“I think it might be interesting to have the next Fallout have the main character come from far less noble stock. I could see a story where a Raider winds up having to step up to the ‘hero’ role because no one else would.”
“Whenever I play Fallout 3, I get horrible chills from seeing the ruins of Fairfax because I live there in real life. It’s both awful to see the town that I have called home since I was a child destroyed and covered in ash, and at the same time a dark and strange beauty. I often spend large amounts of my time there, and I hate it when the raiders take over again because it’s my town, and I won’t let it be ruled by them.”
While he is best known for his exploits as a New York Yankee, prior to his MLB career, Hank Bauer served with other legends on a different kind of team, the United States Marine Corps.
Bauer was part of the Greatest Generation. He sacrificed prime years of his baseball career in order to serve his country during World War II. “I guess I knew too many great young guys who lost everything out there to worry about my losing part of my baseball career,” he stated.
Hank Bauer enlisted soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and went to boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. After boot camp, he attended Sea School, also on MCRD San Diego. A Colonel at Marine Barracks Mare Island discovered that Bauer was a baseball player and arranged for Bauer to transfer to Mare Island to play on the Marine team.
Although he enjoyed playing for the base team, Bauer was itching to get into the fight. Finally, Bauer was able to volunteer for the 4th Raider Battalion. He promptly contracted malaria upon arriving in the South Pacific. He would endure twenty-three malarial attacks during his time in the Marine Corps.
He arrived on Guadalcanal in early 1943, as the battle was winding down. Bauer and the 4th Raider Bn fought their way through the jungles of New Georgia. “And when I say jungle, it was indescribable - worst shithole you have ever seen!,” Bauer exclaimed. At best, the Raiders were able to go half a mile per hour through the thick jungle.
When the Raider Regiments were absorbed into the regular Marine infantry, Bauer served with 2nd Bn 4th Mar, then part of the 6th Marine Division, on Emirau in Papua New Guinea, on the island of Guam, and on Okinawa. Bauer received his first Purple Heart on Guam when he has hit by shrapnel. Years later, his Yankees teammates would pick shrapnel out of his back in the locker room.
Bauer received a Bronze Star for his actions on Guam and another for his actions on Okinawa. His platoon suffered enormous casualties during the Battle of Okinawa. “The more replacements we got, the more we lost,” said Bauer. Out of 64 men, only 6 survived. Bauer, himself, was injured in the thigh from shrapnel from an artillery round that exploded near him during the battle. “There goes my baseball career,” Bauer told another Marine, as he was being evacuated. He had fought for 53 days before being injured.
While recovering from his wounds, the U.S. dropped H-Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Russians invaded Japanese held territory in Manchuria, driving the Japanese to surrender to the Allies. After the war ended, Bauer and the surviving Marines of 2/4 served occupation duty in Yokosuka, Japan.
After the war, Bauer felt that there was no future for him in baseball. But, a Yankees scout remembered Bauer from before the war, and signed him to their farm team, theQuincy Gems, in Quincy, Ill. Two years later, in 1948, he was called up to the majors and hit singles during his first three at bats.
During his career with the Yankees, Bauer was named an AL All-Star three times. His career batting average was .277 with 164 home runs, 57 triples, 229 doubles, and 703 runs batted in. He played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball. Bauer then managed the Kansas City Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles, leading the Orioles to a World Series win in 1966.
Hank Bauer passed away in 2007 in his home in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. He is remembered as a great baseball player, but more importantly, as a great Marine.
“There is one thing the Marines and the New York Yankees have in common - it’s called pride. You know, once you put those Yankee pinstripes on, you knew you had something to live up to. Well, I think it’s the same thing with the Corps. Once you got that green uniform, damn it, you knew you had to shape up. After all, they’re both winners - I mean the Yanks and the Corps.”
That’s the a part of history from my unit people never look up. Rah.