Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Gene Patton


Date and Place of Birth: July 8, 1926 Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit: US

Area Served: United States

Gene T Patton was born on July 8, 1926 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Gene was the youngest of 15 children. His eight older brothers formed a ball club when he was 12, so he played right field to make it an all-Patton combination and they defeated the then champions of the Coatesvllle Industrial League. Not to be outdone, his six sisters formed a basketball team and beat Coatesville high School.

A star of baseball, football and basketball at Coatesville High, the baseball team was unbeaten in the spring of 1944, and Patton had a hitting streak of 13 straight hits. His batting average for the season was .710 for 21 games.

Patton was signed by the Boston Braves in April 1944 and made one appearance as a pinch runner against the New York Giants before being optioned to Wilmington of the Inter-State League at the beginning of July. The 18-year-old infielder played 48 games and batted .265 before entering military service with the Army on August 11.

Patton served at Camp Wheeler, Georgia and returned to the Braves in the spring of 1946, but spent the season with Hartford of the Eastern League. Despite hitting a 365-foot homerun and two singles on opening day against Albany, he had a poor season at the plate and was batting only .206 when in August he was lost for the rest of the season due to rheumatic fever attacks.

Patton played for Hartford (where he batted .239) and Evansville of the Three-I League (where he batted .209) in 1947. He was out of organized baseball in 1948 but returned in 1949 for one season with Raleigh of the Carolina League, batting .254 with 21 RBIs.

Created May 19, 2008.

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