For a World Series match-up such as this, the past weighs heavily on the participants with experiences, both heartbreaking and joyous, dating back the 1940s. Let's examine some of the participants of those historic events.
The backdrop of the 1945 World Series was the end of World War II. Many veterans had started returning to their teams at the end of the season. One of the most prominent was Hank Greenberg, the power-hitting first baseman of the Detroit Tigers, who returned in July of 1945. after nearly 4.5 years off due to military service. On the first game of his return, he smashed a home run and did not look back, hitting for a .948 OPS with 13 HR in 78 games. In the World Series, he led the Tigers in OPS, HR, RBI, tied for the lead in runs, and was 2nd in hits.
Bill Nicholson was the greatest power threat on the 1945 Cubs, hitting 13 HR, which was a downgrade from his previous 5 seasons of hitting 21-33 HR. He had been supplanted as statistical team leader by league MVP Phil Cavarretta and flanked by long-time Cub, Stan Hack, and young gun, Andy Pafko. Nicholson had 8 RBIs in the 1945 World Series, but had not much else to show for them as the Cubs fell in game 7 to the Tigers by the count of 9-3.