If They Hadn’t Gone


How World War II Affected Major League Baseball
Thomas E. Allen
978-0-9748190-2-0 (paper)
January 2004


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If They Hadn’t Gone is an encyclopedia of biographical and statistical information covering 472 baseball players whose careers were affected by war. Its lists include brief biographies and lifetime stats for replacement players who, before Pearl Harbor, would have been over-the-hill or below major-league quality. But, in war or in peace, baseball was the American pastime. Writing early in 1942, President Roosevelt urges Kenesaw M. Landis (then baseball commissioner) to “play ball!” for the sake of morale. Allen prints the letter in facsimile: “It would be best for the country to keep baseball going,” writes Roosevelt, “even if the quality of the teams is lowered by the greater use of older players.”
“Since baseball is a game of statistics, . . . people have often wondered what a player would have achieved if he had not lost playing time during his military service. This is where If They Hadn’t Gone comes to the front. The predictions . . . are sure to invoke a lot of discussion and comment. . . . If They Hadn’t Gone is excellent reading for the true baseball fan.”
—Jerry Lumpe, from the foreword

Tom E. Allen is retired from Missouri State University, where he served for thirty-four years as vice president of finance. A CPA, one-time semi-pro ballplayer, and member of the Society for American Baseball Research, Allen spent years gathering the statistics and documentary evidence recorded in his book. He is a die-hard Cardinals fan.
Jerry Lumpe is a Missourian, U.S. Army veteran, and former baseball All-Star who played second base for the NY Yankees (1956–1959), Kansas City Athletics (1959–1963), and Detroit Tigers (1963–1967).

Distributed for Missouri State University / Moon City Press.