Monday, September 7, 2015

Big Ed Stevens

Big Ed Stevens was a slugging first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates in the late forties and into the fifties, but his baseball career continued for many more years in the high minors.

His Baseball Reference major league page ends his transactions with the move from the Dodgers to the Pirates. In 1950, after hitting below .200 in the bigs, Stevens was sent to the Pirates AAA team in Indianapolis. He played the entire 1951 season there, and in the meantime, became Cleveland property when the Indianapolis franchise switched affiliations.

In 1952, he was sent to Toronto: from the April 3, 1952 Daily Republican:

“Toronto Leafs Buy Ex-Buc Ed Stevens  TORONTO, April 3 Toronto's Maple Leafs of the International League have bought First Baseman Eddie Stevens from the Cleveland Indians, Owner Jack Cooke said yesterday. Stevens, 28, played with the Montreal Royals five years ago and was, with Indianapolis in the American Association last season. He played in the major leagues With Brooklyn and Pittsburgh.”

Stevens would enjoy five years in Toronto, and even had a radio show. You can find out a lot more about Ed Stevens in his book, "The Other Side of the Jackie Robinson Story," he has some great history recorded there.

Stevens said in his book he was sad to leave Toronto for Charleston, but Charleston was happy to have him. From the April 4, 1957 Raleigh Register:

“The Senators received good news yesterday despite the fact they dropped a 2-0 decision to the "Birmingham Barons. Lefthanded Ed Stevens was purchased from the Toronto Maple Leafs to fill the gap at first base. Stevens is expected to report today. He formerly played in the National League for Brooklyn and Pittsburgh. Last year, he hit .257 for Toronto, jamming 21 home runs, 12 doubles and a triple. He had 73 runs batted in during the 140 games in which he played.”

Stevens would only play part of one season with the Detroit affiliate before going to Rochester and the Cardinals organization to finish the season. The only note of this I could find was from Brian A. Bennett's wonderful "On a Silver Diamond" series:

"First baseman Ed Stevens was likewise acquired, from Charleston of the American Association, where he had 17 home runs."

Stevens stayed in Rochester for another season, then went to Dallas and two AA teams in 1959.

Great Ed Stevens photo stolen from

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