Lest we forget: Lou Brissie (UPDATE)

November 26, 2013

http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/christophers/files/2013/04/LBrissie-2.jpgThe World War II veteran who returned from devastating injury sustained in the service of his country to play Major League baseball, passed away yesterday at the age of 89.

Brissie, who earned a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, pitched seven seasons for the Philadelphia Athletics and Cleveland Indians, compiling a 44-48 record with a career-best 16 wins in 1949.

His inspirational take was the subject of The Corporal Was a Pitcher: The Courage of Lou Brissie, a 2009 biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ira Berkow.

I asked Berkow if he’d care to offer sentiment about one of his favorite characters. In an e-mail, he wrote,

Lou Brissie was one of the finest men I’ve ever known. Not only was he brave in dealing with adversity, both physical…and, like most who have been in combat, dealing with the psychological problems, but he was warm, sensitive, and very smart. It was an honor and a privilege to work with him on his biography.


NY Times obituary writer Richard Goldstein, whose baseball books include Spartan Seasons: How Baseball Survived the Second World War, contributed this piece for today’s edition.

Goldstein mentions a passage from Ted William’s My Turn at Bat the Story of My Life about facing Brissie, but for some reason the obit does not include anything on fellow Times‘ writer Berkow’s Brissie biography.

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