Home British baseballProject COBB Countdown to SABR Day 2011: 1940s Cobbette – What became of WWII evacuees returning from US?

Countdown to SABR Day 2011: 1940s Cobbette – What became of WWII evacuees returning from US?

by Joe Gray

Cobbette-(128x128)This is post six in a ten-post countdown to SABR Day 2011. The series is going through the decades of the 20th Century, backwards from the 1990s. On SABR Day itself, there will be a special feature on the 1890s, which will celebrate the significant link between keeping score and baseball history. This article will be published at 05:00 British time in order to coincide with the start of the day in the time-zone of the Cleveland-based SABR office. To view all the Cobbettes published to date, click here.


It’s Christmas Day, so I hope you readers can forgive me for the shortest Cobbette in the current countdown series, as I need to get back to the burdensome task of sitting down and doing nothing.

This Cobbette is really more to pose a  question than to do anything else. The question was triggered when I read a New York Times article from 2 August 1942 that contained the following observation:

“Many sportsman now believe that baseball will gain a new lease on life [in Britain] after the war, when British evacuee children return to this country, for, according to reports from the United States. English youngsters are already ardent fans of the great American game.”

I know less about World War II than I should, and so I’m not sure of the number of young evacuees sent to the United States. It would be fascinating to know if anyone who developed a taste for the game under these circumstances became an important figure in the post-World War II British baseball scene. I suggest this would make a good research project for someone who was happy to carry out some dialling round of people we know were involved in the British baseball league in the 1950s.

If you have an interesting history snippet to share that has a link to Britain then please send a message to Joe Gray through the Get in contact page. To see all of the work of Project Cobb, which is a Chartered Community of SABR (the Society for American Baseball Research), click here.

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