Two of the most interesting players to play in 1945 after taking some time off did not do so to defend the US in the war. Jimmie Foxx, arguably the best right handed power hitter to ever play in this game, sat out the 1943 season after struggling for the Chicago Cubs. He made a brief appearance for the 1944 Cubs (1-20) before playing for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1945. He would hit .262 (60-284) with 8 HR and 38 RBI in what was his last season in the big leagues. He also pitched to a below 2.00 ERA in 9 games as a pitcher. Conflicting stories tell whether Foxx decided to retire after 1942, simply wanted to take the season off or had to be convinced to return to the game. His teammate, Ben Chapman, who was a fixture on the early 1930 New York Yankees teams, did not play in the major leagues in 1942 and 1943. However, he played in the minor leagues, learning how to pitch and coach, leading to a comeback from 1944-1946 as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Phillies.
The Cincinnati Reds dug deep into their past in 1945, bringing back 3 former MLB pitchers who were all out of baseball since at least 1938 . Guy Bush, at age 43, hadn't pitched an MLB game since 1938 for the St Louis Cardinals, after a 16 year career which saw him win 176 career games. Bush would pitch in 6 games, going 0-1, 4.50 for the Reds. They also used Hod Lisenbee, who was 46 years old at the time, as he last pitched for the 1936 Philadelphia Athletics. While Lisenbee pitched in 1936, his action that season was his first since 1932. Clay Touchstone was the more interesting story. He had not pitched in the big leagues since 1929, as he pitched in 6 games for the 1928 and 1929 Boston Braves. He equaled his game totals of 16 years earlier with 6 games for the 1945 Reds.
The Brooklyn Dodgers brought back two retired veterans, OF Babe Herman and catcher Clyde Sukeforth. Herman, 42, had been out of baseball since 1937, playing in 17 games for the Tigers. Herman played 12 seasons (1926-1937) and hit .265 (9-34) with 1 HR for the 1945 Dodgers. Sukeforth, who would manager the first 2 games of the 1947 Dodgers while Leo Durocher was suspended, had been out of baseball since 1934. He played 9 seasons for the Reds and Dodgers from 1926-1934. The 43 year old would hit .294 (15-51) in 18 games for the Dodgers.
The Pittsburgh Pirates brought back former New York Yankees outfielder Jack Saltzgaver. Saltgaver was 45 and had not played since his 11 at bats for the Yankees in 1937. He would, however, hit .325 (38-117) with 10 RBI for the Pirates. The Boston Braves brought back former 20 game winner (1937) Low Fette. Fette was only 38, but had not pitched in the big leagues since 1940, a season split between the Braves and Dodgers. He pitched in just 5 games, 1 start, for the Braves in 1945, going 0-2. The Chicago Cubs brought back OF Johnny Moore, who had twice driven in 90+ runs for the Cubs (1934-1935). Moore's last MLB appearance had been in 1937. He only got in 7 games for the Cubs in 1945, going 1-6.