i was going. i think i'm an ace and i'm doing the rollovers and the slow rolls
and then i go back and i have no idea where i'm at. i kind of panic is what i did. so i land my aircraft in this field. i felt like a god damn fool. a farmer comes over and said what's the matter, sonny, are you lost? i said yes, where's airport. he said well the airport is there. i thanked him. ooh i'm going down the field, i'm halfway down there, there's a big tree and all i did was pull back on my stick, i go and there's the airport right there. i didn't tell ted about it for four or five days. >> in the late spring of '44, martin, barra were all in southern england. >> when you got to england did you know you were going to make the normandy landing? >> no. we found out when we got there. they took us for training and everything and said we're going to get ready for an invasion. >> did you have a chance to play any baseball over there?
>> no. we didn't play at all over there. >> all training? >> all training. ♪ >> what impressed us more than anything else is all of the equipment, the ammunition, you know, the trucks and the tanks and the gasoline, all stacked up and alongside the road. >> we knew that, you know, the invasion was near. >> monte, did you see a lot of sign of the damage done? >> we did, yeah. they plastered plymouth. we didn't get a chance to go up to london because they were bombing it constantly and sending over buzz bombs over there. >> the way we were training we knew we were going into battle. we knew that. >> as monte and yogi prepared for the invasion of normandy, morrie martin fell sailed into the english channel. >> the water was so rough we couldn't land. we finally went in and when we let the large doors down, we
stepped out in water waist deep open had to wade on in. >> martin went ashore at omaha beach, one of 175,000 men who landed on d-day, 6 june 1944. >> artillery, it was going off. my cousin came in, i think it was two hours after i did, hen was killed right there on the beach, my cousin. >> did you have a sense when that landing is under way what a mo men us to event you're engaged in. >> i never saw so many planes in my life, colonel. i tell you, it was like a black cloud. >> seaman first class yogi barra was on board a rocket boat at utah beach. >> we used to call ourself the suicide squad. .230 caliber. >> we didn't get there until the first of august.
and we went -- we landed on omaha beach and i never will forget this. there was a big streamer, a tall streamer across the entrance and the sign said through these portals america's finest soldiers have tread. >> there was a bridge before we got in there on the river. we had to capture that and hold it. in fact we had to retake the bridge twice. they took it from us and we took it again. very costly. >> 8,000 miles from france the japanese held islands of guam were under attack and bob feller on the uss alabama was there. >> our target area was on the west side of the island of saipan and leveled it. >> after the landing, the alabama turned to the task of
stroke. japanese chief of staff eastwarded the mobile fleet nine air r carriers, five battle ships and 14 cruisers to repel the invasion. in the skies over the islands, some one,000 american aps japanese planes engaged in the greatest dog fight ever. ♪ >> i did the job of a gun raid chief. i pulled the trigger as my shipmate put the ammunition many. did you hit anything? i sure hope we did. you never knew who hit what. all we wanted was to see the airplane splash. >> it's one of the great victories of world war ii. >> didn't work out too well for the japanese. when the day was over, the jab knees naval air force didn't exist any longer. >> roosevelt's decision to keep baseball going benefitted more
than those working for victory on the home front. >> the war broadcast on the radio were so important to the men and women overseas, it gave them hope and humanity. >> it was very important to have that feeling that something good was happening back home and we could follow it wherever we would go. >> we got some game. we always got the scores >> listening was good but playing it was even better. >> baseball was played on all five continue then involved in the war. they were about to give that up. it brought them a piece of home. >> the military also put on games to entertain the troops and raise money through war bond sales. >> the national pasttime gets on the bandwagon. a glittering diamond festival is put on by the major leagues. $800 million is the contribution of the baseball fan to the bond drive. >> when i was in the navy in norfolk, v-v we had a good baseball team up there and brought up to play a game against the red sox in fenway
park. the price of admission was a $25 bond. and incidentally we beat the red sox. >> johnny, was baseball an important moral factor for americans? >> they said it was. we had some teams in the forward areas, guam and places like that. they had some good team and probably had better play u players back home. >> baseball became a way to settle age old rivalries, the series played in hawaii in the summer of '44. >> a world prask world series. said where are our best baseball players? and the yeoman said we got a few, got a couple in austria and australia and he says to the yeoman, bring them in. within 48 hours we had john my wise, schoolboy roll, john my
vand mere, they flew me and phil in from australia. we slaughtered the army. beat them badly. when "war stories" returns, jerry coleman starts flying dangerous don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. most allergy pills only control one inflammatory substance. flonase controls six. and six is greater than one. flonase changes everything.
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that helps provide billions of meals to families in need right in your community. visit feedingamerica.org to support feeding america and your local food bank. together, we can solve hunger. together, we're feeding america. i was 19, my gunner was 18. if the japanese knew what we are up against with, they would never have surrender. jerry coleman arrived in august of '44. he was assigned to a marine attack squad ran known as the turtles. >> who wants to go to war as a turtle. we were stationed a green island and then we went into the philippines. >> what was your first aircraft. >> we as dive bomber known as a scud bomber. >> what kind of bombs are you dropping.
>> thousand-pound bombs. i wanted to sank carrier. that was my goal zblou flew how many combat missions. >> 57. i hated the sector search, nothing around but water and you had to fly a couple of feet off the water. i hated that. i really did. ♪ >> as coleman battled the japanese from the sky, bob feller continued to face them on the philippine sea. >> when you're in these engagements with did you have a sense of being a part of something absolutely extraordinary? >> not really. when you're that age in your tos, you think you're immortal. of course we were aware we would be hurt. we had to bury men at sea. that's how war is. >> you road out a couple of really big typhoons as well? >> we had 180-mile-per-hour sustained winds. >> there are no typhoons in europe but in the winter of '44
there was snow, lots of it, and bone-chilling cold. >> cold as could be. maybe, you know, six below zero it was so cold. and we were more concerned about keeping warm than we were, you know, about fighting. >> it was the worst weather i ever saw in my life. i can remember christmas morning, i was sitting up against a tree and i was never so cold in my life. i didn't know whether they feet were on me or not. ♪ >> on that frigid christmas morning, morrie martin was one of thousands of girks is. they were facing hitler's last gas, a massive german counter attack. >> very long nights. sleeping on the ground, mud, rain, snow, ice, didn't know who you were fighting. because they were -- some of them, most of them, when they first made the break through,
they were dressed in our uniforms and they spoke perfect english. you would have to start with questions like who hit the home run and where's st. louis at. it was rough. terrible. >> the battle of the bulge cost more than 10,000 american lives and was one of the bloodiest engagements of world war ii. irvine was in france hoping for a piece of the action. >> not being able to make a bigger contribution, we wanted to fight too. that's the reason why they drafted us. >> their attitude changed when they got a little advice from a sergeant just back from the front. >> he said you ever heard of the german 88s. they're very accurate. of all of you guys, boy uldn't complain much anymore. and we didn't. >> morrie martin survived the battle of the bulge but in march of '45 he was shot in the leg while on patrol in germany. >> they were going to amputate my leg and the nurse looked at
my record and saw my occupation was a baseball player and she told them, they got this new drug out to kill this infection. said refuse that operation and make them give you that. >> the new drug was pencilen. >> she saved my leg. god bless her soul, all i know is she was from georgia. >> 8 may 1945 as morrie martin lay in a hospital, germany's surrender ended the war. >> did your unit get tagged to go to fight against japan? >> yes. yeah. we thought maybe we might go to japan. >> we're set to pick up a carrier and hit the mainland in 1945. >> operation downfall was scheduled to begin that november. but in august two atomic bombs made downfall and it's estimated
♪ >> during the war baseball provided a welcome respite from reial. peace meant two things, we had triumphed over evil and two, baseball's biggest names were back on the diamond. in i led the league in almost everything but stolen sweatshirts. i broke the strikeout record, pitched a no-hitter innian key
stadium, all star game in fenway park. i broke a major league strikeout record that stood at that day and time. i had a great year in 1946. >> when he first saw me, he said he didn't like me that much. i said yes, sir he did. then he started to like me. >> a three-time american league mvp, yog gi berra played 19 years. he was selected to the american league all star team every year from 1948 to 1962. >> we got a great country here. that's all i go. >> let me share with your yogi berra's observations. he said bob feller was really rough on me until he found out i had served in combat. that's what he h said. >> he brings it up all the time. he's a great guy and his wife is
a great lady. >> he won 236 games and struck out batters. in world war ii, it cost me four seasons. >> 1946 was a special year for baseball in the country. great players were able to come back. >> earn any har well broadcast his first game for the atlanta crackers in 1946. in 1960 he moved to detroit where he announced for 42 seasons. >> i've had a great life and a great part of it was being in the marines for four years. >> i was signed by the new york giants in 1949. >> would you have gotten into major league baseball sooner had you got gone off to war? >> yeah. i had been selected to be the first at that time. i was scouted back in 1936. so they had selected me to be the first. but how can you argue with the job that jackie did. >> monte irvine fields the ball but too late to keep jackie
robinson from scoring. ♪ >> in '51 irvine was with the giants are one of baseball's most famous moments. the deciding game of the special playoff between the new york giants and the brooklyn dodgers. at stake a trip to the world series. bobby toch son came to the plate with two men on and his giants down by two. >> the pitch, thompson swings. it's going, going, it's gone ap engiants win the pennant 5-4. >> that magnificent home run hit by bob thompson, that was like a dream come true. >> the blast that was heard around the baseball world. >> you traded uniforms. is that something some youngster should say i could do that too? >> yeah. >> they said freedom is not free. we have to fight for the freedom that we have. each and ever one of us should
remember that. >> i was anxious to get back into it and get back into civilian life but i knew i was going to have a rough time because i just, i don't know, i just wasn't all there yet, you know, in any i had went through a lot. >> morrie martin needed to overcome more than the war. after almost losing his leg, he needed to recover as a an athlete and make the major leagues and he did pitch in the majors for ten years. >> i'm proud to serve my country and i'm thank the good lord that i'm back, back here alive. in as good of shape as i am. >> you gave up a lot to change unifor uniforms. >> yes, i did. >> very likely you gave up your chance to be in the hall of fame. >> i don't know about that. you're very kind to say that. i'm in the red sox hall of fame and that's good enough for me. >> for the amount of sometime and service that john has given to baseball, that alone should qualify him for the hall of fame. but he has the number to go with
it. and yes, i think john should be in the hall of fame. >> come dimaggio and johnny peskiry joined the red sox for the 1946 season. that year boston made it to the world series. >> did you notice in talking to come and ted that three years changed you? >> no it matured us, i would say. we were so happy to see the guys that we played with before we went in, they were all healthy and still young. we played a good ten years together. that's a long time. >> i think it was the best thing i ever did. had i not gone in the service i think i would have resented it to this day. >> the day the war ended i said this to myself, what am i going to do now? >> they let me out january of 1946 and that's when i picked up baseball again. >> jerry coleman went on to play nine seasons with the yankees. in june 1950 north korea invaded south korea. ted williams and jerry coleman
again sacrificed their baseball careers to answer their country's call. >> the yankees loss is the marine corps gain. >> well colonel i would say it's like going from one championship team to another. >> i say this candidly and honestly. the marine corps destroyed by baseball career. there's no question about it. the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life is my time in the service and the marine corps, nothing close to it. >> more baseball and world war ii when
president roosevelt certainly made the right call when he decided baseball should keep going during world war ii. by boosting moral on the home front, baseball help keep the country going. to all of the players who love of the game was rivalled only by their love of the country, theirs is a war story that
deserves to be told. i'm oliver north, good night. ♪ >> oliver: a poor kid's is farm boy the architect is in europe with his granddaughter to members of his staff talk about the soldier who became president >> i think my grandfather felt completely destroyed. to write david eisenhower. next. "war stories". oliver: i am oliver north.