Elmer Gedeon, UM Football, 1938

Remembering Elmer Gedeon, one of two major leaguers killed in WWII

Remembering Elmer Gedeon, one of two major leaguers killed in WWII

It strikes me, as Memorial Day approaches, that one of the great casualties of war is promise.

I look at someone like Elmer Gedeon, proud alumnus of the University of Michigan, and I wonder what heights he might have reached had he decided to stay on the ground one afternoon in April 1944. Or maybe, in flying and dying, he came as close as he ever could to immortality.

He comes to mind most years around this time, and the years he doesn’t, I feel almost guilty afterwards for not marking what he did and what he gave. He was a Wolverine, a pilot, a casualty, and in the end, an unfortunate curiosity — one of only two major league baseball players killed in World War II.

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