In 1944 Eddie Stanky played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He had replaced the Navy-bound Billy Herman at second base, and in 1945, his first full season with the Dodgers, he started to make a name for himself.
In 1948, days after he signed his contract and reported to the Dodgers’ spring training facility, he was traded to the Boston Braves.
In Boston, he excelled and received the most votes of any second baseman in the National League All-Star voting for 1948, and was hitting well over .300 at the break.
But while at Ebbets Field for a July 8th battle against the Dodgers, he collided with Dodgers third baseman Bruce Edwards and emerged with a broken ankle and a torn ligament. He was out of action until September 19th, when the Braves were close to sewing up their first pennant in 34 years.
In the World Series, despite his leg being “a little below par,” he was named him to the starting lineup. Playing through the pain, he had a .524 on-base percentage, with seven walks, and four hits. When doctors operated on him two months later, they removed two bone fragments from his ankle joint.
From the start of spring training in 1949, it was the beginning of a long year, filled with controversy. Stanky batted a solid .285 but started making enemies in the clubhouse, amid rumors that he would take over the managing job from Billy Southworth.
When Southworth was let go in August with the Braves in fourth place, coach Johnny Cooney replaced him as manager, not Stanky. In December the ax fell, and the fiery Stanky was shipped off to the New York Giants.
On June 6, 1999 Eddie Stanky died in a hospital in his hometown in Fairhope, Alabama, after a heart attack. He was 83.