Summer of ’41: How Baseball Put on a Show Months Before the War

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Sports are the ultimate form of misdirection, drawing attention away from the daily horrors on the front page and toward the nightly heroics on the back page. Millions experienced for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic how the simple grace and beauty of sports can provide familiar comforts amid so much frightening chaos. Perhaps never was this more evident than in 1941, a time when Americans were just emerging from the Depression and simultaneously being dragged into World War II. As Hitler’s stormtroopers rampaged across Europe and bombs battered London, a couple of California-born baseball players captured the spotlight…

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