U.S. Army Nurse Corps Baseball Uniform
Posted: March 26, 2019
During the American Occupation of Germany in 1919-1920, baseball teams were formed from the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and YMCA women volunteers. These teams barnstormed around Germany and in every venue they played were met by enthusiastic crowds. At the YMCA “Eagle” hut in London, these YMCA women workers also demonstrated baseball to the English soldiers.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial recently acquired two uniform pullovers from these baseball teams, one numbered “2” and the other “3.” They are made of wool, in the style of the U.S. Navy pullover shirt. It is not known where it was made or where the accompanying pants are. A variety of uniform types were worn by the teams, some issued by the YMCA and others privately-purchased.
Front and back view of uniform, from the collection of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
The photographs below, courtesy of University of Minnesota Libraries, Kautz Family YMCA Archives, show these women in action in Germany during one of these games.
You can see this uniform and many objects in the special exhibition 1919: Peace? which opens in Exhibit Hall at the Museum and Memorial on April 2, 2019. The Armistice ended fighting on the Western Front, but war did not end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris at Versailles in 1919. This exhibition examines how the war transformed the world, but left a legacy of unresolved issues and conflict.
YMCA baseball player at bat in Germany. Image courtesy of the Kautz Family YMCA Archives at University of Minnesota Libraries.
Players on the YMCA women's baseball team. Image courtesy of the Kautz Family YMCA Archives at University of Minnesota Libraries.
Players from one of the Army Nurse Corps baseball teams. Image courtesy of the Kautz Family YMCA Archives at University of Minnesota Libraries.