Edwin Frank Basinski
(Bazooka or Fiddler)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 172 lb.
- School State University of New York at Buffalo
- Debut May 20, 1944
- Final Game July 4, 1947
- Born November 4, 1922 in Buffalo, NY USA
Eddie Basinski debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944 straight from the sandlots of Buffalo, NY, where he had been a boyhood friend of Warren Spahn. He had never played high school, college or minor league baseball at that time. In fact, his avocation as a youth was the violin, and he was an excellent player, as he rose to lead violinist in his college's symphonic orchestra.
With his frail frame and unathletic appearance, he did not look like a baseball player, but he had a long career in the Pacific Coast League, including ten seasons with the Portland Beavers, with two stints in the National League, the second coming with the 1947 Pittsburgh Pirates. He was the Dodgers' regular shortstop while Pee Wee Reese was away in the military in 1945 but lost his job when World War II ended and Reese returned to the fold. In 2006 he was elected to the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.
He made a prototypical rookie mistake when first coming up to the National League: hitting .389 after two weeks, he told a reporter that "Any man who can't hit .300 in this league ought to go get a lunch bucket." Opposing pitchers never let him live down those words.
- Dave Eskenazi, Steve Rudman and Mark Armour: "Eddie Basinski", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 227-230. ISBN 978-1-933599-76-2
- Larry Stone: "Those were the most wonderful days I believe I ever had", in Mark Armour, ed.: Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, 2006, pp. 100-101.