First Major League Player Killed in Action

May 29, 2011

Memorial Day is about remembering and thanking those who’ve lost their lives in the name of the United States, and we here at PSH would like to contribute.  In World War I, in World War II, in Korea and in Vietnam, many former and active major league baseball players served in the armed forces.  While many served, only a few professional ballplayers died; the first of which spent 4 seasons as a third baseman with the Phillies.

Eddie Grant was born in 1883 in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard, giving him the nickname “Harvard Eddie.”  He broke into the majors in 1905 with the Cleveland Naps.  After a year in the minors with the Jersey City Skeeters, Grant was signed by the Phillies in 1907.  He played 74 games that season, batting .243 and stealing 10 bases.  From 1908 to 1910, Grant started at third base for the Phillies and batted leadoff.  His best year was 1909, in which the light-hitting infielder batted .269, scored 75 runs and stole 28 bases.  The educated Grant was somewhat of a grammar nerd on the field: he would not yell the accepted “I got it” when pop-ups were hit his way, instead opting for the grammatically correct “I have it.”  After his years with the Phillies, Grant finished his 10-year professional career with the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Giants and retired after the 1915 season.

After baseball, Grant returned to Massachusetts to practice law.  By this time, World War I had been raging in Europe for three years and many of Grant’s Harvard classmates were volunteering their services just behind the trenches even though the U.S. wasn’t officially involved.  When the U.S. did enter the war in April 1917, Eddie Grant was one of the first men to enlist.  As a college-educated man, he was appointed Captain of Company H of the 307th Infantry Regiment of the 77th Division of the American Expeditionary Forces.

Deployed to the Western Front, Grant’s battalion fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France.  This was one of the fiercest offensives in American military history as the U.S. forces battled through the Argonne forest, which housed entrenched and experienced German forces.  During the offensive, a group of men became pinned down by the Germans and isolated from the American forces.  U.S. aviators were sent to locate the “Lost Batallion” and finally did.  Even though his Company had been fighting on the front lines for 4 straight days, Grant led his men into the forest to rescue the Lost Battalion.  Pounded heavily by German artillery, the U.S. Forces and Allies were taking a lot of losses.  One of the wounded being brought back past the troops advancing to the location of the Lost Battalion was the commander of the Grant’s battalion.  He recognized Grant and informed him that all of the superior officers were either killed or wounded; Eddie Grant was now in charge of a battalion.  As he led his battalion closer to the isolated Americans, the German shelling increased.  As Grant and some of his officers were being briefed, a German shell exploded near them and killed two lieutenants.  Grant was yelling orders for his men to take cover and for medics when another shell exploded just above him and he died instantly.  He was buried in the Argonne forest just a few yards from where he was killed.

The Giants commemorated Eddie Grant’s sacrifice by installing the plaque pictured above at Polo Grounds and placing a wreath around its base every Memorial Day.  (You can see the plaque in it’s position at Polo Grounds here.  It’s just below the 483 ft. sign, and yes, that’s a photo of the Willie Mays’ catch).  After the last game at the Polo Grounds, the plaque was stolen when fans tore up the stadium taking every souvenir they could.  It popped up a few years later, but was then lost for good.  When the franchise moved to San Francisco, a replacement plaque was not installed until 2006 after multiple requests for the Giants to do so.

Eddie Grant willingly sacrificed his life for the freedoms we enjoy today.  He wasn’t drafted, he wasn’t forced into battle.  A true patriot, Grant gave up his career and life for this country.  He should be remembered and thanked.  His eulogy reads:

He fought with freemen, side by side;

He helped turn back the devlish side:

Staunch was his heart, with Truth his guide,

He fought for Liberty—and died.

*In addition to Grant, two other major leaguers were killed in WWI: Tigers’ pitcher Robert Troy and Yankees’ outfielder Alex Barr.  Also, Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson suffered gas poisoning during the war which led to tuberculosis and his ultimate death in 1925.  In WWII, 50 former or active professional players lost their lives.  Of the 50, two were ex-major leaguers: catcher Harry O’Neill, who died on Iwo Jima, and outfielder Elmer Gadeon, who was killed in France.  Only one former major league baseball player was killed in Korea: shortstop Bob Neighbors.  No former or active major leaguers were killed in Vietnam, or any subsequent conflicts.




Leave a comment


Also in The Shibe Vintage Sports History Blog

The Story of The #GoodBatting Collection

September 01, 2017

It's a mindset. It's a feel. It'’s simple. It's based on your WHY. It's filled with purpose and intent. It's intimate. It's individual. It's genuine. It's a complete understanding of YOU. It's confidence. It's clarity. It's controlled. It's repeatable. It's natural. 

Continue Reading

Interview with the Artist: Keni Thomas

August 31, 2017

A couple of years ago, Keni Thomas was recommended to us as an artist, and we're thrilled that he agreed to join the Shibe team. He has designed a string of absolutely terrific shirts for us, everything from Ben Franklin to Wilt Chamberlain.

Continue Reading

Longest Streaks In Eagles History

July 20, 2017

We’re in the heat of the summer and you know what that means… football is right around the corner. In fact, there are only 52 days left until the Eagles kick off their 2017 season at Washington on September 10. Training camp starts next week at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia. The team will […]

Continue Reading

Size Charts

Select your brand and style to read more about how your purchase will fit:

American Needle fitted hats | '47 Brand hats | '47 Brand apparel | Majestic apparel | Majestic jerseys | Red Jacket apparel | Junk Food apparel | Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

 

American Needle Fitted Hats

If you do not know your size, first determine where on your head you want to wear your hat. Usually it is worn about a half-inch to an inch above the eyebrows and/or just above the ears. Have a friend hold the tape measure (cloth, plastic, or download a printable version here) at the point where you want the hat to rest on your head.  Insert the tip of your little finger between the tape and your head.  Record the measurement and find your Fitted Hat size using the chart below.  This should provide you with a comfortable fit.

 

'47 Brand Hats

 

47 Brand Adjustable Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Adjustable Hats Men's 6 7/8 - 7 5/8 55 - 61
Women's 6 5/8 - 7 1/4 53 - 58
Youth 6 5/8 - 7 1/8 53 - 57

 

47 Brand Fitted Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Fitted Hats XX Small 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
X Small 6 3/4 54
Small 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium 7 - 7 1/8 56 - 57
Large 7 1/4 58
X Large 7 3/8 - 7 5/8 59 - 61
XX Large 7 5/8 - 7 3/4 61 - 62
XXX Large 7 7/8 63
XXXX Large 8 64
XXXXX Large 8 1/8 65

 

47 Brand Stretch Fit Hats Size Chart Size Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Stretch Fit Fitted Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 5/8 52 - 53
Small / Medium 6 7/8 - 7 55 - 56
Medium / Large 7 1/8 - 7 3/8 57 - 59
Large / X Large 7 1/2 - 7 5/8 60 - 61
One Size Fits All 7 - 7 1/2 56 - 60

 

47 Brand Knit Hats Size Chart Hat Size Circumference (cm)
Knit Hats Youth 6 1/2 - 6 3/4 52 - 54
One Size Fits All 6 7/8 - 7 1/2 55 - 60

 

'47 Brand Apparel

 

 
47 Brand Men's Size Chart S M L XL XXL
Neck 14"-14.5" 15"-15.5" 16"-16.5" 17"-17.5" 18"-18.5"
Shoulder 21" 22" 23" 24" 25"
Chest 36"-38" 39"-41" 42"-44" 45"-47" 48"-50"
Waist 28"-30" 31"-33" 34"-36" 37"-39" 40"-42"

 

47 Brand Women's Size Chart S M L XL
Size 2-4 6-8 8-10 10-12
Shoulder 14.25" 15.25" 16.25" 17.25"
Bust 32"-34" 35"-36" 37"-38" 39"-42"
Waist 26"-27" 28"-29" 30"-31" 32"-33"

 

 

Majestic apparel

Men's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 52-52 54-56 58-60
Waist 28-30 32-34 36-38 40-42 44-46 48-50 52-54
Hip 34-36 38-40 42-44 46-48 50-52 54-56 58-60
Sleeve 32-33 33-34 34-35 35-36 36-36 1/2 36 1/2-37 37-37 1/2
Neck 14-14 1/2 15-15 1/2 16-16 1/2 17-17 1/2 18-18 1/2 19-19 1/2 20-20 1/2

 

Women's Sizing (measurements in inches)
  XS S M L XL 1X 2X
Size 0-2 4-6 8-10 12-14 16-18 16W-18W 20W-22W
Chest 32-33 34-35 36-37 38-40 41 1/2-43 1/2 43-45 47-49
Waist 24-25 26-27 28-29 30-32 33 1/2-35 1/2 36-38 39-41
Hip 34 1/2-35 1/2 36 1/2-37 1/2 38 1/2-39 1/2 40 1/2-42 1/2 44-46 46-48 49-51
Sleeve 29 1/4 30 30 3/4 31 1/2 32 32 1/2 33

 

Youth Sizing (measurements in inches)
  S M L XL XXL 3XL
Size 6-8 10-12 14-16 18-20 20 22
Chest 24-26 28-30 32-34 36-38    
Waist 21-23 25-27 29-31 33-35 37-39 40-42

 

 

 

Majestic Jerseys

Adult Men's Replica Jersey Sizing  
Jersey Size Small Medium Large X Large XX Large
Neck (diameter of neck) 6.5 6.75 7 7.25 7.5
Chest (underarm to underarm) 20 1/2 22 1/2 24 1/2 26 1/2 28 1/2
Sleeve (back of inside neck to end of middle sleeve) 8 1/2 8 3/4 9 9 1/4 9 1/2

 

Apparel Sizing Tips:

Use these tips as a general guide when finding your measurements:

Chest/Bust: With your arms at your sides, measure around the fullest part of your chest, across shoulder blades and under arms.

Waist: To measure your natural waistline, wrap the tape so it intersects your navel. Keep tape flat, but comfortably loose.

Hips: Stand with your heels together and measure the fullest part of your hips. Make sure the measuring tape is level all the way around your body.

Inseam: Stand up straight, and start the tape measure high in your crotch. Straighten the tape down the inside of your leg to the bottom of your ankle.

 

 

Red Jacket apparel

 

 

Junk Food apparel

 

Next Level apparel (Shibe Originals)

General Size Neck
(in inches)
Chest
(in inches)
Waist
(in inches)
Arm
(in inches)
Small 14-14.5 34-36 28-30 31.5-32
Medium 15-15.5 38-40 32-34 32.5-33
Large 16-16.5 42-44 36-38 33.5-34
X-Large 17-17.5 46-48 40-42 34.5-35
XX-Large 18 – 18.5 50-52 44-46 35.5-36