Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice


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Those Who Died That Others Might Be Free

 

Minor League BaseballFred Beal

 

Date and Place of Birth: May 3, 1921 Lincolnton, North Carolina
Date and Place of Death: February 11, 1944 Camp White, Oregon
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Private
Military Unit: US Army
Area Served: United States

 

Fred Beal with CherryvilleFred W. Beal was born on May 3, 1921 in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and grew up playing on the sandlots of Cherryville, North Carolina. While his older brother Floyd – a catcher – enjoyed a minor league career in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, Fred pitched for Cherryville High School and the Cherryville Juniors, before signing with the Mooresville Moors of the Class D North Carolina State League in 1941. As Floyd batted .282 with 14 home runs for the Columbus Red Birds of the South Atlantic League, young Fred contributed a 5–5 record and 4.60 ERA in 18 appearances as the Moors finished third, but beat the pennant-winning Kannapolis Towelers in the playoffs before succumbing to the Salisbury Giants in the finals.

In 1942, veteran catcher John Hicks became player-manager of the Moors. Beal, along with Harry Jordan and James Patton, made up the starting rotation, and he was 9–11 in 28 games (18 starts) for the second-place club. Beal spent the tail end of the season with the Sanford Spinners of the Class D Bi-State League, producing a 2–3 record in six appearances.

On October 24, 1942, Beal entered military service with the Army despite suffering from an ulcerated stomach - something the Army was aware of at the time of his medical. He was inducted at Camp Croft, South Carolina, and served at Camp White in Jackson County, Oregon. On January 23, 1943, Private Beal, who had been married to Margaret Leonhardt since November 19, 1939, died from bleeding ulcers at the 79th General Hospital at Camp White. He was just 22, and is buried in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

 

Fred Beal with Margaret Leonhardt Fred Beal's funeral
Fred Beal with his wife, the former Margaret Leonhardt Fred's funeral took place at his father's house on the Carlton Mill in Cherryville

 

Year

Team

League

Class

G

IP

ER

BB

SO

W

L

ERA

1941

Mooresville

N. Carolina State

D

18

90

46

29

42

5

5

4.60

1942

Mooresville

N. Carolina State

D

28

161

99

57

56

9

11

5.53

1942

Sanford

Bi-State

D

6

42

-

18

14

2

3

-

 

 

Thanks to Michael E. Powell, editor of the Cherryville Eagle for help with this article.

Photos used courtesy of the Beal family. Used with permission.

 

 

 

Added October 23, 2006. Updated February 22, 2011.

Copyright © 2013 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.