Eddie Lake

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Edward Erving Lake

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Biographical Information[edit]

Eddie Lake

Infielder Eddie Lake was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent before the 1937 season and spent his first year in pro baseball with the Grand Island Red Birds of the class D Nebraska State League. Eddie was the second baseman for the Islanders, hitting .297 in 111 games with 9 home runs. This performance got him bumped up to the Decatur Commodores of the class B Three-I League for the 1938 season, when he hit .279 and fielded 124 games at the shortstop spot.

Eddie spent most of 1939 with the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League fielding 164 games at the shortstop slot, hitting at a .261 clip with 14 round trippers and got a September call to be at Sportsman's Park. He appeared in two games for the Cardinals and went 1 for4 in his first trip to the major leagues. The lithe infielder split the 1940 year between the Sacramento Solons and the Cardinals; he hit only .212 in 32 games for the Cardinals, but had a fine year with Sacramento, with a .295 average and 15 home runs in 69 outings.

Eddie spent the entire 1941 season with the Cardinals, but appeared in just 45 games and hit .105. In late September of 1942, the Boston Red Sox purchased him from the Cardinals. Eddie's hitting was poor in 1943 and 1944, but he had a breakthrough year in 1945 when he hit at a .279 clip with 11 home runs and led the league with a .412 on base percentage and fielded at over a .950 percentage at a shortstop, grabbing just about everything that was hammered his way. To top it off, Eddie, in 1944, filled in on the mound, pitching 19 innings in 6 games with no decisions and an ERA of 4.19.

On January 3, 1946 Eddie was traded by the Red Sox to the Detroit Tigers for Rudy York. Lake spent the next five seasons, the rest of his major league career, with the Briggs Stadium club. He was the American League leader in games played and plate appearances in both 1946 and 1946 and also hit at a .254 clip in 1946 but fell to a .211 average in 1947. His batting average for 1947 was the lowest ever for 600+ at-bats, but it must be mentioned here that for three straight years, Eddie drew more then 100 bases on balls each year, and he managed to score 105 runs in 1946.

He finished out his major league career in 1950 at the age of 34 with eleven seasons in the big leagues with a .231 batting average and 39 home runs in 835 big league games. He handled almost 3,000 chances at his three spots in a big league infield and mishandled only 155 chances for close to a .960 fielding percentage.

At 35 years of age, one would think it was time to call it a day, but not Eddie. He hooked up with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League in 1951 and hit .261 with 27 home runs while playing 158 games. Lake spent the next two years (1952-1953) with the Oakland Oaks, also of the PCL, hitting .210 in 1952 and .225 in 1953 but his fielding was still great, right around the .960 mark, still covering the three spots in the infield. In 1954 he played 89 games with the Victoria Tyees of the Western International League where he got it in his head he wanted to become a manager, and that's exactly what he did. Eddie became the player-manager for the Spokane Indians of the class B Northwest League in 1955 and had the same job for the Salinas Packers of the Class C California League in 1956. This gave him eleven seasons in the minors, matching his time in the majors, and equaled out to playing in three decades of baseball from 1937 to 1956.

Eddie concluded his playing days after his managing career. He later became an automobile salesman and coached the St. Mary's University baseball team. He was often quoted as saying that his greatest thrill in baseball came when he hit a home run off Bob Feller to beat the Cleveland Indians, 2-1, in ten innings. Lake died on June 7, 1995, at age 79 in Castro Valley, CA.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL On-Base Percentage Leader (1945)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1946)
Managerial Record
Year Team League PL W-L Pct GB Manager
1955 Spokane Indians Northwest League 8 47-80 .370 33.5 Eddie Lake
1956 Salinas Packers California League 7 53-87 .379 38 Eddie Lake


Baseball Players of the 1950s

Related Sites[edit]