Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Ed Head


Date and Place of Birth: January 25, 1918 Selma, Louisiana

Died: January 31, 1980 Bastrop, Louisana

Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit:
US Army

Area Served: United States

Major League Stats: Ed Head on Baseball-Almanac

Edward M “Ed” head was born on January 25, 1918 in Selma, Louisiana. A talented left-handed high school pitcher in Selma, Head broke his arm in a school bus accident. The fracture was so severe that he was unable to pitch left-handed again and so taught himself to throw right-handed.

Head signed with Abbeville of the Evangeline League in 1939 was 19-8 his rookie year with a 2.60 ERA. He struck 220 batters in 232 innings. Head was purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization in 1940 and played with Elmira of the Eastern League where his 12-7 record and 2.56 ERA earned a call-up to the Dodgers in July. Head made his debut on July 27 and appeared in 13 games for a 1-2 record and 4.12 ERA.

With Montreal in 1941, Head was 18-8 and back with the Dodgers for 1942, making 36 appearances for a 10-6 record. In 1943, Head made 47 appearances for the Dodgers for a 9-10 record and 3.66 ERA.

On March 9, 1944, Head was called for service by the Army but wasn’t needed until July, allowing him to make nine appearances for the Dodgers for a 4-3 record and 2.70 ERA. When he did enter service in July, Head was stationed at Camp Hood, Texas, where he pitched for the camp baseball team and suffered arm problems during the summer of 1945.

He was discharged on November 1, 1945, and returned to the Dodgers the following year, his arm ailments seemingly far behind, as Head hurled a 5-0 no-hitter in his first start on April 3 against the Boston Braves. However, it was not to be a strong season for Head and proved to be his last in the major leagues. He won only two more games that season and by the time he pitched his last game on August 25, Head had a 3-2 record in 13 appearances and a 3.21 ERA.

With recurring arm problems, Head pitched ineffectively for St Paul and Fort Worth during 1947 before retiring from the game. He went on to manage in the minors with Three Rivers, Asheville, Lancaster, Mobile, Monroe and Twin Cities. He was a scout with the Astros in the early 1960s.  

Ed Head passed away on January 31, 1980 in Bastrop, Louisiana. He was 62.

Created April 13, 2008.


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