From Ballpark To The Battlefield: Memories Of Baseball’s Military Veterans

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)-– On the baseball field they were heroes and legends, idolized for their exploits. But when World War II erupted, they traded in their baseball caps, gloves and bats for helmets and rifles to face a foe that threatened their way of life.

That’s the story that Cal State San Bernardino alumnus and history teacher Todd Anton will share as he talks about his first book, No Greater Love: Life Stories from the Men Who Saved Baseball,” on Thursday, March 15, at the university’s John M. Pfau Library.

The lecture, which is part of the Pfau Library’s lecture series, is from 1-2 p.m. on the library’s fourth floor at room PL-4005. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is $5.

Son of a World War II and Korean War Army veteran, Anton was inspired on a personal level to honor the “Greatest Generation,” the men who lived through and fought in World War II.

Raised on a steady diet of Dodger baseball and stories of World War II, Anton committed himself to preserving the stories of the men who both served in the armed forces in the time of its greatest need and also played Major League Baseball.

Anton’s book inspired FOX News Channel’s War Stories with Oliver North to produce a show called “From the Ballpark to the Battlefield: Baseball and World War II.”

Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling and noted baseball historian Bill Nowlin served as advisers for the program. A further collaboration led to the very successful “When Baseball Went to War” exhibit at the National World War II Museum featuring artifacts from the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., as well as the National World War II Museum’s own collection, which ran from November 2007 through April 2008.

Anton, who lives in Victorville, has been a U.S. history instructor for more than 20 years. His ability to work closely with his students and World War II veterans has earned him national recognition. The annual veterans’ dinner hosted by Anton and his students for the past 17 years has honored nearly 19,000 veterans and raised more than $30,000.

Anton is a graduate of Crafton Hills College and Cal State San Bernardino, with degrees in German and history. “No Greater Love” (Rounder Books) is his first book.

For more information on the lecture, contact Iwona Contreras at (909) 537-3447 or by e-mail at icontrer@csusb.edu.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit http://news.csusb.edu.

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