Friday, May 4, 2012

In a letter from Herb

I often write letters to old time ball players who had a break in their career to serve in the military. I do this for two reasons; first because they gave up the greatest life, a professional baseball player, to serve their country and that deserves our undying gratitude. Many great players put their careers on hold to fight in World War II and Korea; what a sacrifice as you couldn't possible imagine someone like Bryce Harper enlisting to fight in Afghanistan, Jay Bruce trading a bat for a rifle, or Tim Lincecum trading in his long hair for a high-and-tight. That would be pure insanity! However, hundreds of professional ball players have taken the chance. Now older, living in retirement communities, and many have passed on; I try to find time to send them a letter, thanking them for what they did. The second reason is closely related as getting back into baseball after my time in Iraq. Baseball helped me make sense of things and get through each day.

I have recently been corresponding back and forth with a fine Washington Senator and Boston Red Sox 2nd baseman, Herb Plews. Herb enlisted in the Army and was shipped to Korea, once he arrived he landed himself a spot on the post baseball team, as the post commander was a huge baseball enthusiast and caught wind of Herb's enlistment. Herb was fortunate to have spent his tour playing ball. In my opinion he did a great service to the men by providing the entertainment and feeling of home so far away. It is something that each soldier tries to do in their own way. In Iraq we planted small boxes of grass seed to keep in our tent, as well as played baseball and football. Herb and I have discussed baseball here and there and really never get into anything specific or in great detail, we always wish each other well and I hope my letters bring him something to look forward to. Now 83 and in a retirement village in Colorado.

Here is a scan of the first letter Herb sent me...

Here is the only Herb Plews card I have, I redeemed this one from 2011 Topps Diamond Giveaways...

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