Greenpoint, October, 2015

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Das Phillies

Meet the Phillies
Keep the label up!
That isn't Germantown as in northwest Philadelphia you're looking at. That's Germantown as in southern Germany, probably Stuttgart. And these 1951 Phillies aren't in the National League, they're in the German Youth Activities, a program begun by U.S. GIs immediately after WWII as a way to reach out to children of the devastated nation. Naturally, baseball figured prominently in the effort. Nor was the reeducation limited to the boys. Here, a WAC Staff Sergeant coaches one young slugger. (Much more about the GYA here.)

But why Phillies? Yankees might seem a bit too imperialist. Red Sox a bit too, well, red for the times. Cardinals translates easily as Kardinals but means the prelates, not the birds. Let it be Phillies then. Who knows, maybe there's a biergarten or rathaus somewhere in Stuttgart where they still follow the Phils.

Note on the title: The plural definite article ("the") in German is "die" not "das." However I thought "Die Phillies" might be a bit provocative in some quarters.

(Photos courtesy Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study, Harvard University.)

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