Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Bill Morrell


Date and Place of Birth: April 9, 1893 Hyde Park, Massachusetts

Died: August 5, 1975 Birmingham, Alabama

Baseball Experience: Major League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Major
Military Unit: USAAF

Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations


Willard B “Bill” Morrell was born on April 9, 1893 in Boston, Massachusetts, and served in WWI with Battery E, 55th Artillery Regiment in France.


Morrell pitched a perfect game at Tufts University, Massachusetts, before signing with New Haven in the Eastern League in 1924. He was a 17-game winner for New Haven in 1925, and made his major league debut with the Washington Senators in August 1926. He was 33 years old (although baseball record books listed him as being 26 at the time) and pitched 26 games for a 3-3 won-loss record.


Morrell returned to the minor leagues and had 15 wins for Birmingham of the Southern League in 1928 and 14 wins in 1929. Morrell had 14 wins for Shreveport of the Texas League in 1930, and returned to the majors that year with the New York Giants. He made just two appearances but was back with the Giants in 1931 and pitched in 20 games for a 5-3 record and 4.36 ERA.


Morrell continued to work in the minors as a pitcher-manager until receiving a commission as a captain in the USAAF in 1941. He went overseas in March 1942 and served in North Africa and Italy. Morrell was promoted to Major in 1943 and remained on active duty after the war. He eventually retired from the Air Force in 1958, having attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel with Strategic Air Command.


Bill Morrell passed away on August 5, 1975, in Birmingham, Alabama. He was 82 years old.


Created May 26, 2007.


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