Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Ray Poole


Date and Place of Birth: January 16, 1920 Salisbury, North Carolina

Died: March 1, 2006 Salisbury, North Carolina

Baseball Experience: Major League
Position: Outfield
Military Unit:
Sixth Air Force, USAAF

Area Served: Panama Canal Zone


Raymond H “Ray” Poole was born on January 16, 1920 in Salisbury, North Carolina. The 6-foot, left-handed-hitting outfielder attended Catawba College where he was a standout baseball player and signed with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1941.


Poole played for Lancaster of the Interstate League his rookie year and batted .284 with 39 RBIs. He earned a late-season promotion to the Athletics and made two pinch-hitting appearances in September.


Poole pro baseball career was put on hold when he entered service with the Army at Fort Jackson, South Carolina on February 27, 1942. He was later assigned to Sheppard Field, Texas where he played regularly for the baseball team.


In 1944, Corporal Poole was sent to the Canal Zone and played for the Balboa Brewers in Panama. He quickly established himself as on of the Canal Zone League stars and led the league with a .345 batting average after 28 games.


Poole returned to baseball in 1946 and batted .308 with Savannah in the South Atlantic League. He joined the Athletics for the beginning of the 1947 season and made 13 pinch-hit appearances for a .231 average before being sent to Montgomery of the Southeastern League in June.


Poole joined Vicksburg of the Southeastern League in 1948 and had three strong .300-plus seasons with the team. He played for Richmond of the Piedmont League in 1951, was with Danville of the Carolina League in 1952 and returned to Richmond for two seasons in 1952. In 1954, his final season in professional baseball, Poole batted .303 and hit a career-high 13 home runs for the Colonial Heights-Petersburg Colts of the Piedmont League.


Ray Poole passed away in Salisbury, North Carolina on March 1, 2006. He was 86.


Created January 12, 2008.

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