World War II had a profound effect on various aspects of American society, and baseball was no exception.To provide war weary civilians a break from the stresses of conflict, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared baseball essential to preserving morale on the home front. Wartime travel restrictions forced teams to curtail their spring training trips to warmer climates and practice closer to home. As a result, nine professional teams trained in Indiana from 1943 to 1945, with the major league Cincinnati Reds and minor league Indianapolis Indians both training on I.U.'s campus.
The impact of World War II on professional baseball has been well documented, with little emphasis on the collegiate level. Using an assortment of materials from Indiana University Archives, including photographs, Arbutus yearbooks, files from Herman B Wells' presidential collection, and newspaper clippings and box scores, this exhibit aims to use baseball to detail an aspect of the war's impact on I.U.'s campus.
Explore this and other exhibits on Indiana University history at the Indiana University Archives Exhibits website.