Nov 12, 2015 2:21 PM

New England athletes who served in the military

CONCORD - NH1 News would like to thank all of those who have served and continue to serve our country.

Most athletes have luxurious lifestyles. But, there are some professional athletes that left that life behind and served their country.

Some of these athletes left the game while they were at the peak of their careers and some enlisted before their athletic careers even started.

Ted Williams considered by many to be the greatest hitter of all time, won two AL MVP awards, two triple crown awards, and is the last player to bat over .400.

Ted Williams once hit a ball 502 feet. That was the farthest home run ever hit at Fenway Park. That seat is now painted red.

But, what might be more impressive is the fact that Ted Williams served two tours. He fought in World War II. And he fought in the Korean War.

He was a pilot and flew 39 combat missions. He did this all during the peak of his career.

In his career, he hit 521 home runs and had 2,654 hits. How many home runs and hits would he have had if he didn’t serve those five years?

Remember this was during the peak of Williams' career. So, if he averaged 35 home runs each of those five seasons he would have had 696 home runs in his career. Greatest hitter of all time?

Due to David Robinson’s naval background he earned the nickname the Admiral. He is one of the greatest centers of all time.

He was a former NBA rookie of the year, MVP, defensive player of the year, and two time champion.

He helped guide Tim Duncan at the beginning of his career. Before Robinson’s stellar NBA career, he enlisted in the Naval Academy and served two years before his professional debut in 1989.

The San Antonio Spurs didn’t even flinch when picking him first in the 1987 NBA Draft. They knew they were getting a special player.

The Say Hey Kid, AKA Willie Mays, widely regarded as the greatest all around player. Won twelve gold gloves, MVP, Rookie of the year, and was a twenty four time All-star selection.

Mays hit 660 home runs in his career. That puts him fifth all time behind Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds.

Fun fact, Barry Bonds is his godson.

After Willie May’s Rookie Of The Year season he was drafted by the army and served one year during the Korean War.

Here is a list of other notable athletes who served their country:

1) Roger Staubach

2) Jackie Robinson

3) Pat Tillman

4) Joe DiMaggio

5) Warren Spahn

6) Yogi Berra


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