Date and Place of Birth: February 8, 1920 St Louis, Missouri
Rank: Seaman First Class
Military Unit: US Navy
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations
G “Buddy” Blattner was born on February 8, 1920 in
But baseball was his true love, as well as playing in high school, Blattner played Junior Legion and municipal ball before signing with the St Louis Cardinals following high school graduation in 1938.
The Cardinals assigned the young infielder to
Blattner had two strong seasons in the PCL. He
hit .278 in 1940 and followed that with 100 RBIs, 17 home runs and a
.294 batting average in 1941. The 22-year-old joined the Cardinals
in 1942 and made his debut on April 18. He played 19 games but
struggled at the plate and was assigned to
On October 15, 1942, Blattner entered military
service with the Navy. He was assigned to the Naval training base at
He was assigned to Bainbridge Naval Training Station in 1944, and played for the Bainbridge Commodores with Elbie Fletcher, Fred Chapman, Dick Sisler and Dick Bartell. The team had a record of 56 wins and 15 losses that season, defeating four major league clubs and clinching the Fifth Naval District championship.
|The Bainbridge Commodores of 1944 (Blattner is middle row, second from right)|
Following the 1944 season, Blattner was assigned
to Aiea Barracks in
Blattner returned home on December 5, 1945. His
contract was purchased by the New York Giants and he got off to a
flying start, appearing in 126 games, batting .255 and hitting 11
home runs. In 1947, he played 55 games with the Giants and spent
most of 1948 with
Blattner was drafted by the Phillies for 1949 and appeared in 64 games, batting .247. He left the playing field but not the game, after the 1949 season. Blattner began a broadcasting career as the play-by-play announcer for the St. Louis Browns in 1950. He was then hired by the NBAs’ St Louis Hawks, broadcasting over 800 games in an eight-year span. He soon became the first radio/TV spokesman for the NBA, broadcasting six NBA All-Star Games.
later became the voice of the California Angels for seven years and
spent an additional seven years as lead broadcaster for the Kansas
City Royals. He was twice elected to the Missouri Sports Hall of
Fame and received the St Louis Browns Historical Society Award for
Distinguished Broadcasting in 1989.
In 1962, he founded the Buddy Fund. A sports charity, providing athletic equipment to established, well managed athletic programs for underprivileged youngsters.
Blattner retired from broadcasting in 1976 and
retired to the Lake of the Ozarks in
Created December 16, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.