Peter M. Gordon
“Miksis will fix us,” Branch Rickey promised Dodgers fans in 1948. Brooklyn management loved Eddie’s slick fielding, speed, and attitude. The Dodgers thought so highly of the six-foot, 180pound shortstop, they bought a controlling interest in his Minor League club in 1944 just to get him. Miksis became a valuable Major Leaguer, but it seemed that every time he was about to get a starting job, a future Hall of Famer beat him out of it.
Edward Thomas Miksis was born on September 11, 1926, in Burlington, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia and Trenton. He was the third son of John C. and Pauline T. Miksis. Both had immigrated to the United States in 1909, John from Lithuania and Pauline from Poland. Eddie would eventually have five siblings—three brothers and two sisters.
Miksis starred in baseball and other sports at Trenton High School, and he signed with the Dodgers in 1944 at the age of seventeen. With the United States in the midst of World War II, and so many big leaguers in the armed forces, it was common for raw players to be rushed to the Majors. After seventy-two games with the hometown Trenton Packers of the Class B Interstate League, Miksis was called up by the Dodgers. Manager Leo Durocher was so enamored of Eddie’s skills that he made him his starting shortstop.
Eddie Miksis hit four home runs in 1947, with three coming
on successive days.
Miksis made his Major League debut on June 17, 1944, against the Phillies at Shibe Park. Eddie came in as a pinch runner for Paul Waner and scored the first of four runs in a ninth-inning rally. He then played shortstop in the bottom of the ninth. Eddie had his first Major League hit in the July 4 doubleheader in Cincinnati. It came off veteran Harry Gumbert in the seventh inning of the second game. Miksis bunted down the first base line and collided with the Reds’ six-foot-four first baseman Frank McCormick. Eddie was badly shaken, but he was safe. Miksis played in only ten games at shortstop during the rest of the sea-