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Eddie Miksis

Sport: Baseball

Born: September 11, 1926

Died: April 8, 2005

Town: Burlington, New Jersey

Edward Thomas Miksis was born September 11, 1926, in Burlington. A gifted athlete, he played shortstop for Burlington City High School, where he caught to eye of Dodger scouts in 1944. Brooklyn signed the gangly six-footer and assigned him to the Trenton Packers. Among his teammates was Walter Alston, who would become a legendary manager. Eddie got the surprise of his life that spring when the Dodgers called him up to the big leagues. He played 26 games at shortstop and third base, and hit .220. He was only 17 when he first pulled on a Dodger uniform.

Like most young men at the time, Eddie was drafted. He spent all of 1945 in the service, but returned in time to play half of the 1946 season. Eddie settled into a utility role with the Dodgers, and was a contributor to their pennants in 1947 and 1949. In Game 4 of the 1947 World Series, he pinch-ran for Pete Reiser in the bottom of the ninth inning with Bill Bevens pitching a no-hitter for the Yankees. Cookie Lavagetto lined a ball against the screen in right field. Running on contact, Eddie scored standing up to win the game.

Eddie’s future in Brooklyn did not look promising with Billy Cox, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson playing in front of him. That made Eddie a prime trade target. After turning down offers for years, the Dodgers finally dealt him to the Cubs in June of 1951. The main player they got back was Andy Pafko. Eddie proved to be a solid but unspectacular performer in Chicago. He played the middle infield positions until Ernie Banks came along, and then moved to the outfield. Eddie’s average was usually around .250 and he had below-average power; it was his defensive versatility that kept him in the big leagues.

After the 1956 season, Eddie—now 30—was traded to the Cardinals. They waived him near the end of the 1957 season, and he played briefly for the Orioles and Reds after that. The Reds cut him during spring training in 1959. He retired as a player after that and went to work as a salesman for a Pennsylvania trucking company. He made some extra cash and mixed with fans signing photos at baseball card shows during the 1980s and 1990s. Eddie died in April 2005 at the age of 78.


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