Ed Stevens was born in Texas on January 12, 1925, in the town that twenty-five years earlier had witnessed the worst natural disaster in the United States, the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. Stevens grew up in Galveston playing baseball with his brother and his friends. He was a left-handedhitting, left-handed-fielding first baseman who was big by 1940s standards—six feet one and 190 pounds.
In 1941, at the age of sixteen, he was signed to a contract by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He spent his first professional season with the Big Spring (Texas) Bombers of the Class D West Texas-New Mexico League. Stevens did well, finishing with a .271 batting average and thirteen home runs in 117 games.
Ed started the following year, 1942, with the Lamesa (Texas) Dodgers in the same league, Big Spring having dropped out of the league. His .367 average and .633 slugging percentage resulted in a midseason move to the Johnstown Johnnies of the Class D Pennsylvania State Association, where he hit .273 over the final forty-six games of the season.
The Dodgers liked what they saw, and after Ed was forced to sit out the 1943 season with an injury, they assigned him in 1944 to their top farm club, the Montreal Royals of the International League.
Stevens batted .271 with 16 home runs and 102 runs batted in at Montreal in 1944. The following season he did even better, batting .309 with 19 home runs and 95 RBIS in no games. The 1945 Royals finished in first place, but minus Stevens, they lost to the Newark Bears in the playoffs.
Ed Stevens was sent to the Minors in 1947 to make way for
Jackie Robinson to play first base.
Called up by the Dodgers in August, Ed made his Major League debut in the first game of a doubleheader against Cincinnati on August 9. Inserted in the sixth inning, he went 0 for 1, but he started the second game and went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored.
His first Major League hit came off Reds pitcher Howie Fox; his first home run was on August 19, off Pittsburgh’s Fritz Ostermueller. In all, the twenty-year-old Stevens played in fifty-five games