This Day in Baseball History: May 27th, 1941

FDR was always a friend of baseball.

On May 27, 1941:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt interrupts baseball.

As World War II raged on in Europe and Asia, the United States of America had not yet entered the war. Officially, they were neutral, but in reality, they obviously favored the British. Propoganda-wise, everything negative was directed toward the Nazis and the positives toward the British. A few months earlier, the United States enacted the Lend-Lease Act, which did not technically leave out the Germans, but for all intents and purposes, the British and Soviets, and later the Chinese, were the beneficiaries.

Anyway, on the night of May 27, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made a national public address calling for an “unlimited national emergency“. Politically, it didn’t really do anything or add any powers, but it’s main purpose was to illuminate the growing problems in Europe and Asia. Public opinion was not yet on FDR’s side. The public was wary of being involved in a waran ocean away, still reeling from World War I. Six months and a week and a half later, Pearl Harbor changed everything. A month and a half later, FDR issued the Green Light Letter asking baseball to play on despite the war.

But for the moment, the United States rolled along, and that included baseball. However, it did something that I can’t see happening today. For 45 minutes, the New York (baseball) Giants and the Boston Braves stopped their game to listen to the public address played over the speakers at the Polo Grounds. The Giants, behind Carl Hubbell, went on to win the game 2-1. I’m not sure that we would stop a game today to listen to a presidential message, even if it did pertain to war.

Trivia Time
Who made his debut exactly 10 years later at the Polo Grounds?

Yesterday’s Answer –> As several mentioned, Canseco was the first 40/40 player in baseball history. I would have guessed that Willie Mays did it, but he narrowly missed in 1956 with 36 HR and 40 SB.

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3 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: May 27th, 1941”

  1. Ian Says:

    Would the answer to that one be Willie Mays?

  2. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Well done.

  3. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Just looked at the question again. I had some issues with my computer, and it didn’t save my change. Mays actually made his debut at the Polo Grounds on the 28th. Stupid technology.

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