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Another Edition of “Lopsided Trades”: Eddie “The Brat” Stanky Traded to the Braves!
“He can’t hit, can’t run, can’t field. He’s not a nice guy … all the little SOB knows how to do is win.” –Famous Leo Durocher quote, speaking about Eddie Stanky
In a trade that worked out pretty well for the Braves sixty-nine years ago tomorrow, they acquired Eddie “The Brat” Stanky from the Dodgers for a virtual unknown, Bama Rowell and $60,000. The 32-year old hard-nosed infielder played a pivotal role in the Braves first National League pennant since “The Miracle Braves” of 1914.
Eddie Stanky played 11 years in the major leagues as a second baseman for the Cubs (1943–44), Dodgers (1944–47), Braves (1948–49), Giants (1950–51) and Cardinals (1952–53). The three-time All-Star hit .268 over his career, with 29 home runs, 364 RBIs, and 811 runs. He walked 996 times, against only 374 strikeouts. He was a member of three pennant winner: 1947 Dodgers, 1948 Braves, and 1951 Giants.
In the great featured photo below, we see Eddie Stanky withsome of his Dodger teammates, L-R: Spideer Jorgensen, PeeWee Reese, Eddie Stanky, and Jackie Robinson
Stanky was famous for his ability to draw bases on balls. He drew 100 or more walks six times; and twice drew over 140. In 1946, he hit .273 but with 137 walks he led the league in on-base percentage with .436, edging out Stan Musial. His best overall season was 1950 with the Giants, when he hit .300 and led the league in both walks (144) and on-base percentage (.460). On August 30, 1950, he tied a major league record when he walked in seven consecutive at-bats over two games.
Stanky was known for his hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners play, which is why Leo Durocher always thought he was so valuable to his team. Phil Rizzuto complained years later about a notorious play during Game Three of the 1951 World Series between the Giants and the Yankees, in which Stanky kicked the ball loose from Rizzuto’s glove as he slid into second base, which proved instrumental in the Giants’ winning the game.
Stanky contributed to the breaking of the color barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. It’s well-known that when Jackie Robinson joined the Dodgers, he was treated harshly by his teammates. Stanky was cool to him at first, but finally yelled back at Ben Chapman’s racist insults during a game. Not long afterward, the other Dodgers began to stand up for Robinson as well.
After his playing career ended, Stanky managed the Cardinal (1952-55) and later the White Sox (1966-68) Following his firing in Chicago, he became the head baseball coach of the University of South Alabama in 1969, compiling a 490–195-2 (.714) record with five NCAA Baseball Tournament appearances over 14 seasons.
He returned to the managing in the majors very briefly in 1977 as manager of the Texas Rangers, in midseason. He won his first game on June 22, but had second thoughts about leaving his adopted state of Alabama and resigned after a mere 18 hours on the job (one of the shortest managerial stints in baseball history) and went back to college coaching at South Alabama. His career managerial mark was 467–435 (.518).
Stanky was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. He died in 1999 at age 82 in Fairhope, Alabama. Eddie Stanky Field, the ballpark of the University of South Alabama baseball team, is named for him.
Photo Credits: All from Google Search
Information: Excerpts edited from the Eddie Stanky Wikipedia page
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Photo Credits: https: Featured photo colorized by Don Stokes
Information: Excerpts edited from the Wikipedia page.