Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Chet Ross


Date and Place of Birth: April 1, 1917 Buffalo, New York

Died: February 21, 1989 Buffalo, New York

Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit:
US Navy

Area Served: United States

Chester J “Chet” Ross was born on April 1, 1917 in Buffalo, New York. He signed with the Boston Bees in 1937 and played for Zanesville in the Class C Middle-Atlantic League. After struggling at the plate, he was sent to Beaver Falls of the Class D Pennsylvania State Association where he hit .347.

Ross was with Hartford of the Eastern League in 1938 and batted .306 with 17 home runs and 111 RBIs for Evansville of the Three-I League in 1939, earning a late-season promotion to Boston. The 6-foot-1 outfielder made his major league debut on September 15 and batted .323 in 11 games.

Ross was the Bees’ starting leftfielder for 1940. He played 149 games and batted .281 with 17 home runs and 89 RBIs, although he led the National League with 127 strikeouts. In 1941, following a spring training injury, Ross played just 29 games for the Bees. Confined to a utility role he played 76 games in 1942 and 94 in 1943. He was sent to Indianapolis of the American Association at the end of the year but refused to report and stayed with the Bees for 54 games in 1944, batting .227

Ross entered military service with the Navy in 1945. He served at Sampson Naval Training Center, New York, where he regularly played baseball. Discharged at the end of April 1946, Ross immediately reported to Boston but the club had no space for him and he was optioned to Indianapolis.

He got off to a slow start with Indianapolis and was acquired by Montreal of the International League where he played alongside Jackie Robinson and batted .243. Ross ended his playing days with Milwaukee and Baltimore in 1947.

Chet Ross passed away on February 21, 1989 in Buffalo, New York.

Created February 16, 2008.

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