Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice


Herb Bremer


Date and Place of Birth: October 26, 1913 Chicago, Illinois

Died: November 28, 1979 Columbus, Georgia

Baseball Experience: Major League
Position: Catcher
Rank: Unknown

Military Unit: 71st Infantry Division US Army

Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Major League Stats: Herb Bremer on Baseball-Almanac


Herb Bremer
Bremer celebrates after hitting a home run for the 71st Red Circlers

Herbert F “Herb” Bremer was born on October 26, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois. Bremer, a catcher, began his professional career in the Cardinals' system with Springfield of the Western Association in 1932. He was batting .305 with 20 home runs and 101 RBIs for the Columbus Red Birds in the South Atlantic League when he was called up by the St Louis Cardinals in September 1937, playing 11 games with seven hits in 33 at-bats.


Bremer was back with the Cardinals in 1938 and played 50 games, batting .219. He played just nine games for St Louis in 1939 and spent the majority of the season with Columbus in the American Association, but hit only .210 in 60 games.


In 1940, he joined the New Orleans Pelicans in the Southern Association where he batted .273. His average tailed off again in 1941 as he split the season between New Orleans and Little Rock, but he regained his stride with Little Rock in 1942, batting .266.


He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in November, with a view to joining Boston’s major league catching staff the following season. But military service was around the corner and Bremer decided to quit baseball for the duration of the war in January 1943.


He was drafted by the Army on July 22, 1943 and was working in the mess at Fort McPherson, Georgia, while playing on the baseball team. In 1944 he was at Fort Benning, Georgia, playing in the Infantry School League. He was one of the league’s leading hitters and was batting .375 by early August.


In early 1945, Bremer was sent overseas to Europe with the 71st Infantry Division. Bremer played for the 71st Infantry Division Red Circlers baseball team after the cease of hostilities in Europe.


The 71st Red Circlers featured Ewell Blackwell, Bob Ramazzotti, Ancil Moore, Johnny Wyrostek, Garland Lawing, Ewell Blackwell, Russ Kern, Milt Ticco and Bill Ayers. Bremer batted .333 for the season and helped the team win the American League division of the Third Army baseball league. The Red Circlers then clinched a five-game Third Army Championship Series in August 1945 against the National League division winners - the 76th Infantry Division Onaways - to move on to the ETO World Series against the OISE All-Stars from France.


In front of crowds of 50,000 at Soldier's Field in Nurnberg, Germany, the Red Circlers won the first game on September 2, 9-2. The Red Circlers were beaten by Negro League star Leon Day in the second game, and lost 2-1 in game three on September 6. In the decisive fifth game the Red Circlers were again beaten 2-1 on a combined effort by Sam Nahem and Bobby Keane.


Bremer returned to the Red Sox organization in 1946. On March 29, he was given his unconditional release by manager Joe Cronin. He went back to play for Little Rock but had injury-troubled season, playing 87 games and batting .295 with 27 RBIs.


Herb Bremer passed away on November 28, 1979 in Columbus, Georgia. He was 66 years old.


Created June 4, 2007. Updated January 6, 2008.


Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.