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Bob Schmukal

 

Date and Place of Birth: 1923 Buffalo, NY
Date and Place of Death:    October 3, 1944 France
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: 4142nd Quartermaster Service Company, US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Robert C. "Bob" Schmukal, son of George and Florence Schmukal, gained quite a reputation in Buffalo, New York, playing American Legion baseball with his dad's team, Schmukal Coal and Ice. The team were New York state champions in 1939 and 1940. He was also prominent in baseball, football and basketball at East High School and in May 1940, the ball team were subjected to a no-hitter by South Park High School left-hander Warren Spahn.

Boston Braves scout Jack Onslow signed the 18-year-old outfielder in September 1941, and he joined the Evansville Bees of the Class B Three-I League for the 1942 season. The rookie left fielder got off to a sensational start, batting .350 (28 for 80) after 24 games. However, his hitting cooled down as the season progressed and by late June he was hitting .276, dropping to .247 by mid-July. He finished the season playing 89 games and batting .230.

The 1942 season was to be Schmukal's only taste of professional baseball. He entered military service with the Army on January 20, 1943, and served in Europe with the 4142nd Quartermaster Service Company. The company landed at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, unloading essential rations, ammunition, and all other equipment and supplies, while under constant shellfire and small arms fire. It then saw continuous operation in the assault through Normandy, the breakout at Saint-Lo, and the rapid pursuit across France. Corporal Schmukal was killed in France on October 3, 1944, when his jeep hit a landmine. He was buried at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

 

Team

League

Class

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

AVG

1942 Evansville Three-I B 89 261 32 60 13 4 3 - .230

 

Bob Schmukal East High School

Bob Schmukal (back row, far left) with the East High School baseball team in 1939

Bob Schmukal

Bob Schmukal in high school in 1942

Bob Schmukal

Bob Schmukal (far left) playing basketball at East High School in January 1941

Source
Buffalo Courier-Express, May 14, 1940
Buffalo Courier-Express, January 8, 1941
Albany Knickerbocker News, September 17, 1941
Buffalo Courier-Express, November 28, 1946

Thanks to Astrid van Erp for help with photos for this biography.

Date Added February 19, 2012 Updated July 31, 2017

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