Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Ray Martin


Date and Place of Birth: March 13, 1925 Norwood, Massachusetts

Baseball Experience: Major League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Unknown
Military Unit:
Military Police, 9th Infantry Divsion US Army

Area Served: European Theater of Operations


Raymond J "Ray" Martin was born on March 13, 1925 in Norwood, Massachusetts. He was scouted by Boston Braves' scout Jeff Jones, and signed with the Braves in 1943 at the age of 18.


Martin had just pitched Norwood High School to the state championship days earlier. They defeated Dalton 3-2 at Fenway Park. Earlier that year Ray struck out 23 batters against Boston Trade School. This broke the long standing record of 22 set by Danny MacFayden in the 1920's.


Martin pitched in two games for the Braves in 1943 before entering the Army at Fort Devens, Massachusetts on July 28. He was sent to Grenier Field in New Hampshire where he trained with the military police, and went overseas with the 9th Infantry Division in April 1945. Stationed in Germany, Martin pitched against Ewell Blackwell on three occasiions. He also played on the ETO hockey team.


He returned to the Braves after his discharge on April 12, 1946 and was sent to Evansville in the Three-I League. He stayed with the Braves until May of 1947 and was sent to Hartford of the Eastern League. Recalled at the end of the season despite a 6-11 record and 4.63 ERA with Hartford he earned his first and only major league victory against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the last week of the season. The score was 2-1 on a walkoff base hit in the bottom of the ninth. He pitched the complete game giving up only 7 hits, four walks and striking out two.


"Martin seemed to have them baffled," Braves' manager Billy Southworth told The Sporting News on March 10, 1948, "so along about the sixth inning when Dixie Walker went out of the game, I left our dugout and caught Dixie in the runway. 'Has that kid got anything?' I asked. Dixie nodded. 'He's nobody's cousin.'"


Martin was with the Braves until May 1948, making two brief appearances, and was then sent to Milwaukee. He pitched there until traded to the Seattle Raniers of the Pacific Coast League in 1951. Martin finished up the season with the Atlanta Crackers, throwing nine straight innings of hitless ball. His last pitch in professional baseball was in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. He was called in to get the save in a 4-2 game. The pitch resulted in a triple play.


Ray Martin retired at the end of the 1951 season. He worked briefly for General Electric and then for 31 years with Picker X-Ray selling medical supplies. He has lived in Norwood for more than 45 years.

Thanks to Jim Gormley for supplying much of the information contained in Ray Martin's biography.


Created June 8, 2007. Updated January 28, 2008.


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