Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Bill Greason

Date and Place of Birth: September 3, 1924 Atlanta, GA

Baseball Experience: Major League


Military Unit: 34th Marine Depot Company, 66th Supply Platoon USMC

Area Served: Pacific Theater


William H. "Bill" Greason served in the Marine Corps at Camp Montford Point, North Carolina, before embarking for the Pacific Theater with the 34th Marine Depot Company, 66th Supply Platoon in 1945. He was at Iwo Jima during the height of the battle. His professional baseball career began in 1947 with the Nashville Black Vols and he joined the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League in 1948. He pitched in Mexico in 1950 and 1951, returned to military service with the Marine Corps during 1951 and 1952, and signed with the Texas League Oklahoma City Indians during the 1952 season. Greason made his major league debut with the St. Louis Browns in May 1954, appearing in three games for a 0-1 record. He continued to pitch in the minor leagues until 1959, then studied for the ministry at Birmingham Baptist Bible College and Samford University. He became a member of the 16th Street Baptist Church and a pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

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