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Ed Lopat

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Edmund Walter Lopat
(The Junkman, Steady Eddie, Lope, Eddie the Adequate)
born Edmund Walter Lopatynski

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[edit] Biographical Information

"Lopat looks like he is throwing wads of tissue paper. Every time he wins a game, fans come down out of the stands asking for contracts." - Casey Stengel

Eddie Lopat began his Organized Baseball career at age 18 in 1937 as a first baseman for the Greensburg Green Sox in the Pennsylvania State Association, hitting .229 in 1937, and the Jeanerette Blues in the Evangeline League the same year, batting .218 with his first homer. Converted to pitching, he lost both games that year. He was went 12-7 with a 2.73 for the Blues the next year and also pitched for the Kilgore Rangers, going 5-4 with a 3.42 ERA, and the Shreveport Sports (1-2, 5.21).

He moved to the Longview Cannibals in 1939 and went 16-9 with a 2.11 ERA. The ERA was the lowest of any pitcher with 10 or more decisions in the East Texas League that season. Lopat split the 1940 season between Shreveport (0-3, 5.94) and the Marshall Tigers (7-9, 3.45).

In 1941, Lopat again was with two teams - the Salina Millers (11-15, 3.83) and the Oklahoma City Indians (3-4, 1.76). The next season he was with Oklahoma City (6-7, 3.32) and the Little Rock Travelers (6-4, 2.66). In 1943 he spent the entire season with one team for the first time, going 19-10 with a 3.05 ERA in Little Rock and hitting .325 to boot. He tied Gil Torres for second in the Southern Association in wins, three behind leader Jesse Danna and also tied Ox Miller for the ERA title.

EdLopat.jpg

That earned Lopat a ticket to the big leagues, where he broke in at 25 years of age on April 30, 1944, with the Chicago White Sox. He played for Chicago (1944-1947), the New York Yankees (1948-1955), and the Baltimore Orioles (1955), ending his Major League career on September 23, 1955 at age 37. It is significant to note that he won 10 or more games for eleven consecutive ML seasons.

He is one of only a handful of men to pitch in five consecutive World Series (1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953). He was selected for the 1951 American League All-Star Team but did not play.

He returned to the minors for one year, 1956, with the Richmond Virginians in the International League, going 11-6 with a 2.85 ERA in his only crack at AAA, and wound up his playing career at age 38.

He managed Richmond (1956-1958); scouted for the Yankees (1959); and then was a coach for the Yankees in 1960, the 1961 Minnesota Twins and the 1962 Kansas City Athletics. He managed the Athletics (1963-1964); and returned to managing in the minors and running his own baseball clinic in Florida until he became a scout with the Montreal Expos in 1969.

As a pitcher, Lopat was known as a soft-throwing junkballer who relied on finesse.

He died less than a week short of his 74th birthday on June 15, 1992 from pancreatic cancer at Darien, CT and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Greenwich, CT.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL All-Star (1951)
  • AL ERA Leader (1953)
  • AL Winning Percentage Leader (1953)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 6 (1947-1951 & 1953)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1951)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1944 & 1946-1951)
  • Won five World Series with the New York Yankees (1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 & 1953)


Preceded by
Hank Bauer
Kansas City A's Manager
1963-1964
Succeeded by
Mel McGaha
Preceded by
Pat Friday
Kansas City A's General Manager
1966-1967
Succeeded by
Charlie Finley

[edit] Year-By-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1956 Richmond Virginians International League 74-79 5th New York Yankees
1957 Richmond Virginians International League 81-73 3rd New York Yankees Lost in 1st round
1958 Richmond Virginians International League 71-82 6th New York Yankees
1963 Kansas City Athletics American League 73-89 8th Kansas City Athletics
1964 Kansas City Athletics American League 17-35 -- Kansas City Athletics replaced by Mel McGaha on June 12

[edit] Further Reading

  • Sol Gittleman: Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat: New York's Big Three and the Great Yankee Dynasty of 1949-1953, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007.

[edit] Sources

Principal sources for Ed Lopat include newspaper obituaries (OB), government records (VA,CM,CW), Sporting Life (SL), Baseball Digest, The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (1945-1955) (WW), old Baseball Registers (1946-1955;1960-1964) (BR), TSN's Daguerreotypes (none) (DAG), The Historical Register, The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase(PD), The Baseball Library (BL); various Encyclopediae including The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball by Turkin & Thompson (T&T), MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia (Mac), Total Baseball (TB), The Bill James Historical Abstract (BJ) and The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (LJ); Retrosheet (RS), The Baseball Chronology (BC), Baseball Page (BP), The Baseball Almanac (BA), Baseball Cube (B3), The Biographical Encyclopedia: Baseball by the Editors of Total Baseball, A Biographical Dictionary of Major League Baseball Managers by John C. Skipper and The New Biographical History of Baseball by Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella and obituaries at deadballera.com (DBE) as well as research by Reed Howard (RH), Pat Doyle (PD) and Frank Hamilton (FH).

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