military books by servicemembers.


J. Thomas Hetrick

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Sergeant J. Thomas Hetrick served in the United States Air Force between 1979 and 1983. Working in military intelligence, he was stationed in Misawa, Japan and Fort Meade, Maryland. J. Thomas Hetrick is the author of Misfits! Baseball's Worst Ever Team and Chris Von der Ahe and the St. Louis Browns.

According to the book description of Misfits! Baseball's Worst Ever Team, "The tragicomic story of the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, baseballs futility leaders and winners of only 20 out of 154 games that season. Meet some of the most colorful men ever to wear a major league uniform. Follow their unfortunate train-travel odyssey through the National League and straight into obscurity. Marvel at the real desperation of a team forced to turn a cigar store clerk into a starting pitcher. Anecdotes galore."

According to the book description Chris Von der Ahe and the St. Louis Browns, "Chris Von der Ahe emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1867 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Starting out as a clerk in a grocery store, he soon suceeded in buying the grocery store and establishing a saloon in the back. Although Von der Ahe had no special interest in sports, he did notice that fans like to drop by after a ball game and have a beer. Seeing a natural link between baseball and his saloon, Von der Ahe sponsored an American Association baseball team called the St. Louis Browns, head of a lineage that includes the present-day St. Louis Cardinals. Although the American Association lasted for only ten years, Von der Ahes Browns captured the pennant four years in a row. Possessing an iron-willed persona similar to contemporary baseball owners like Marge Schott and George Steinbrenner, Von der Ahe was embroiled in legal battles and baseball disputes throughout the 1880s and 1890s. These struggles culminated in Von der Ahes kidnapping and his stadium being burned to the ground. Such financial disasters are only some of the many bizarre events discussed in this insightful and evocative biography of one of Americas early baseball owners. This roller-coaster ride through early American baseball makes for a story of luck, pluck, and bravado."

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