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Date and Place of Birth: May 19, 1924 Garnett, Kansas
Died: September 26, 2000 Tulsa, Oklahoma
Rank: Hospital Apprentice 1st Class (Navy Corpsman)
Military Unit: Company E, 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Division
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations
James H. Morris was a star athlete
in high school, lettering in football, basketball and baseball. Not
long after, he joined the Navy in 1943, as a Hospital Apprentice,
and was soon learning his trade at the training center near
After brief stops at
Guadalcanal, Kwajalein, offshore near Saipan and at the Eniwetok
Atoll, he found himself wading ashore in July behind the 21st
Marine Regiment, at
Morris later worked at the
His career in organized
baseball began on Guam, just after Iwo Jima, where he played for the
3rd Marine Division team co-coached by
Pee Wee Reese
and Marine Lt. Angelo Bertelli (1943 Heisman Award winner from Notre
Dame). Pee Wee reportedly was impressed just enough by Morris’
pitching that he sent a recommendation back to the scouting combine
in the states.
So, soon after discharge from
service, Morris was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and
immediately assigned to the Topeka Kansas Owls of the Western
Association. His first game action was with the 1946
The next year, he joined the
In 1948, Morris started the
year with the
The following season, he was
back in the Western Association with the
After the 1949 season, Morris
took his family to
Beginning in the summer of 1950 and lasting until the Bomber team broke up after the 1958 season, Morris pitched this National Baseball Congress / Industrial League behemoth to 7 Kansas state titles, 2 national titles and the very first World Baseball Championship, in 1955, at a brand new County Stadium in Milwaukie, Wisconsin.
During this time, he set
records for most games pitched, most victories, most strikeouts and
lowest ERA. During the peak of that run, Morris and the Bomber team
also faced numerous minor-league teams, including the Triple AAA
Morris pitched a couple more
years for local
He settled into retirement,
as long planned, on Grand
Lake O’ the Cherokees, just south of
Here’s a guy nobody heard of.
He served his country in the face of enemy fire while carrying
wounded Marines to safety on Guam, treated the countless wounded at
Iwo Jima, helped build the mighty Boeing B-52 bombers and pitched
his baseball teams to championships all along the way. With those
ashes on the pitchers mound, he will literally be part of baseball,
This biography was written by Jim's son, Dave Morris.
Copyright © 2009 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.