Who is only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient to play both pro baseball and football?
The highest award in the American military, the Congressional Medal of Honor has only been awarded to three men who played in the National Football League: Maurice Britt, Joe Foss, and Jack Lummus. However, only Lummus also played pro baseball.
An outfielder in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization, Lummus played one season for the Wichita Falls Spudders. In 101 at-bats, Lummus hit .257 with 2 home runs, three triples, and six doubles.
1st Lt. Jack Lummus
October 22, 1915 – March 8, 1945
- Jack Lummus is the only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient to have played in both professional baseball and football.
- Played his only pro baseball and football in 1941 before the bombing of Pearl Harbor compelled him to enlist in the U.S. Marines Corp.
- Wichita Falls Spudders, OF (a minor-league affiliate of Cincinnati Reds)
- New York Giants, E, out of Baylor
- Died in the battle for Iwo Jima.
- 1946 – Lummus awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously.
- Here is his official Citation from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as leader of a Rifle Platoon attached to the 2d Battalion, 27th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, 8 March 1945. Resuming his assault tactics with bold decision after fighting without respite for 2 days and nights, 1st Lt. Lummus slowly advanced his platoon against an enemy deeply entrenched in a network of mutually supporting positions. Suddenly halted by a terrific concentration of hostile fire, he unhesitatingly moved forward of his front lines in an effort to neutralize the Japanese position. Although knocked to the ground when an enemy grenade exploded close by, he immediately recovered himself and, again moving forward despite the intensified barrage, quickly located, attacked, and destroyed the occupied emplacement. Instantly taken under fire by the garrison of a supporting pillbox and further assailed by the slashing fury of hostile rifle fire, he fell under the impact of a second enemy grenade but, courageously disregarding painful shoulder wounds, staunchly continued his heroic 1-man assault and charged the second pillbox, annihilating all the occupants. Subsequently returning to his platoon position, he fearlessly traversed his lines under fire, encouraging his men to advance and directing the fire of supporting tanks against other stubbornly holding Japanese emplacements. Held up again by a devastating barrage, he again moved into the open, rushed a third heavily fortified installation and killed the defending troops. Determined to crush all resistance, he led his men indomitably, personally attacking foxholes and spider traps with his carbine and systematically reducing the fanatic opposition until, stepping on a landmine, he sustained fatal wounds. By his outstanding valor, skilled tactics, and tenacious perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds, 1st Lt. Lummus had inspired his stouthearted marines to continue the relentless drive northward, thereby contributing materially to the success of his regimental mission. His dauntless leadership and unwavering devotion to duty throughout sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
Dan Daly, The National Football League, pp 181-182.
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