Fort Drum Baseball Field Named For World War II Soldier
Sergeant Truman Cool gave up a professional baseball career, enlisting in the Army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
"Think of him as being similar to Pat Tillman, the football player that also made the same decision," said Fort Drum Cultural Resources Program Manager Laurie Rush.
Sergeant Cool was 23 when he was killed on the shores of Anzio in 1944, not even old enough to be in the prime of his baseball career.
His nephew Gerald Cool never got to meet him, but recalls his father's stories.
"He loved baseball and I know he was a handsome dude and he was just an all around nice guy," said Gerald.
Sergeant Cool grew up in LeRaysville, one of the so-called lost villages to make way for what is now Fort Drum.
He was a star on the Evans Mills High School baseball team, playing alongside good friend and former St. Louis Cardinal Geroge Kissler.
Just ask childhood friend William Delaney which player was better.
"Truman was a better player than George," said Delaney.
While Sergeant Cool was a pitcher, Delaney says he was an even better hitter.
"He could hit the ball a mile. He'd hit it so far they'd never find it, because it'd be in the weeds they couldn't even find the ball afterwards," said Delaney.
Truman Cool never got a chance to play in the big leagues, but he'll live on through the ball field on Fort Drum which is now named for him.