During my first 3 months in USAT URUGUAY, as a cadet I was assigned to an engine-room watch. For the next 6 months I was the junior engineer (watertender) on the 12 to 4 watch in the forward boiler room that had six Babcox & Wilcox boilers. The boiler room was equipped with a steel box containing sand, supposedly for containing an oil fire. I found it handy for hiding a baseball, a catcher’s mitt and a fielder’s mitt.
After the senior first-assistant engineer made his rounds, as he always did early in each watch, out came the gear and I pitched a no hitter to one of the two Puerto Rican firemen. I pitched across the Pacific and across the Atlantic. You can’t do that in modern ships.
1942 was my best season.
Copyright © 2005 (text only) by Louis D. Chirillo