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EddieSmith 

Eddie Smith

Sport: Baseball

Born: December 14, 1913

Died: January 2, 1994

Town: Mansfield Township, New Jersey

Edgar Smith was born December 14, 1913 in Mansfield Township. A smallish left-hander, he had a blazing fastball, spotty control, and swung the bat with authority from both sides of the plate. Eddie starred for Columbus High School in Mansfield. Performing in semipro competition around South Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, he came to the attention of the cash-strapped Philadelphia A’s, who signed Eddie in 1935 when he was 21.

Eddie spent two years pitching for Williamsport in the Class-A NY–Penn League. In 1936 he won 20 games. That earned him a promotion to the big leagues at the end of the end of the year. He went 11 in two starts. The following season Eddie started and relieved for Connie Mack’s 7th-place A’s, but won only 4 of 21 decisions. He spent most of 1938 in the bullpen, finishing a league-high 27 games.

The A’s waived Eddie a few games into the 1939 season, but he was scooped up quickly by the White Sox. He pitched well for Chicago, winning 36 games from 1939 to 1941. He was named to the AL All-Star team in 1941 and again in 1942—a season that saw Eddie lose 20 games.

Eddie was part of two legendary baseball stories in 1941. In a May 15 game against the Yankees, he gave up a single to Joe DiMaggio, who had gone hitless in the previous contest. The next time DiMaggio would take an oh-fer was 56 games later. IN the All-Star Game that summer, Eddie pitched the 8th and 9th innings and was the beneficiary of Ted Williams’s game-winning homer in the bottom of the 9th, picking up the victory.

After an 11–11 season in 1943, Eddie went into military service. He returned to the mound in 1946 for the White Sox and pitched very well for a sub-.500 team, turning in a 2.85 ERA in 21 starts. Eddie split the 1947 season between the White Sox and Red Sox, but was hit hard at both addresses. In 1948, he pitched in the minors for the Chicago organization, but at age 34 didn’t have much left. He retired from pro ball in 1949.

Eddie finished his big-league career with 73 wins and 113 losses, pitching for losing clubs almost every year. He retired to South Jersey, where he lived until his death at 80 in 1994.

 

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