It is not always easy to search out information on people, even in the day of the internet. This is especially true with common names. But for the benefit of posterity here are a few pictures and details about the National Amps players:
Fiorello "Bill" Marino. 1924-1997. A one armed pitcher he was likely the only man since the 1870s to play baseball bare handed.
They are mostly gone now, but I had an opportunity a few years ago to chat with several of the National Amps players. By extremely unlikely chance I first stumbled upon this story and only later realized that one of the above gentlemen was the father of a friend of mine.
These men were very matter of fact when discussing their military service, their injuries and their later lives. The whole concept of amputee baseball teams, slightly odd though it seems to our later generation, was no big deal to them.
The random mayhem of a battle field sometimes means that this fellow will lose a limb and the man next to him come through without a scratch. The courage and stoicism displayed by the Amps really was no big deal. It typified the entirety of our Father's Generation.
But in giving proper respect where it is due, lets not overlook the heroism of the current generation. In a prior post I mentioned a revival of amputee baseball (or at least softball) among the wounded veterans of our recent conflicts. Here is the 2012 Wounded Warrior Amputee softball team:website .
They are wearing Washington Nationals uniforms here, as that major league team has been instrumental in their organization. As in the days of Bert Shepard, the proximity to Walter Reed is no doubt a factor.
They will be on tour this summer and I for one am planning on catching a game. The saying goes "Heroes are hard to find".