Place of Birth:
April 29, 1916
Military Unit: 398th Bomb Group USAAF
Area Served: European Theater of Operations
Arthur J "Art" Kenney was born on April 29, 1916
Both the Braves and Red Sox took a keen interest in the young left-hander. On April 20, 1937, the Braves were hard-pressed to beat Holy Cross, 6-5, with Kenney on the mound for the collegians. The following spring the Red Sox got a look at Kenney when Holy Cross beat them, 3-2, and Kenney fanned Jimmie Foxx twice.
It was the Braves Kenney signed with after graduating in June 1938 and he immediately joined the major league club, making his major league debut against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 1. Kenney came on in relief of Dick Errickson in the ninth inning and allowed one run in a 5-0 loss. His second, and final major league outing, also took place against the Phillies on July 4. In the second game of a doubleheader, Kenney pitched the last inning and a third in a 10-2 defeat.
Kenney was assigned to
Later that year, Kenney pitched for the semi-pro
Kenney continued to hurl for semi-pro teams in
1940. In May 1940, he pitched a three-hitter for Ed Paterson's
Painters in the Sunset League. The Painters defeated the Amesbury
Sacred Hearts, 10-0, and Kenney struck out 13 of the 25 batters to
face him in the 7-inning rout. He also helped himself offensively
with a couple of triples. In August, he was pitching for the
Littleton Collegians and threw a six-hitter against the Berlin Red
Sox. Then, in September, he was on the mound for the
On December 27, 1941, Kenney entered military
service with the Army Air Corps. He spent one year in
Stationed at Nuthampstead airfield until June 1945. "We would give instructions to pilots about what to do if the plane went down and dealt with everything from the mechanics of radar, to escape strategies, to devising secret information that we would write on rice paper so it could be eaten if crew members were captured,'' he told writer John W. Gearan. "It was tough when a plane was lost, but even tougher when dead crews members were still aboard when a B-17 made it back to base."
When off-duty, Kenney pitched for the 398th Bomb Group baseball team – known as Lew’s Yanks. On opening day in April 1945, he beat the 339th Fighter Group, 10-1.
Kenney was discharged from MacDill Field at the
end of 1945. He went back to school and earned an advanced degree at
Created January 8, 2008. Updated January 11, 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.