Saluting our distinguished athlete veterans

By Ashlynne Macan |Staff Writer|

Certain athletes have served our country, not only by providing entertainment through the sports they play, but by taking part in the military as well.

For that, we salute them as veterans.

There are a few standouts when we think about veteran athletes. Professional athletes such as Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, Roger Staubach, Pat Tillman, Ted Williams, Warren Spahn, David Robinson, Hank Greenberg, Jackie Robinson and Stan Musial.

Bob Feller was a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians from 1936 to 1956. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He volunteered his services on Dec. 9 1941, just two days after the Pearl Harbor attacks.

Yogi Berra served in World War II as a gunner on a boat that pulled into Normandy just two days after D-day. He was one of the greatest catchers for the New York Yankees and was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Roger Staubach played as a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 to 1979, and was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for the United States Naval Academy. He served a tour in Vietnam as a supply corps officer until 1963.

Pat Tillman played professional football for the Arizona Cardinals as a defensive back  before leaving to join the Army Rangers in 2002. He passed away April 22, 2004 in the mountains of Afghanistan as a result of friendly fire.

Ted Williams played baseball for the Boston Red Sox from 1939 to 1942 and then again from 1946 to 1960. He served in World War II and the Korean War as a naval aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Warren Spahn debuted with the Boston Braves in 1942, played for the Milwaukee Braves from 1946 to 1964, for the New York Mets in 1965, and for the San Francisco Giants in 1965 as well. He served in the United States Army in World War II.

David Robinson played as a center for the San Antonio Spurs. He served as an officer in the United States Navy before playing basketball professionally. He was known around the NBA as “The Admiral.”

Hank Greenburg played baseball and started as a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers in 1930. He was the first American League baseball player to be drafted into the military. He was honorably discharged two days before the Pearl Harbor attacks and then reenlisted into the United States Army Air Force, a predecessor to the U.S Air Force, shortly after.

Jackie Robinson, who is famous for being the first African-American Major League Baseball player, debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 as a second baseman. He served in the United States Army as a second lieutenant in World War II.

Stan Musial served in the United Stated Navy in 1945. He played as the first baseman and outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinal’s from 1941 to 1963.

Famous athletes have also been well-respected military men. We salute them for all their commendable efforts and for not only serving as astounding athletes, but also for serving our country in its time of crisis.

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