Warren Ballpark History

Pitcher Turned Fighter Pilot - Bert Shepard: A True Hero

Bert Shepard

One of the most inspiring stories to come out of baseball during World War II was that of Bert Shepard, a left handed pitcher for the 1941 Bisbee Bees

Bert Shepard

In 1942, Shepard joined the U.S. Army Air Forces, where he earned his wings as a P-38 fighter pilot. Assigned to a fighter group stationed in England, he flew on numerous combat missions against German targets in occupied Europe.

Pilot turned P.O.W.

Bert Shepard

Shot down over Germany on his 34th mission, Lt. Shepard was badly wounded and captured by the Germans. His lower right leg amputated, Shepard passed the time playing catch with a cricket ball.

A New Leg and New Start

Bert Shepard

Repatriated in Feb. 1945 in a swap of badly wounded POWs, Shepard asked for a chance to play professional baseball. During the spring of 1945 he was given a tryout with the Washington Nationals (AKA Senators) and earned a spot on the team.

The One-Legged Pitcher

Bert Shepard

In August 1945, Bert Shepard, player-coach for the Nationals, entered a game as a reliever against the Boston Red Sox and entered the pages of baseball history as the only man to play major league ball on an artificial leg.

posted on 2/13/2017 1:56:21 PM        ...go to top...

Bisbee's Own Big-Leaguer

Clarence Maddern

Clarence Maddern, born in Lowell in 1921, is the only Bisbee native to reach the major leagues. He did so despite playing in only one baseball game in high school! (He was a star softball player on the Horace Mann field.)

The Bees, the Army, and the Cubs

Clarence Maddern

Maddern played for the Bees in 1940 and 1941, hitting .356 in 1941 before being promoted to the Los Angeles Angels of the PCL. After his World War II service in the 76th Infantry Division, Maddern returned to baseball and in 1946, joined the Chicago Cubs.

Up and Down in the 40's

Clarence Maddern

Maddern played briefly for the Cubs in 1946 and in 1947 was sent back to the Angels, where he hit .322. In 1948 he played 80 games as an outfielder with Chicago, hitting .252. For most of 1949 he was back in Los Angeles.

From the Indians to the PCL

Clarence Maddern

In 1951 Maddern made it back to the majors for a brief time, playing 11 games with the Cleveland Indians. During the remaining years of his baseball career he played on minor league teams, mostly in the Pacific Coast League. Maddern left baseball in 1957, returned to Bisbee and became an insurance agent.

posted on 2/13/2017 1:31:22 PM        ...go to top...

Alvin Montgomery

Al Montgomery had a bright future ahead of him in 1939 when, playing for the Bees, he led the Arizona-Texas League in home runs. Promoted to the Boston Braves of the National League in 1940 at age 20, Montgomery played only a year in the big leagues. In April 1942, while on his way back north after spring training in Florida, he was killed in a traffic accident in Waverly, Virginia. He was 21.

posted on 2/13/2017 1:22:40 PM        ...go to top...

Lefty Phillips

Lefty Phillips

Another Bee Another Bee who made it to the majors was Lefty Phillips. Phillips pitched only five games for Bisbee before a sore arm ended his playing career. He remained in baseball where he worked as a scout, and as a pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Later, Phillips was director of player development for the Los Angeles Angels and in 1969, became the Angels manager.

posted on 2/13/2017 1:07:06 PM        ...go to top...

Jim Tobin

Jim Tobin

The right-handed Jim Tobin pitched for the Bees in 1932, compiling a 9-2 record with a 6.13 ERA. His major league career began in 1939 with the Pittsburgh Prates. He also played with the Boston Bees and Braves in the National League, and the Detroit Tigers in the American League.

On May 13, 1942, Tobin became the first (and last) major league pitcher in the “modern” era to hit three home runs in a single game. In 1944, Tobin threw two no-hit games.

posted on 2/13/2017 1:05:05 PM        ...go to top...