Theodore Stanley Kazanski
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.
- School University of Detroit Mercy
- High School St. Ladislaus High School (Hamtramck)
- Debut June 25, 1953
- Final Game September 28, 1958
- Born January 25, 1934 in Hamtramck, MI USA
One of the highest regarded schoolboy prospects of the era, Ted Kazanski was just 17 when he was signed to a reported $100,000 bonus contract by the Philadelphia Phillies on June 11, 1951, the day of his graduation from high school. Ted spent the rest of 1951 with the Terre Haute Phillies of the Three-I League appearing in 88 games and hitting .216. His second year in pro ball saw him with two clubs, the Schenectady Blue Jays of the Eastern League and the Baltimore Orioles of the International League, where he appeared in 137 games, hitting .254 along with 10 home runs.
The 19-year-old infielder got his first look at major league pitchers when the Phillies brought him up in 1953. The Phillies moved Granny Hamner to second base to make room for Ted at shortstop that year, but after hitting just .217 in 95 games he was sent back to Baltimore where he finished out the year hitting .290 in 60 games. One feat he accomplished while in Philadelphia was to be the first modern day teenager to hit an inside-the-park homer; that feat would stand until Ken Griffey, Jr., did the same for the Seattle Mariners in 1989.
When Ted returned to the Phillies in 1954 he played second base with Hamner moving back to shortstop. But he again had a tough time against big league pitching, hitting .135 in 39 games. In 1955 he appeared in only 9 games for the Phillies, hitting .083 and spent the rest of the season with the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League where he hit .307 with 9 homers in 140 games. Ted's only hit in the majors that year was an inside-the-park homer on September 25th; he also started a triple play that day. It would be 55 years until Angel Pagan became the next major leaguer to perform both feats in the same contest.
Kazanski was back with the Phillies in 1956, but couldn't produce and by 1958, at age 24, he was out of the majors for good with a .217 career batting average and an anemic 27 percent OBP.
Ted continued his career in the minor leagues for the next six years (1959-1964), all in the high minors and left the game in 1964 at age 30 after hitting .226 for the Richmond Virginians of the International League. Ted's 10-season minor league tour shows he appeared in 1,183 games, hitting .253 with 70 home runs and fielded at a .967 percentage. After his active playing days Ted coached in the Detroit Tigers organization and worked as an assistant for the baseball team at the University of Detroit, which he attended.
Kazanski had entered the insurance business during his playing days in the off-seasons, becoming an agent and underwriter for New York Life.