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Don Gaab

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: March 18, 1926 Zanesville, OH
Date and Place of Death:    February 6, 1993 Cleveland, OH
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: First Base
Rank: Private First-Class
Military Unit: US Army
Area Served: Eureopean Theater of Operations

Donald F. “Ty” Gaab, the son of Carl and Bertha Gaab, was born on March 18, 1926, in Zanesville, Ohio. Don was a basketball star at St. Nicholas High School in Zanesville and played first base on the American Legion team as well as the Hoffman Roofers of the Eastern Ohio League.

Gaab graduated from high school in 1944, and the slick fielding first baseman was one of three Zanesville youngsters signed by manager Clay Bryant to play for the Newark Moundsmen of the Class D Ohio State League.

Replacing the injured Jack Pavlecic at first base, Gaab – just 18 years old - played in 10 games and batted .167 before requesting his release.

Gaab returned to Zanesville where he continued to play with the Hoffman Roofers before entering military service in August 1944.

Gaab served in Europe as a private first class with the army and was seriously wounded in combat in France on March 9, 1945. His right arm was shattered and he also received injuries to his left leg. Gaab was hospitalized in France then the United States.

With his baseball career over, he entered the printing trade in  January 1946 and worked in the composing room of the Zanesville Signal newspaper. Around 1958, he moved with his wife, Ruth, and their two children to Massillon, Ohio, where he worked for the Evening Independent newspaper.

After retiring from the print trade, Don and Ruth lived in Sebring, Florida during the winter months, and he worked as a courier for Citizen Savings Bank in Massillon from around 1985.

A member of the Disabled American Veterans, Don Gaab died at the Cleveland Clinic on February 6, 1993, after a short illness. He was 66 years old. Services were held at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church with burial at Mount Olive Cemetery in Zanesville.

Ruth passed away in June 2000.

Donald Gaab

Date Added April 1, 2020

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