THE HAPPIEST GUY -- CORPORAL BRISSIE
A dream has come true, at least partially true, for Cpl. Lou Brissie who "lived throught the shadow of death" as a wounded soldier and awakened in a hospital with the prayerful hope that some day he would be with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. His ambition is not yet fully relaized, though Brissie discarded his crutches and is today with Connie Mack, not as a regular big leaguer yet but with a lot of hope in his heart.
The 200-pound, 6 foot 4 pitcher from Ware Shoals, who was seriously wounded in seven places by shell fragments in Italy, made the trip to Philadelphia at Mr. Mack's request after the two exchanged friendly personal letters while the soldier lay in Army Hospitals abroad and at home. He had given fine promise as a left- hander in textile baseball and Presbyterian College and also with a Philadelphia farm club before he went into service.
Although Brissie's life was saved as if by a miracle, the big South Carolinian never let discouragement dim his spirit despite the wounds that seemed almost beyond repair. He had the fighting heart, the will to win through, and I could discern that determination in his letters and in conversation with him when he came back from overseas and occasionally honored me by hobbling on crutches for a visit to our sports department.
"My life's ambition was to pitch big league baseball," Cpl. Brissie said, "and if I can't make the grade I would at least like to get a job in the big league ball park. And you know the man I want to work for -- Mr. Connie Mack. His letters to me were wonderful. He wants me to come to Philadelphia as soon as I am able -- just for a visit if nothing more. "
AN APPRECIATED LETTER
It was several weeks ago Cpl Brissie, on curtches, was talking about his major league chances, and yesterday we got a letter from him -- and you could read between the lines that he is just about the happiest guy in Shibe park. Yes sir, he's with Connie Mack. He hasn't been discharged from the Army and won't be for a while, until he is further on the road to recovery. But he is working out with the Athletics.
His letter follows:
"I arrived here on May 22 and have seen some pretty fair ball games. Wish you were here to see for yourself. It's wonderful to be in a ball park again. I saw Hal Newhouser himself. They all agree that Ford Garrison (Greenville boy, now in the Navy) was the spark of the club. Mr. Mack thinks a lot of him because he's a hustler.
"Scoop, you should see me working out. I throw a little every day with the fellows.
"Mr. Mack has looked at my leg, but he still thinks I can play ball. So does Earl Bruckner (the trainer). So, I'm sure I can.
"Well, I guess this will be all for this trip.
"So long for now,
(Carter Latimer, Greenville News - Sept.1945)