New Books Network

Alexander Barnes, Peter F. Belmonte and Samuel O. Barnes

Play Ball!

Doughboys and Baseball during the Great War

Schiffer Publishing 2019

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SportsNew Books Network May 28, 2019 Bob D’Angelo

Today we are joined by Alexander Barnes, who co-wrote Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball during the Great War (Schiffer Publishing, 2019) with Peter F....

Today we are joined by Alexander Barnes, who co-wrote Play Ball! Doughboys and Baseball during the Great War (Schiffer Publishing, 2019) with Peter F. Belmonte and Samuel O. Barnes. Blending sports and military history, the authors revisit the national pastime and the Doughboys who were fervent fans. Using primary sources and rare photographs, Barnes and his co-authors tell a compelling tale. Keeping soldiers occupied during the lull between military battles was always a goal for commanders, and what better diversion for red-blooded American men than baseball? Play Ball! takes readers to the front lines of the Great War, where games were sometimes played within shouting — and shooting — distance of the enemy. The authors are baseball fans and historians of World War I.

Al Barnes served in the Marines and Army National Guard for 30 years and had a tour of duty during Desert Storm. He currently is the historian for the Virginia National Guard Command. Al’s son, Sam Barnes, earned his bachelor’s degree in history from James Madison University, and works as an archivist at Army Logistics University in Virginia. Peter Belmonte is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and also served in Desert Storm. He earned his master’s degree in history from California State University, Stanislaus. Together, these three historians provide a new window into baseball overseas during the Great War.


Bob D’Angelo is a digital content editor with Cox Media Group. He earned his master’s degree in history from Southern New Hampshire University in May 2018. Bob earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent more than three decades as a sportswriter and sports copy editor, including 28 years on the sports copy desk at The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune. Bob can be reached at bdangelo57@gmail.com. For more information, visit Bob D’Angelo’s Books and Blogs.