Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Jack Wallaesa


Date and Place of Birth: August 31, 1919 Easton, Pennsylvania

Died: December 27, 1986 Easton, Pennsylvania

Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit: US

Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations


John “Jack” Wallaesa was born in Easton, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1919. He graduated from Easton High School in 1939 and was playing for the Corinthian club of Easton when he was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics. Wallaesa spent three weeks at Shibe Park then finished the season with the Federalsburg A’s of the Eastern Shore League. 

In 1940, the 6-foot-3 shortstop was with the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the InterState League. He batted .268 in 117 games and made his major league debut with the Athletics in September. Wallaesa was back with the Blue Rocks in 1941 but rejoined the Atgletics in 1942, appearing in 36 games and batting .256, before entering military service with the Army on June 20.


Wallaesa was sent to the Mediterranean Theater where he was assigned to an Army port battalion as a stevedore and spent 43 days unloading ammunition at Anzio. He returned to the Athletics in 1946 and played 63 games but batted a disappointing .196. The Athletics sold the 27-year-old to the Chicago White Sox in December 1946 but he was unable to improve his hitting ending the 1947 season with a .195 average in 81 games.


The White Sox persevered for another season but when his batting average failed to rise above .200 in 1948 he joined the New York Yankees organization. With the Kansas City Blues of the American Association in 1949, Wallaesa batted .309 and hit 18 home runs. He joined the Chicago Cubs organization in 1950 and spent the next three years with the Springfield Cubs of the International League. In 1953, he joined the Buffalo Bisons of the International League and led the circuit with 36 home runs. An injury ended his playing career in 1955.


Wallaesa was a special duty sheriff assigned to the Northampton County Court in Pennsylvania, when he passed away on December 27, 1986 in Easton, Pennsylvania. He was 67.

Created August 26, 2008.


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