Game two of the World Series last night began with more than the introduction of baseball’s top two teams.  Major League Baseball honored former World Series players who also are veterans of the armed services.

My wife came running in to turn on the TV just in time for a spine tingling ceremony.

Tribute was paid to Ted Williams, Bob Feller and Hank Greenberg.  Long-ago stars that had their careers shortened by military service. They were all represented at AT&T Park on Thursday by four living veterans: Bobby Doerr, Jerry Coleman, Tommy Lasorda and Bob Wolff.

Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig said he was proud to "focus on the brave men and women who risk their lives to fight for and protect our country, our veterans" as part of the Welcome Back Veterans initiative. Since its founding in 2008, Major League Baseball has donated more than $13 million to care for the mental health of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Then came the honorary first pitch.  Nicholas Kimmel, a corporal in the United States Marine Corps, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Kimmel, who lost both legs and his left arm while on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, was accompanied by Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who missed most of the 1952 season and all 1953 serving during the Korean War.

Pass the box of Kleenex.

As the son of an U.S. Army veteran I stand straighter when we honor these brave men and women who unselfishly have stepped up to the front line for us.