On March 15, 1945, Bert Shepard, a one-legged pitcher, begins a successful tryout with the Washington Senators. Shepard had been gunned down east of Hamburg on his 34th mission as a P-38 fighter pilot, his life was saved by the doctor Lieutenant Ladislaus Loidl of the German Army, his leg was amputated.
During the tryout he impressed Senators owner Clark Griffith enough to be hired as a pitching coach. He pitched exhibition games and batting practice. Shepard will pitch in only one game for the Senators, but his stint will be impressive. On August 4th, he will pitch five and one-third innings of one-run ball against the Boston Red Sox.
Also a symbol of wartime baseball, outfielder Pete Gray of the St. Louis Browns, will field and bat with only one arm.