Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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World War II Hero of the Minor Leagues 

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Purple HeartBronze StarSilver StarWalt Lance


Date and Place of Birth: Unknown

Baseball Experience: Minor League
First Base
Second Lieutenant
Military Unit:
84th Infantry Division US Army

Area Served: European Theater of Operations


Walter N "Walt" Lance signed with Elizabethton of the Appalachian League in 1942 and batted .309 in 105 games. His promising baseball career, however, was put on hold while he served with the 84th Infantry Division in Europe.


Lance was commissioned in the field in Europe and received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Wounded during 1945 he was returned to the United States and admitted to Moore General Hospital in Swannanoa, North Carolina, for treatment in August.

Lance returned to baseball in 1947 with Greenwood of the Cotton States League where he batted .325 with 99 RBIs. He played for Meridian of the Southeastern League over the next three years and batted over .300 each year. He continued to play in the minor leagues until the mid-1950s with Norfolk, Olean, Bristol and Owensboro.

Created March 18, 2008.Minor League Baseball


Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.