Ralph Houk passed away today - in his honor below is a post I made about him a while back.
File this under you learn something new every day. I knew Ralph Houk as the respected baseball manager who took the reins of the Boston Red Sox after his best years as a manager had been used up by the New York Yankees. I knew his nickname was "The Major" but I never knew the nickname was a literal moniker.
It turns out that Ralph Houk was every bit the badass in World War II that Dick Winters of Band of Brothers fame was. Like Winters - Houk entered battle as a Lieutenant and finished the war as a Major from the result of battlefield promotions. Both fought in the Battle of the Bulge and like Winters - Houk was wounded in the calf but returned immediately to combat.
Houk received the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster, four campaign stars and clusters during his service in Europe. "He was an extremely popular platoon commander," Fiore explained. "His baseball training helped."Ralph Houk - leadership through being a quiet badass. My hat's off to you sir. Read the link provided but keep in mind that much seems to be left out of the story. Fighting in the Battle of the Bulge? Three days alone behind enemy lines and coming back with a bullet hole in your helmet? Capturing 9 Germans during a patrol? There seems to be much more here behind the story but badass leaders like Houk wouldn't brag.