Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators: The War-Torn Career of an All-Star Shortstop
A three time All-Star, Cecil Travis was coming into his prime and already well on his way to a Hall of Fame career when he was drafted for World War ... Show synopsis A three time All-Star, Cecil Travis was coming into his prime and already well on his way to a Hall of Fame career when he was drafted for World War II in 1941. He would spend the next four years in the 76th infantry division. When he finally returned to the game, in 1945, Travis was no longer the dominant player he had been. In the three seasons that followed his return?the last three seasons of his career?only once did Travis play in more than 75 games, and his offensive numbers plummeted. Yet his pre-war accomplishments were such that he finished his 12-year career with a .314 batting average and baseball maven Bill James put Travis atop his list of players most likely to have lost a Hall of Fame career to the war. This biography documents the dynamic career of a baseball player whose path to stardom was cut short by the onset of war. It begins with Travis? childhood years, which he spent working on his family's Riverdale farm in rural Georgia. It describes his demonstration of talent during high school, which earned him athletic scholarships at several universities. Next the author details the start of Travis? professional career with the minor league Chattanooga Lookouts in 1931, his impressive rookie year with the Washington Senators, and his remaining prewar seasons in the major leagues. Travis's time as a soldier is then discussed, followed by chapters on postwar playing decline from 1945 to 1947 and his consequent retirement from major league baseball. An epilogue provides Cecil Travis? personal commentary on his baseball career, its untimely dissolution, the effects of the war, and his present life in Riverdale, where he raises livestock on his childhood farm.