Edwin Frank Basinski
(Bazooka or Fiddler)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 172 lb.
- School State University of New York at Buffalo
- High School East High School (Buffalo)
- Debut May 20, 1944
- Final Game July 4, 1947
- Born November 4, 1922 in Buffalo, NY USA
- Died January 8, 2022 in Gladstone, OR USA
"No one remembers Eddie Basinski. Eddie could really play the violin. As a kid he had played with the Buffalo Symphony, and after he left the Dodgers, he ended up playing for the Seattle Symphony. I remember Leo had been needling Basinski about his violin playing. He would bring the violin and practice in his room. Leo told him, 'I'll give you a suit if you'll play the violin for us.' So one day Eddie brought his violin into the clubhouse, and he was a virtuoso. So Leo said, 'Well, I guess I owe you a suit. What kind of suit do you want?' Eddie's response was, 'Where did you get yours?' Leo's suit was probably five times more expensive than what Ed ever paid for a suit." - Howie Schultz, remembering Eddie in Peter Golenbock's Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers
With his frail frame and unathletic appearance, bespectacled infielder Eddie Basinski did not look like a baseball player, but he played parts of three seasons in the majors and had a long career in the Pacific Coast League.
A native of Buffalo, and a boyhood friend of Warren Spahn, Basinski grew up playing baseball on the sandlots but never played in high school or college. 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 while earning an engineering degree at the University of Buffalo. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944 and went straight to the majors, hitting .353 in his first ten big league games. He ended the season with a more down-to-earth .257 average in 39 games. In 1945, he was the Dodgers' regular shortstop while Pee Wee Reese was away in the military, and hit .262 in 108 games. He lost his job when World War II ended and Reese returned. After spending 1946 in the minors with the St. Paul Saints, he was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Al Gerheauser. Basinski appeared in 56 games for the Pirates in 1947 but hit just .199 for the club in what would be his final big league campaign. That year, he played in his first of ten seasons with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. He later played for the Seattle Rainiers and Vancouver Mounties, ending his PCL career with 1,544 hits, 109 homers, and 634 runs batted in. In 2006, he was elected to the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.
- 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.
- Thomas Tarapacki: "Eddie Basinski was one-of-a-kind", The Am-Pol Eagle, circa 2017.