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OT: Former Heavyweight Champion Turns Soldier


Warfish
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I believe there were quite a few athletes who served in WWII - Joe Lewis, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Stan Musial - although I think most or all of those guys didn't see much combat if any.  

Yogi Berra and Gil Hodges saw combat in WWII I believe, and Hobey Baker saw combat in WWI. 

I think Tom Landry flew a bomber.

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Nile Kinnick fits this bill and is a story not many know.

Kinnick is Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner.  Our stadium is named in his honor.  He was a member of the Navy during WWII.  He died off the coast of Venezuela in a training flight crash in 1943, 4 years after his Heisman Win.

His heisman speech to this day makes me proud to be an Iowan and an American.  Take 3 minutes if you can.  They play this in the stadium before every game.

 

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2 hours ago, BeaconJet said:

I believe there were quite a few athletes who served in WWII - Joe Lewis, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Stan Musial - although I think most or all of those guys didn't see much combat if any.  

Yogi Berra and Gil Hodges saw combat in WWII I believe, and Hobey Baker saw combat in WWI. 

I think Tom Landry flew a bomber.

Ted Williams flew combat missions in WW2 and Korea,

If Willie Mays doesn't he had a strong chance to pass Babe Ruth in career HR

Ted.PNG

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Hank Bauer played with the New York Yankees (from 1948 to 1959) and Kansas City Athletics (from 1960 to 1961). He served as the manager of the Athletics in both Kansas City (196162) and in Oakland (1969), as well as of the Baltimore Orioles (196468), guiding the Orioles to the World Series title in 1966, a four-game sweep over the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers. This represented the first World Series title in the franchise's history. One month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Bauer enlisted in the Marine Corps and served with the 4th Raider Battalion and G Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. While deployed to the Pacific Theater, Bauer contracted malaria on Guadalcanal, but he recovered from that well enough to earn 11 campaign ribbons, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts in 32 months of combat. Bauer was wounded his second time during the Battle of Okinawa, when he was a sergeant in command of a platoon of 64 Marines. Only six of the 64 Marines survived the Japanese counterattack, and Bauer was wounded by shrapnel in his thigh. His wounds were severe enough to send him back to the US

 

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2 hours ago, chirorob said:

Ted Williams flew combat missions in WW2 and Korea,

If Willie Mays doesn't he had a strong chance to pass Babe Ruth in career HR

Ted.PNG

Teddy re-upped for a second tour, cost hi 4 years in his prime.   

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Most of MLB signed on.  Thats why they had the all women baseball league

Joe Lewis enlisted and fought for the military.  The US and the IRS decided to credit him with the money he would have earned for all those fights and sent him a tax bill which he never was able to pay off.  Which led to him playing a goon as a wrestler and then coming out of retirement in his mid 40's and getting his ass handed to him by Rocky Marciano.

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Both brothers have been going this route for a while and give their lives to that country. I think Wlad actually auctioned off his gold medal for a children's org a while back too.

Ukrainian boxers overall have been dominating the **** out of the sport for the last couple decades.

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5 hours ago, Warfish said:

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First:  I am aware there was already a thread on Russia's invasion of Ukraine and we (posters) got it locked quickly with the usual shenanigans.  So for crying out loud, act like grownups and don't do it again with this one.

Second:  As Americans, I think we would all agree this invasion is unjustified (legally and morally), and that Russia is a bad actor on the world stage.  We do not need to fight about which of us is more or less supportive of this.

Third:  As Americans, I think we all want to avoid World War III, or at least the U.S. being involved in another War abroad.  We might feel pain because of that view, as I do, over poor Ukraine and their people.  Some might not, and that's ok too.  Again, we do not need to fight about it, try to out patriot each other or try and out American First each other ffs.  So keep it in your pants.

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This is about the amazing events that have two former elite Boxers now taking up arms.  And perhaps some thoughts about other sports heroes who, in time of need, took up arms for their country.

I remember reading about Ted Williams, how he lost quite a few years of his career after being drafted.  And of course the famous case of Muhammad Ali's comments and refusal to go fight in Vietnam.  

And of course the sad tale of NFL star Pat Tillman....

It seems almost insane to think of the Klitschko brothers at War, almost like the idea of Mike Tyson taking up an AK-47.....

Are there any Sports Stars/Heroes that come to mind for you when you think of guys who played sports, but also served in combat in War?

What if taking up arms is the problem, and not something to be deemed as 'heroic'?  Devils advocate, can be discussed in private messages rather than getting the thread locked!

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3 hours ago, Jimmy 2 Times said:

I’m Ukrainian.

My grandmother came home from school as a teenager and her entire family was gone.  Taken to the Siberian gulags.  Never heard from again.

She hid for months.  Farm to farm, barn to barn.  She was eventually caught and was put on a train she said was very similar to the ones in Schindler’s List.  

Somehow she manages to escape with three men.  One that would eventually become my grandfather.  They hid in the forest and traveled west.  Finding their way to the Poland boarder.

Fast forward 5 years when the Germans showed up.  My grandmother, pregnant with my father and her husband were shipped to Germany to work in the camps.

 

She never saw her husband again, but somehow survived.  Gave birth to my father on March 26, 1945 in the camp and was luckily liberated shortly after that from the same Russian troops that murdered her family.

 

They were stuck in Germany, unable to return to Ukraine.  Saint Nicholas church from Chicago, IL was relocating Ukrainian refugees to America.  They brought her and my father over and they moved to Ukrainian Village.  Chicago and Western Ave.  It’s the neighborhood I was born in.

 

I’m not sure why I told the story or what I was trying to accomplish from it, but there it is.

They experienced what millions did as described in this must read book:

 

Timothy Snyder - Bloodlands - Hardcover

Quote

Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.” But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens—and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At War’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the Iron Curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.

Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.

 

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1 hour ago, RutgersJetFan said:

Both brothers have been going this route for a while and give their lives to that country. I think Wlad actually auctioned off his gold medal for a children's org a while back too.

Ukrainian boxers overall have been dominating the **** out of the sport for the last couple decades.

I just read Oleksandr Usyk headed back to Ukraine to fight as well.  Left the UK and safety, to defend his country.  Godspeed.

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30 minutes ago, BeaconJet said:

I just read Oleksandr Usyk headed back to Ukraine to fight as well.  Left the UK and safety, to defend his country.  Godspeed.

Postol is fighting this weekend and then heading back as his wife and kids are still in Kyiv. I have no idea how he's supposed to fight with that on his mind. 

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Serious question for the mods:

Instead of closing threads, can you guys get some kind of feature that when the poster that crosses the line posts something, he can just be banned from posting anymore that thread? 
 

eventually, the few that cant control themselves will simply not be able to reply and the rest of us can keep discussing.

 

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36 minutes ago, HighPitch said:

Serious question for the mods:

Instead of closing threads, can you guys get some kind of feature that when the poster that crosses the line posts something, he can just be banned from posting anymore that thread? 
 

eventually, the few that cant control themselves will simply not be able to reply and the rest of us can keep discussing.

 

HighPitch-Hey mods can you ban people that don't agree with me and don't agree with the information I'm feed by MSM?  This war didn't start this week this war started in 2014 when the US backed a coup that overthrew a democratically elected leader and installed a government full of neo-nazis because the previous regime was anti NATO...settle down with the war cheerleading sometimes there's no good guys this is just another war we started to keep the war machine churning and capture more energy.  This is far more complicated than reeee Russia bad.  Last comment so I don't get banned. lmao

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32 minutes ago, HighPitch said:

Serious question for the mods:

Instead of closing threads, can you guys get some kind of feature that when the poster that crosses the line posts something, he can just be banned from posting anymore that thread? 
 

eventually, the few that cant control themselves will simply not be able to reply and the rest of us can keep discussing.

 

Doesn’t work, we’ve tried. Also this is primarily a Jet fan and NFL discussion site. 

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3 minutes ago, The Crusher said:

Doesn’t work, we’ve tried. Also this is primarily a Jet fan and NFL discussion site. 

Let people have their opinions and if it becomes name calling shut it down. In my opinion of course. 

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