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The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In 1943, while the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals were winning pennants and meeting in that year's World Series, Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, and Johnny Said practiced on a skinned-out college field in the heart of North Carolina.

They and other past and future stars formed one of the greatest baseball teams of all time. They were among a cadre of fighter-pilot cad
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Sports Publishing
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Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
As a kid, I collected baseball cards. While I have favorites that I got from packs or a few old timers from shows, my prized possession, although tattered is a Ted Williams card from the 1950s that I found abandoned in a parking lot. Growing up hearing about the golden age of baseball from my father, I knew that it was by providence that I found this particular card. What struck me wasn’t his timeless .406 batting average in 1941 but the fact that Teddy Ballgame lost five years of his career in ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals were the opponents in the 1943 World Series, neither of them are considered to be the best baseball team that took the field that year. That honor was bestowed to a team composed of Navy pilots who were in training before being sent overseas for combat. This team was based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and was dubbed the “Cloudbuster Nine.” This wonderful book by Anne Keene tells the story about this little known team and some of the men on the ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
Summary: The story of the 1943 Navy training school team on which Ted Williams, Johnny Sain, Johnny Pesky and others played, and the baseball hopes and disappointments of the team's batboy, the author's father.

In baseball circles, many consider Ted Williams to have been the greatest hitter to have ever played the game. Williams made a science out of hitting. Many wonder what his records would have been like had he not served in the military during World War II and been called up during the Kor
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, baseball
After reading many books on baseball, and many on history, I’ve separated the two kinds of books. There’s a baseball book. In a baseball book, the author tends to focus on a perspective or two, from a player, coach, umpire, or someone else intimately involved in the playing of the game. Level or age doesn’t matter here, it could be kids or major leaguers, there is still a baseball-informed point of view. Or you see the fan’s perspective, or the front office guy perspective. These are similar in ...more

Quite the little know (or forgotten) WWII story: a Navy pilot training school was established at UNC Chapel Hill NC - AND Ted Williams along with other baseball great were trained and played ball there. The author does a wonderful job of regaling baseball fans and history enthusiasts with micro-histories and bios of legendary ballplayers, UNC, the Navy, and baseball in general; she does so in a conversational style that will also draw in fans of human interest stories.

FOUR **** Fasc
Stephanie Barko
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review copy provided by Texas Book Festival to help me moderate the author's panel at TBF 2018.

You don't have to be a baseball fan to like this book.
The author's dad is in this book. so if you are a daddy's girl, you will get what Anne is trying to convey.
If you think sports memoirs and histories are all action, think differently.
This book is all heart AND action.

If you LOVE baseball and sports, you will love this book.
If you like history or sports history,
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fact that there was a Navy pilot training school at UNC Chapel Hill and that Ted Williams attended it made for an fascinating read.
Just as interesting as the Ted Williams’ anecdotes was the story of the numerous sports leaders who volunteered to train the potential pilots. Whether it was the world’s greatest boxer teaching hand to hand fighting skills or some Appalachian backwoods men teaching survival skills, it all led to the development of the best prepared servicemen the country had eve
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book--I wish I could say I loved it, but I found it harder to get through than I thought it would be. This was likely due to the book's organization.

The book meanders between history and memoir, and the author does both of them well as standalone pieces, but they just don't seem to mesh together. I loved the portions of her describing her journey to better understand her recently deceased father and the life he had before her as a minor league pitcher, and, before still, as a batbo
Mike Kennedy
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: baseball, history
I listened to the audio version of this book. The book follows the story of The Cloudbuster Nine, the baseball team for the Navy’s elite flight training school that was housed at the University of North Carolina. It is really much more than that as it encompasses the thought behind the building of the training school, and it also spends time touching on some of the other famous people who were apart of the school from presidents like George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford to John Glenn and Bear Bryant ...more
Pegi Ferrell
I am all over the place with this book. I loved the research and passion from the author. Her personal connection with her father's part with this team made the book better--and this review more difficult. I feel the author needed a firm, skilled editor. This book needs more of a narrative arc and less of an "Ooh, I found this really interesting fact, and I can't think of anywhere else to include it!" arc. I understand being distracted with research and with fascinating facts; after all, I took ...more
Patrick Macke
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
This book is a million stories interwoven by a common thread and as such, it is a fountain of information, joyfully written, on a range of fascinating subjects ... in the end the book is really two things: a testimony to the best and brightest of World War II America and the greatness that can be achieved, in all facets of life, with iron-clad resolve; and an irrefutable example of the true power of sports to change, strengthen and bond men in an unmatched way - sports are NOT games they are tea ...more
Scott Weaver
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Thank you for chronicling/preserving this precious slice of US/NC/MLB history. Three of the many things I love are non-fiction, American history, and baseball. This book is such a sweet blend of the three. Keene writes from deeply personal and well researched materials. Even though so many names and places are familiar to me, the author brilliantly brings to light previously untold heroism of some of the biggest names of “the Greatest Generation”. Loved this book!
Patricia Kerster
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was such a pleasure to read. The author wove her family's story into this fascinating piece of baseball history. It caught my eye because of Ted Williams, but even if you don't have any particular attachment to him, this book is incredibly interesting. Baseball . . . WWII history . . . family - it all comes together so well! Thanks to the author for sharing this part of her life and for putting this story out into the world
Karla Seyb-stockton
I liked the story, the topic, and all of the history. I listened to this book on Audible. It was read by the author who did a terrible job. I almost couldn’t listen to it. She chopped up her sentences until they didn’t sound like sentences. It was very distracting.
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So. Much. Research. And yet an easy read!
Phil Hardin
It was a struggle to finish.
Jeff Olson
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all those who didn`t like the book too bad, this book has all the key ingridients in the making of the US Navies first baseball team the Clouldbuster Nine..Enjoy!!! ...more
Rick Mitchell
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May 12, 2019
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“Pick up any photograph of Ted Williams in 1943 and there’s a good chance you’ll see him seated on a footlocker beside Babe Ruth or perched on a chipped cement wall wearing a jersey stitched with dark blue Navy insignia. Many of those photographs were taken while he was training in Chapel Hill and they tell a story about the summer Ted changed.” 0 likes
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