Baseball Book review: ‘The Corporal Was a Pitcher: The Courage of Lou Brissie’

Growing up, Lou Brissie had the same dream as millions of other American boys, to play professional baseball. He wasn’t going to let war stop him either.

As more and more cities go into “shelter in place” because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are left trying to occupy our minds and pass the time of day. Without baseball to watch on the television or box scores to sift through in the newspaper a good way to get your fix is to read a baseball book. “The Corporal Was a Pitcher: The Courage of Lou Brissie,” is a great book and definitely worth your time.

The book goes into detail about a young Lou Brissie aspiring to play professional baseball. Any reader who has had this dream as well will love the descriptive writing about a high school boy plucked from his high school team and rushed to tryout in an MLB stadium. Under the watchful eye of legendary coach Connie Mack, the nerves Brissie must have felt as he showcased his talents, in some way may be relatable.

As droves of young men were leaving their work in the early forties to fight in a war across the ocean, Brissie put his dream of playing professional baseball on hold to join them. During his time away Brissie wrote letters to Mack and the two corresponded, keeping the hope alive one day Lou may pitch in the major leagues.

When the war was over, no longer the young talent he once was, Brissie was determined to show teammates and fans alike his signing with the Philadelphia Athletics was about his ability and not about patriotism.

This book is very well written and discusses Brissie’s life before the war, during the war, and his time playing major league baseball. After his playing days were over, Brissie aspired to remain a part of the game, and the book is very detailed in these attempts as well as his family life after baseball.

This book is an easy read for someone who loves baseball history or can connect with the dream of playing in the big leagues.

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