Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Dale Jones


Date and Place of Birth: December 17, 1918 Marquette, Nebraska

Died: November 8, 1980 Orlando, Florida

Baseball Experience: Major League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Chief
Military Unit: US Navy

Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations


Dale E Jones was born in Marquette, Nebraska on December 17, 1918. He went on to play baseball on the sandlots of Detroit where he was signed by the Tigers. But in 1940 he was cut loose, along with 89 other players, when Judge Landis ruled that these players were unfairly tied to the Detroit organization.


He soon signed with the Phillies and spent 1940 with the Baltimore Orioles in the International League. The big right-hander was invited to spring training with the Phillies in 1941. He spent most of the season with Baltimore but made his major league debut on September 7, 1941. Jones pitched two games that season, losing one and ending the year with a 7.56 ERA.


By January 1942, Jones was serving with the Navy. Initially, he was based at the Detroit Navy Recruiting Office where he wasted little time putting together a baseball team.


Later in the war he was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Air Station, and pitched in the 1943 Navy World Series against Norfolk NTS. Jones was the relief pitcher for a losing cause in game three.


While at Norfolk NAS, in 1944, Jones pitched a perfect game against the Elizabeth City team, winning 8-0. As sports editor of the “Dope Sheet”, the Air Station’s weekly newspaper, Jones unblushingly described his feat in great detail.


In 1945, Jones left Norfolk NAS for Hawaii and was based at Honolulu Naval Air Station.


Dale Jones left military service at the end of 1945. He attended spring training with the Phillies in 1946, aged 27 and having missed four seasons of professional baseball. He was assigned to the Utica Blue Sox of the Eastern League where he remained for a couple of seasons, winning 12 games in 1947.


By 1948, Jones was working as pitching instructor in the Phillies’ organisation and he took over as manager at Terre Haute in July 1948.


Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Dale Jones was an active scout for the Phillies, operating baseball clinics for young players up and down the east coast of the United States and Canada. He later became supervisor of all Phillies’ scouts in the northeastern region.


Dale Jones passed away in Orlando, Florida on November 8, 1980. He was 61 years old and is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.


Created March 13, 2007. Updated April 13, 2007.


Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.