Lou Brissie – Baseball and American Hero

I love to watch the beginning of sporting events and the sports “heroes” give honor to the TRUE American HEROES, our soldiers. But what is even more touching is to see the past American Heroes pay honor to the younger American heroes..

And then I love the stories…. Like Lou Brissie. A baseball player who attended Presbyterian College before enlisting in the U.S. Army in December 1942. In November 1944
, Lou found himself in heavy fighting in Italy with the 88th Infantry Division (Blue Devils). On December 2, 1944, Lou’s unit suffered an artillery barrage, and a shell exploded which shattered his left tibia and shinbone in 30 pieces. He begged and BEGGED the doctors to not amputate his leg.

Following a devastating German artillery attack in December 1944, most of Leland Victor (Lou) Brissie s squad was destroyed and the shrapnel-riddled corporal from Ware Shoals, South Carolina, was left for dead. The unconscious pitching prospect clung to life along the muddy banks of an icy creek in northern Italy s snow-covered Apennines for hours until medical corpsmen discovered him. Doctors at the battalion aid station noted that his left leg was shattered beyond repair and recommended immediate amputation.

No, Brissie protested. You can t take my leg off. I m a ballplayer. I can t play on one leg.

…So, after 2 years and 23 major operations Lou was able to return to baseball with a metal brace on his leg. He was signed by the Philadelphia A’s on December 15, 1946. His comeback began with Savannah in the Southern League where he won 25 games in 1947. The A’s called him up and on September 28, 1947 he realized his “life’s ambition” of pitching in the major leagues.

He did not let the “IF ONLY” and “WHAT IF’s” stop him…….

He is a hero in 3 counts.
War Hero
Baseball Hero
Life Hero
The Corporal Was a Pitcher: The Courage of Lou Brissie

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