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Walt Lance

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: January 18, 1922 Newton, NC
Date and Place of Death:    December 20, 1991 Plainfield, IL
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: First Base
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Military Unit:  84th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

 Walter N. Lance, Jr., the son of Walter and Cathrine Lance, was born in Newton, North Carolina, on January 18, 1922. He grew up in Elizabethon, Tennessee, where his father worked as a shipping clerk in a rayon mill, and signed with the Elizabethton Betsy Red Sox of the Class D Appalachian League in 1942. Lance, a left-handed hitting first baseman, batted .309 in 105 games, but his promising baseball career was put on hold when he entered military service in August 1942.

Lance served with the 84th Infantry Division in Europe, and was commissioned in the field, receiving the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Wounded during 1945, he was returned to the United States in August and admitted to Moore General Hospital in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Lance returned to professional baseball in 1947 with the Greenwood Dodgers of the Class C Cotton States League where he batted .325 with 99 RBIs. He played for Meridian of the Class B Southeastern League over the next three years and batted over .300 each year, advancing to the Norfolk Tars of the Class B Piedmont League for 1951. Lance remained with Norfolk until midway through 1953, when he joined the Oleon Yankees of the Class D PONY League as player-manager. He was a player-manager with the Bristol Twins of the Class D Appalachian League in 1954 and ended his career as player-manager with the Owensboro Oilers of the Class D Kitty League.

Walt Lance passed away on December 20, 1991, aged 69. He is buried at St. Mary Immaculate Cemetery in Plainfield, Illinois.

Date Added December 19, 2017

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