Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A's Bert Shepard Dead at 87

Several years back, the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society annual reunion was a salute to veterans of World War II highlighted by Hall of Famer Bob Feller. Feller remarked that most of the real heroes never made it home.

Of course, Lou Brissie was one that did but also present was Bert Shepard who returned from war missing a leg. With an artificial leg, he had the unrealistic dream of pitching in the major leagues. Monty Stratton, who was the subject of a movie, lost a leg in a hunting accident but while he appeared in some minor league action never returned to the big leagues.Prior to his acccident he pitched for the Chicago White Sox.

On August 4, 1945, the impossible dream came true as Shepard took the mound for the Washingon Senators against the Boston Red Sox and pitched over 5 innings allowing only one run for an earned run average of 1.69.

Men such as Brissie and Shepard served as an inspiration to countless war veterans with disabilities and Brissie continues to visit and encourage veterans of the present conflict.

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