April 16, 1952:
After missing the 1961 season to serve in Germany, Sgt. Curt Simmons arrived at the National Airport in Washington, DC ready to resume his baseball career. Simmons made his first start only two weeks later, throwing a two run complete game against the Cubs. He would finish the season with a 14-8 record and 2.82 ERA.
Famously, this was not Simmons’ first tour of duty. In September of 1950, as the Whiz Kids were making their postseason push, Simmons’ National Guard unit was called to active duty and he was forced to miss the remainder of the month. Simmons did return to the team in time for the World Series against the Yankees, but Phillies management elected not to reinstate him to the roster. The Yankees went on to sweep the series.