TODAY IN BASEBALL TAKES US TO THE LIKES OF FRENCH LICK, INDIANA, MARCH 15, 1945. Several spring training camps opened on this date to prepare for the 1945 season. But not in the hot-spots you’d expect. The country was still in the midst of World War II. Travel restrictions forced teams to train close to home. Indiana became a hot-spot for spring training.
Here where spring training was for a number of teams:
The New York Yankees – Atlantic City, New Jersey
The Cleveland Indians – LaFayette, Indiana
The Chicago White Sox – Terre Haute, Indiana
The Boston Red Sox – Pleasantville, New Jersey
The Philadelphia Athletics – Frederick, Maryland
The Detroit Tigers in – Evansville, Indiana
The St. Louis Cardinals – Cairo, Illinois
The Chicago Cubs – French Lick, Indiana
The Pittsburgh Pirates – Muncie, Indiana
… Just to name a few.
Major League Baseball also drastically limited exhibition games at the urging of The United States Office of Defense Transportation. Teams could only play games with other teams if they were on a direct route to their home city. Side trips were not allowed. Some teams played very few exhibition games against other teams that spring. But there is always Indiana.
Spring Training Notes, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1945
United Press, March 16, 1945
The Baseball Guru