Today is the 75th anniversary of the start of Hitler's final, desperate offensive in the Ardennes that became known as the Battle of the Bulge.
My grandfather was caught up in it, and was among the brave American soldiers who persevered through the Siege at Bastogne. That's where he spent Christmas. Not knowing if he'd make it out alive.
One of my uncles still has the letters my grandfather wrote to his girl back home, who'd wind up being his wife (and, of course, my grandmother). "They shell us all day and bomb us all night," he told her. "I don't know how we're going to make it out of this."
So, at this time of year, I'm always grateful to Gen. George Patton and the 3rd Army, who pulled off one of the most stunning maneuvers in military history, which wound up breaking the siege, turning the tide of the battle, and, it's fair to say, saving my grandfather's life. (See more at right.)
("Play ball" will always be about more than baseball to me.)