“If Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, it may be that it will be said hereafter, in the same symbolic sense, that the Great War was won on the baseball ground at Chelsea.”
— Illustrated London News


England celebrated Independence Day for the first time in 1918 during World War One. A special feature of the holiday was the Anglo-American Baseball League’s “baseball match” at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea. U.S. Army played U.S. Navy before members of the royal family, dozens of VIPs, and 30,000 to 50,000 soldiers, sailors and ordinary Londoners. Navy took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before defeating Army, 2–1.

Four major leaguers participated in the game.

  • Seaman Herbert J. “Herb” Pennock, Navy pitcher. “The Squire of Kennett Square” won 241 games for the Athletics, Red Sox and Yankees. Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1948. READ HERBS BIO ...
  • Yeoman First Class Michael J. McNally, Navy captain and first baseman. “Minooka Mike” played for the Red Sox, Yankees and Senators. READ MIKES BIO ...
  • Captain Edward F. Lafitte, Army pitcher and dentist. “Doc” played for the Detroit Tigers and Brooklyn Tip-Tops and tossed the Federal League’s first no-hitter. READ DOCS BIO ...
  • Walter Arlington “Arlie” Latham, umpire. “The Freshest Man on Earth” played for the St. Louis Browns and other teams and coached for the New York Giants. READ ARLIES BIO ...

The AABP plans to recreate this historic game with US and UK teams on July 4, 2018.

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