didthetribewinlastnight.com. Uncredited photo. Image cropped.
Johnny Sain/US Navy
Jonny Sain joined the US Navy and trained to be a naval aviator. Oddly enough, that was where a whole group of major leaguers were stationed, so the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill “Cloudbusters” pre-flight school ended up with an interesting baseball team: including the likes of Sain, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, and more.
While Sain flew around the US for the Navy, it does not appear that he saw combat action – certainly not like Ted Williams, whose exploits in two wars border on legendary. But it does appear that Sain did have plenty of time for baseball.
On his return to the majors in 1946, Sain broke out with a 20-14 record and 2.21 ERA (finished 5th in the league MVP voting that year). He had three more 20-win seasons through 1950, then had varying success as starter, then relievers through 1955, finishing with a 139-116 lifetime record.