Date and Place of Birth: November 10, 1912 Burlington, Vermont
Died: March 24, 1999 Anna Maria, Florida
Military Unit: US Army Air Force
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations
R “Birdie” Tebbetts was born in
Tebbetts was a star athlete at
Tebbetts entered military service with the Army
Air Force in 1942. He was assigned to
In November 1943, Tebbetts was selected to the All-Army team by Army Times publication. The Wolves were the Houston Post's semi-pro champions in 1943 and 1944. They were 88 and 16 over two seasons and won 16 straight games in June 1944.
Tebbetts was philosophical about servicemen ballplayers and felt that only pre-war major leaguers would be in the right shape to play major league baseball after the war. "These boys are full of talent, but will get no chance to develop it because of the pressure of Army work," he told The Sporting News on July 15, 1943. "War physical training programs may be a boon to football, boxing wrestling and other sports, which do not require sensitive training of particular muscles, but rather depend upon the strength of the entire body."
He was transferred to
In July 1945, Tebbetts was in the
On August 26, 1945, the teams played an American
League and National League all-star game on
There is a story that one day when Tebbetts came
to bat on the
Tebbetts had attained the rank of captain by the
time he was discharged from military service in February 1946. He
returned to the Tigers that season and batted .243 in 87 games. In
1947, Tebbetts got off to a slow start. After 20 games he was
batting just .094 and was traded to the Red Sox on May 20. The move
did the 34-year-old catcher the power of good as he hit .299 in 90
Tebbetts was an all-star selection the following two seasons and ended his playing career with the Indians in 1952, aged 39.
He began his career as a manager the following
season accepting an assignment with
Birdie Tebbetts passed
away on March 24, 1999 at the Rehabilitation Center in
Created December 8, 2007.
Copyright © 2013 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.