STANKY DIES: Eddie Stanky, a fiery second baseman who helped three different teams win National League pennants, died Sunday of a heart attack in Fairhope, Ala. He was 82.
Stanky, nicknamed "The Brat," played 11 seasons in the majors and had a career batting average of .268. He led the NL in walks three times and in runs scored once.He played on pennant winners with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the Boston Braves in 1948 and the New York Giants in 1951.
When Bobby Thomson hit his pennant-winning homer for the Giants in 1951, Stanky ran out of the dugout and jumped on the back of manager Leo Durocher, who was coaching third base.
Stanky ended his career as a player-manager for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953 and later managed the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers. He managed the Rangers for just one game in 1977, then quit because he was homesick.
His record as a major league manager was 467-435.
Stanky also was a successful coach at the University of South Alabama, where he compiled a 488-193 record during his 14-year tenure. After taking over the school's lowly baseball program in 1969, he led the Jaguars to five NCAA tournaments, two Sun Belt Conference titles and two No. 1 rankings.
"I had played in beautiful parks with beautiful locker rooms," Stanky said. "At South Alabama, I inherited a rock pile for a ball field, with no dugouts, a four-foot-high fence around it and no grass on the infield."
Stanky briefly left the school to manage the Rangers in June 1977. The Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 10-8 in his first game, but Stanky resigned the next day in Minneapolis.