I worked out the season's schedule, trying to keep travel at a minimum. The units provided their own transportation. They also built their own ballparks, usually in soccer stadiums where 350-foot outfield walls could be accommodated. I don't know who chose the umpires—they were "volunteers"—but I certified them by supplying each with a colorful ID card.
For publicity in the various towns where the units were to play I had a series of posters made up, each with the season's schedule. To do this I had to hire a German printing shop and a German artist to draw a picture. I found a '30s photograph of Carl Hubbell snapping off his screwball and had it reproduced in color. The schedule was printed just below the pitcher's rubber. It was a beautiful poster; I wish I had kept one.
An officer in each unit sponsoring a team was assigned to keep the box scores. In the evening after a game—they were all day games, of course—the officer would telephone me with the line score, pitching information and home runs, if any. I would then call the Armed Forces Network in Frankfurt so it could announce the line scores on the 10 o'clock news. The same reporting officer would also mail me the box scores, and I would transmit them to Stars and Stripes, the armed forces newspaper, which was published in Paris. I also served as league statistician and kept records of hitting and pitching, both team and individual. No fielding records were kept. This information went biweekly to Stars and Stripes.
The line scores for radio had to be in by 9:30 p.m., so I sat at the phone from 4 o'clock on, transcribing the information. At about 8 p.m., I would begin calling the outfits that had not yet reported. Sometimes I would be reciting scores over the telephone five minutes before they were read on the air.
Soldiers were being shipped home all the time, so the makeup of the teams was constantly changing. Some officers who called me regularly were replaced by others who didn't know they had been appointed as replacements, or who preferred to eat dinner rather than call in line scores. Occasionally, I couldn't get a line score, or even a score. Odd as it may seem, the radio and press people considered these results an important part of their news and were most annoyed when I was unable to deliver.
One day early in the season the colonel commanding headquarters, U.S. Constabulary—I'll call him Rogers because I've forgotten his real name—sent for me. I put on a uniform jacket, shined my buttons and reported to him at the barracks just outside town. I was a 20-year-old corporal standing before a full colonel. He asked why he had received complaints about delays in receiving scores from Armed Forces Network and the newspapers. I explained, putting the blame on the officers who were supposed to report the scores. He then had me tell him how the system worked. A few minutes later, he came up with a fine idea.
"From now on, corporal, anytime you have any trouble, you tell these officers that you're me."
"Tell them you are Colonel Rogers at constabulary headquarters, and you want those line scores right now. If that doesn't work, I want you to call me at my quarters, anytime, and I will call them, personally."
The thought of having the colonel come down on some of these officers filled me with glee. As for imitating him, I had to resort to the ruse within a day or two.