Eddie Kasko was a major-league infielder with four different teams from 1957 through 1966, an All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961, and he hit .318 in that year’s World Series. He managed the Boston Red Sox for four full years, 1970 through 1973, with a winning record each season and two third-place and two second-place finishes.
National boundaries were often changing in the earlier years of the twentieth century, and Kasko’s understanding is that his ancestry is Polish, with some Austrian. “My real father [George Kosko] and my mother met over there, or on the way over. I don’t know. My real father passed away when I was like three. Peter was the only father that I knew. My father’s name was Peter Macknowski and my mother’s name was Helen. She took his last name when they got married, but I don’t know if there was ever an adoption.”1
Eddie was born at a hospital in Elizabeth, New Jersey on June 27, 1931, but was raised from birth in Linden, New Jersey, and it was from Linden High School that he graduated in 1949. He played baseball in high school, and was twice captain of the team. He had also played American Legion and semipro ball.
By this time, the Kaskos ran a “little grocery store,” and in 1970, not long before Eddie’s first game as manager of the Boston Red Sox, he said, “The store was their life, and they expected their kids to have the same interest in it they did. My father couldn’t understand why I’d waste my time playing baseball when I could make a living in a grocery store. He wasn’t interested at all in baseball. He knew nothing about baseball. Nothing.”2 Eddie had one sibling, his brother Joseph, born in 1927. “We would sneak out to play baseball—my mother always protected me—when we got back, his first line was always, ‘You think you’re going to make a living playing baseball? This is where you’re going to make a living – in the store. ‘”3
His first signing was with Frank Burns of the New York Giants early in 1949. He went to Sanford, Florida for spring training but was released and returned home. He was then signed by former major-league pitcher Tommy Thomas, a scout for the International League Baltimore Orioles.
Thomas signed Kasko to a Baltimore contract on August 1. Kasko had been invited to a tryout at Jersey City and Thomas offered to sign him on the spot, offering $250 per month, and asked him to report 45 days before the end of the season so he would still be a rookie the following year. Thomas offered to pay him retroactively to the date of the tryout, however, which in effect gave Kasko a minor bonus. “My bonus came to $168,” Kasko said.4
“When I came up with my first contract and told him I was going away to play ball, he said, ‘Going away where?’ ‘Well, I don’t know right now. I’m going to spring training in Florida.’ He said, ‘What the hell are you going away to play in Florida? You can play right here in Wheeler Park, across the street.’”5
Before the season was done, he got his feet wet in Triple-A with the Orioles in the International League for manager Jack Dunn. Kasko was 1-for-3 at the plate and appeared in five games total, mainly for late-inning defense. The Giants scout, Burns, remembered Eddie as “a good glove man in high school. I remember he could run, field, and throw. He hit .286, too, over three years. I’ll never understand why the Giants let him get away.”6
His first full season was with the 1950 Virginia League’s Suffolk Goobers, hitting .251 in 117 games at Class D but leading all second basemen in fielding percentage. He played in that year’s league all-star game. In 1951, Kasko played for Schenectady in the Eastern League (Class A), affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies at the time. In 140 games, he hit for a .246 average.
The Korean War was in full swing by this time, and he spent from February 1952 to February 1954 with the US Army Combat Engineers. Almost all his time—except for a couple of months at Fort Bragg—was spent at Fort Leonard Wood. He became an instructor and, he says, “I wound up with a combat engineer outfit that taught how to build boom derricks and bridges that crossed canals, or beams or whatever, in order to get heavy equipment across. A lot of rope tying. Knot tying.”7
While in the Army, Corporal Kasko also had the opportunity to play baseball on the Fort Leonard Wood team, which was runner-up in the 1952 National Semipro Tournament and champion in 1953. It wasn’t the roughest of duty; he reportedly put on 20 pounds during his 24 months in the service.8 He said he’d also grown about a half inch, and it was during his time in the Army that he began to wear eyeglasses. He was considered quiet, and was already balding.
While he was in the service, the St. Louis Browns relocated from St. Louis to Baltimore, and the Baltimore franchise moved to Richmond. The franchise came with a number of player contracts, and Kasko’s was one of them. He was on the National Defense Service List.9 He was one of 14 ballplayers still on a Baltimore contract, all sold in bulk to Richmond for $50,000. Kasko was something of a sensation during spring training for Richmond, and he played in Triple A the next two seasons (1954 and 1955) with the Richmond Virginians; he was again in the International League.
He was only 22 years old in 1954, and being tabbed for Triple A was quite a jump from one year of Class-D ball, one of Class-A, and two years in military service. He made the team, though it’s possible he may have gotten the shortstop slot in part “by default because of a startling lack of other candidates.”10 But right from the start, his coaches and visiting scouts found themselves fascinated. His sureness as a fielder caught the eye of all. He hit .238, having added 20 points after a leg injury that cost him time in July and August.
He was more poised in 1955 and brought his average up to .267, with four home runs. Under manager Luke Appling, the Virginians finished seventh in 1954 and in last place in 1955. Kasko said 60 years later, “Under Luke Appling, I learned a hell of a lot about paying shortstop. I was 22 and the next-oldest guy on the club was probably 28, and we had a lot of guys in their 30s. He took sort of a liking to me because I was the youngest one on the club, and I was a shortstop. He used to take me aside and teach me all the little tricks.”11 After the 1954 season, Kasko sold automobiles for Emrick Chevrolet in Richmond, and after the 1955 campaign, he worked as a jewelry salesman.
Richmond sold his contract to the Cardinals on October 14, 1955 for Al Richter and cash. It was the first deal consummated by Frank “Trader” Lane in his tenure as Cardinals GM. Lane placed him with the Rochester Red Wings in the St. Louis Cardinals system (Triple-A, International League); the team was managed by Dixie Walker, who gave Kasko extra batting time,12 and in 1956 Kasko hit nine homers and hit at an impressive .303 pace.
St. Louis brought him to spring training and he made the big-league team, debuting on April 18, 1957. Kasko was listed as an even six feet tall, weighing 180 pounds. He pinch hit a couple of times for manager Fred Hutchinson without success and was put in on defense in another game. The first time he started a game was at Pittsburgh on May 1. He was 1-for-5 in the game, a single, the first of the 935 base hits he got in the majors. He also scored his first run. His next game was in Brooklyn and he was 2-for-4 with a single and a triple, which drove in his first run. On May 8, he played his first game in New York, against the Giants. Brother Joe brought their father and mother to the game and they couldn’t believe it. They brought a busload up.
“It was a tough neighborhood that I grew up in. There were probably four or five of the guys I grew up with who served time, mostly for bookmaking,” Eddie remembered. “He couldn’t believe it when my brother said, ‘We’ve got to leave early because there’re going to be 35,000 people. My father said, ‘What the hell are you talking about? There’s about 16-20 people that come to Wheeler Park to see him play. ‘ He still thought it was playground stuff I was wasting my life on.”13
By midseason, Washington’s Evening Star was calling him a “whale of a third baseman.”14 Kasko got into 134 games, and hit for a good .273 average (the team average was .274) with one homer and 35 RBIs, though he scored 59 times. The homer, a two-run shot off the Giants’ Jim Constable in the fourth inning on August 20, broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Cards a 4-3 win. The game, at the Polo Grounds, had attracted a few of Kasko’s friends from Linden, three of whom wound up in jail after a brawl in the stands.15 He’d come from something of a tough neighborhood and wasn’t that surprised. “Remember Blackboard Jungle? Then you know them.”16 Kasko added, “The next day I went out to the ballpark and I saw ushers with bandages on.”17
He played 13 games at shortstop and one at second, but Ken Boyer was shifted to center field, and so Kasko was asked to play third base. He put in 120 games at third and committed 13 errors in 337 chances, a .961 fielding percentage. One of his personal highlights was the 4-for-4 day against the Braves on May 31, with him driving in the winning run. The Cards finished in second place, eight games behind the Milwaukee Braves.
On February 15, 1958, Catherine Bache and Edward Kasko were married in Richmond (during a 14-inch snowstorm). They had met in the fall of 1955. She was a baseball fan, and had one regret at being married to a ballplayer: “Before I was married, I had a tremendous outlet in yelling at the umpires and other players. But afterwards, I had to keep catching myself because I couldn’t yell at players when their wives were sitting around me.”18 The couple had two children, Michael and James.
In 1958, Boyer was moved back to third base, making Kasko in effect a utility infielder. It was just one game at third base, with most of his work at shortstop (77 games) and a dozen at second, mostly in September. St. Louis dropped all the way to fifth place, and Freddie Hutchinson lost his job near the end of the season. Kasko only played in 104 games, though there was no extended stretch that he missed. A grand slam, breaking a 2-2 tie and winning a game against the Cubs on September 9, might have been his most exciting moment. His batting average had dropped substantially to .220. He drove in 22.
On October 3, less than a week after the season ended, and just five days before the Kaskos were scheduled to go with the Cards on a six-week tour of Japan, he was part of a six-player trade that sent him to the Cincinnati Reds with left-fielder Del Ennis and right-handed pitcher Bob Mabe (the Cardinals collected Alex Grammas, George Crowe, and Alex Kellner.) The deal was really a Crowe-for-Ennis swap. The AP story mentioned Kasko in passing as “an infielder who never fulfilled his rookie promise.”19
St. Louis had given up on Eddie Kasko too soon. Kasko spent five seasons playing for Cincinnati, 1959 through 1963. In 1959, after winning the players’ golf tournament in Miami in February20, he bumped his average up to .283 and the next year to .292. Midway through the 1959 season, Kasko had been reunited with the man who had managed him in St. Louis in 1957 and through mid-September 1958. Fred Hutchinson took over for Mayo Smith on July 9 and was Kasko’s skipper for the rest of his five years with the Reds.
Kasko’s runs scored almost doubled, from 20 in 1958 to 39 in 1959 and then to 56 in 1960. Versatile in the infield, he played shortstop for most of 1959 but third base for most of 1960. It’s always a little sweet when you can beat the team that traded you; Kasko drove in three runs during the August 30, 1959 game in St. Louis, beating the Cardinals, 6-4. In 1959, 11 of his 31 RBIs were against St. Louis (more than double his totals against any other club), with a .369 batting average. His 13 RBIs against the Cardinals in 1960 were again the most against any opponent. The Cincinnati sportswriters voted him the most valuable player on the team for 1960.21
Cincinnati had struggled in the early part of the 1961 season. Kasko missed a stretch for a couple of weeks, from the last day of April until resuming regular play on May 14. The Associated Press said, “he looks more like an accountant than a professional athlete,” but called him the team’s “indispensable infielder.” It also said, “Kasko is not a destructive type of batter, nor is he a flashy fielder, but his manager, Fred Hutchinson, says there isn’t a more valuable player on the team.”22
He played shortstop in the All-Star Game at Fenway Park, came in for defense in the fourth inning and was 1-for-1 in the game with a sixth-inning single. It was his only All-Star Game appearance. The Reds won the National League pennant and faced the Yankees in the World Series, losing in five games and only scoring a total of nine runs. Wally Post and Johnny Edwards both hit over .300, but the Reds as a team batted just .206. Kasko’s seven hits (he was .318) were the most for any Reds batter. He drove in one of those nine runs, and scored one, but they were far from enough.
Kasko had hit .271 with 27 RBIs for the season, but had scored 64 runs. He was up in all categories in 1961: .278, 41 RBIs, and 74 runs scored. Though he never had as many runs batted in as one might hope for, they often were crucial runs—such as the 10th-inning grand slam he hit on August 22, 1962, or the three-run homer that beat St. Louis on September 11.
Cincinnati Post sports editor Pat Harmon wrote in early March 1963 that he had just arrived at spring training and, “There is no job for Eddie Kasko. There never is, this time of year.”23 Yet, as Harmon noted, Kasko had become the regular third baseman in 1962, the regular shortstop the year before that, and the team’s MVP in 1960. As it happened, however, he didn’t get nearly as much playing time in 1963, just 76 games, a large part of the time filling in for the injured Gene Freese at third base, but batting just .241 and with only 10 RBIs.
On January 23, 1964, Cincinnati traded him to the Houston Colt .45s for cash and a couple of players. Houston acquired veteran second baseman Nellie Fox as well; they wanted to bolster their infield and moved Kasko back to shortstop. Hitting would be a bonus, and GM Paul Richards quipped, “If Kasko can hit his lifetime average (.271) for us, we’ll commemorate him in marble at home plate.”24
The statue was never commissioned, but Kasko held his own at Colt Stadium, batting .244 in 1964 for ninth-place Houston (the team average was .229). Manager Lum Harris, who had taken over for Harry Craft late in the ’64 season, named him team captain for 1965, the first captain in team history. It was recognition of his perceived leadership. He was also, numerous stories in the press attest, a wit and even something of a practical joker and comedian. Incidents included having himself wrapped (by Billy Martin, no less) as a mummy on the training table, wearing a fright wig into the dugout (he’d wanted to find a Martha Washington wig but failed to do so), and shadowboxing with a towel draped around his neck the day after there had been a bit of a tussle.25
In 1965, however, he suffered a chipped toe bone early in the season and then a serious knee injury (torn ligaments) in late May; he only played twice in April and was on the disabled list from May 28 to July 26. He was only able to get into 60 games, hitting .247, and driving in 10.
Sonny Jackson, 21, won the shortstop slot in spring training 1966 and the Astros (no longer the Colt .45s) traded Kasko to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Felix Mantilla, who had led the 1965 Sox with 92 RBIs and been the AL’s starting second baseman in the All-Star Game but had hurt his arm and shoulder in the springtime. The Red Sox were fairly desperate for an infielder. Manager Billy Herman opined, “Eddie Kasko will steady our young infield.”26
It was Kasko’s last season as a player. He played in 58 games, missing more than a month in May/June to a lower back problem, and hit a disappointing .213 with 12 RBIs. The Red Sox released him in late October.
The Red Sox hired him in 1967 to manage the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team’s Triple-A affiliate in the International League. The move was a popular one with the players. “Kasko is by far the smartest player on our team,” said pitcher Dennis Bennett. “You should sit in the dugout and listen to him talk baseball. The young players learn a lot from him.”27 Much of the talent had left with the promotion of Dick Williams, who led the Red Sox to the 1967 pennant. Kasko’s Maple Leafs finished sixth, 64-75. In August, Kasko was named to the Richmond Hall of Fame. He was one of several Red Sox asked to scout the St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series, with Frank Malzone and the scout who had originally signed Kasko—Tommy Thomas, now with the Red Sox—also on the crew.
Starting in 1968 the Red Sox made Louisville, of the International League, their Triple-A team, and in late October 1967 named Kasko the manager. He led Louisville both in 1968 and 1969. The Colonels finished sixth in ’68, but second (falling only 1 1/2 games short) in 1969. Near the end of September, Boston manager Williams was fired due to a “personality clash”28 with owner Tom Yawkey, and Kasko was rumored to be the pick to take his place. “I’d be thrilled,” Kasko acknowledged.29
The team waited until the season was over, and officially named Kasko to the post on October 2, 1969 on a two-year contract. He said he would be “firm and fair” and cited Fred Hutchinson as his model as a manager.30 Kasko was 37 years old. Where Dick Williams had often criticized players to the press, Kasko said, “I don’t think it’s wise to fight fire with fire too often.”31 He would be, the Globe predicted, “Calm, Cool, and Collected.” He didn’t intend to be aloof. That wasn’t his style, he explained. “I enjoyed being spoken to when a player, and during my three years as manager I enjoyed speaking to the players under me. I want to be a part of everything with them.”32
Shortly before the 1970 season began, he said, “I’m just going about it like it was my first year in Triple-A. The players are the same as they are anywhere else. Maybe they make a little more money and maybe they dress a little better here, but that’s about all.”33 He was no pushover though. Sox utilityman George Thomas called him a “tough guy in a quiet sort of way,”34 and as Red Sox manager he was ejected 11 times in four years. Both Jim Lonborg and Rico Petrocelli credited him for giving them tips that made them better ballplayers.35
As manager of the always drama-laden Red Sox, he had his share to deal with, and even in his first year made some moves he hadn’t expected to make, such as moving Carl Yastrzemski from left field to first base. He’d moved Rico Petrocelli from shortstop to third base, but that didn’t last long since Luis Alvarado had proved less capable than hoped at short, but another Luis was acquired by trade in December 1970 and it was back over to third for Rico with Aparicio at shortstop. There were some who felt that Kasko hadn’t been tough enough on the players. For his part, he felt “We did not play together enough as a team. Too many people were going in different directions.”36
The club played better in 1971, though, despite a little controversy occasioned by outspokenness on Petrocelli’s part. Some headlines dubbed the team “dissension-ripped.”37 Yaz was back in left, and George Scott on third base. They were in contention for the flag until August 6 when they went into a 4-16 stretch. Home attendance remained high, and ownership felt Kasko had done his job well and he was given a new one-year deal with a raise in pay.
In 1972, he couldn’t have brought the team any closer to a pennant without actually winning one. It was a season that started late because of a player strike, and the team got off to a poor start. The Sox played 155 games instead of the full 162. When play began, the decision was made to just play out the pre-designated schedule, regardless of the fact that some teams might play more games than others. The Red Sox were 85-70 on the season. The Detroit Tigers would up 86-70, having played one more game and won it. This left Kasko’s Red Sox a half-game out of first place and no chance to play the additional game that would have evened things up and at least prompted a playoff. The Sox had had a shot, though, playing the Tigers the final three games of the year, but lost the first two.
There was some criticism of Kasko regarding his handling of pitchers, in not removing them quickly enough and in 1972 for not spotting, for instance, the talent that Luis Tiant brought. He hadn’t used Tiant as a starter as much before the All-Star Break; he was 4-3 at that point, but he was 15-6 by the end of the season. Kasko counters that bringing Tiant back is what he feels is his proudest accomplishment with the Red Sox. Tiant had been released by the Twins, and a 30-day trial with the Braves didn’t work out. The Red Sox tried him out in Louisville and, when Kasko needed a pitcher, he asked Louisville’s Darrell Johnson to send him Tiant, even though there were serious questions about Tiant’s control at the time.
“Tiant came to Boston and he was throwing really good. It got to the point where I was spot-using him in relief, getting him acclimated. He was throwing exceptionally well, but I said to him, ‘Luis, it looks like you’re throwing out of the little end of the funnel and then it’s going all over the place. What you have to do is turn it around. Throw from the big end of the funnel and throw to that little end. You’ve got to rein it in.’ As that year went on, he started getting closer and closer to the strike zone. I told Luis in spring training [in 1972], ‘Luis, I don’t want you to feel you have to do anything to impress me. I’m telling you right now—you’re one of my starters.’ That year, he just took off.”38 Tiant led the American League with a 1.91 ERA.
Perhaps his most colorful ejection came on July 7, 1972 after the umpires reversed a call and ruled Ben Oglivie out for running out of the baselines while scoring a run. Kasko fell down in a faux faint, lying motionless on the ground—which got him run out of the game by umpire John Rice. After another tossing in April 1973, he said he admitted, “You might say the language unbecoming a manager was used because of performance unbecoming an umpire.”39
Making a big impact in 1972 was catcher Carlton Fisk, named American League Rookie of the Year. Kasko was given a new contract for 1973 and 1974. At the writers’ dinner over the winter, the usually-conservative Kasko predicted a first-place finish in 1973.
It didn’t come to pass. The 1973 Red Sox won more games (89-73) in ’73 but finished second yet again, and this time they were eight games out of first behind Baltimore.
Kasko had really enjoyed Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey. “When I was managing, he’d come into my office and he’d be sitting there and just want to talk. In four years that I managed, he never once said, ‘Why don’t you think about playing this guy in left field or batting this guy in the sixth position’, or something like that. He never did it. He never interfered.”40
Kasko had told GM Dick O’Connell that when the time came, just let him know that his time was up. That day came just a day before the end of the 1973 season. O’Connell told him, “We’re going to make a change.” Kasko perhaps knew it, because Tom Yawkey hadn’t been around to the office for several days. “Mr. Yawkey hated that end of it, the firing of people. He would almost go into hiding for four or five days before it happened.” Kasko asked who would replace him—it was Darrell Johnson, who had also managed for the Red Sox in the minor leagues—and offered to be at the press conference for the announcement, indicating his approval of the change. And he said, “And tell Mr. Yawkey to come on out of the closet. Come on back around.”
He said he’d finish the season, and then O’Connell said, “We were wondering what you wanted to do.” I said, “What I’m going to do is go out and look for a job.” He said, “No, no, we want you to stay with us. I want you to be an executive scout.” Kasko asked O’Connell, “Does this mean I’m supposed to scout executives?”41
In effect, the team created a new position for him and he scouted major-league teams (and headed up Red Sox scouting of Cincinnati for the 1975 World Series). But he didn’t manage that last day in 1973.
“The next day, Sunday, I came into the office and Mr. Yawkey was sitting in the office. I said, ‘Well, good to see you again.’ He said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Come on in. Close the door.’ This is about 9:30. We just talked. We talked about everything. We talked about the past years, we talked about family, we talked about everything. It got to be about 12 o’clock and I got up and I started getting dressed. He said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m getting dressed. I told Dick I’d finish out the season.’ ‘No, no, no, goddamnit, give the ballclub to Pop. You come up in the box and sit with me. We’re not through talkin’.
“So I said fine, and I gave the ballclub to Popowski for the last day and we went upstairs and I sat with him in his box for the whole game and we just talked again.”42
Kasko’s winning percentage as Red Sox manager was .539, the same as both Joe Cronin and Darrell Johnson and ranking him just behind Dick Williams (.545).
He scouted for four years (1974 through 1977) and then—after Haywood Sullivan became part-owner—Eddie Kasko became the Red Sox Director of Scouting. He was Scouting Director for 16 or 17 years, and soon Vice President of Player Personnel until his retirement in 1994. “We had a Minor League Director and we had another scouting director, and I had to oversee those two.”
Scouting the World Series in 1975 wasn’t his first time doing so. In 1967, when the Red Sox played against the St. Louis Cardinals, and while Kasko had been managing in Toronto, the Red Sox asked him to scout St. Louis along with Tommy Thomas. Kasko assigned himself, among others, to scout the Mets for the 1986 World Series.
It was in the ’86 World Series that Roger Clemens first pitched in the postseason. Asked who he felt might rank as the best signing during his tenure, he told the story of signing Clemens:
“Probably the biggest one was Roger Clemens. We were drafting, I think, 19th at the time and we didn’t think we would get Clemens. Clemens didn’t throw that hard when he was at the University of Texas. He threw hard enough, but Calvin Schiraldi was at Texas at the same time and if you put the two of them next to each other, Schiraldi probably had a better pitcher’s body; he threw harder, and probably had better stuff at the time. Our scout at the time—Danny Doyle—the way he put it, ‘I’m not sure what Schiraldi’s got behind his belt buckle, but that Clemens boy will fight you.’ So we got to 19 and Clemens was still there, so I took him. When I called Danny Doyle, I told him, ‘Well, I took Clemens for you. Now go out and sign him.’ ‘Oh, I’ll get him signed, all right.’ He really liked him.
“He called back within, I think, two days and said, ‘I signed the Clemens boy.’ I said, ‘What did you give him?’ He says, ‘$121,000.’ I said, ‘$121,000? Why not 120 or 125?’ He said, ‘Well, 21’s his lucky number.’ I said, ‘Well, did you try offering him $21,000?’
“That was probably the biggest one. We had a bunch of them. Marty Barrett, and Greenwell. Gedman. A bunch of them came along.”43
In 2010, Eddie Kasko was named to the Red Sox Hall of Fame.
Retirement has offered pleasures but also some challenges. “I used to do a lot of fishing. A lot of golf. I used to love to run. Now that’s all gone by the wayside because I’ve got something they call peripheral neuropathy. Hereditary on our end, and it just took away everything. You lose all the feeling in your hands and your feet. The numbness, you don’t walk anymore and you can’t hold a golf club or a fishing rod. So that part has all been taken away. But here where I am now—we’re at Westminster Canterbury—it’s a continued care facility and it’s beautiful. We’ve got a big swimming pool. We’ve got a theater that seats 320. We’ve got a little cottage ourselves. Now I keep busy swimming, exercising, reading just about anything I can.”44
Last revised: April 6, 2015
In addition to the sources noted in this biography, the author also accessed Kasko’s player file and player questionnaire from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, Retrosheet.org, Baseball-Reference.com, and the SABR Minor Leagues Database, accessed online at Baseball-Reference.com. Thanks as well to Eddie Kasko for a careful reading of the biography and the opportunity to provide a little more detail and correct a couple of errors.
1 Author interviews with Eddie Kasko on January 5 and 20, 2015. His birth father’s name was George Kosko (yes, spelled slightly differently), a carpenter. With the handwritten birth certificates of the day, his brother’s read the same, Kosko, but Eddie’s own read Kasko. “I went through my life like that, and he went through life K-O.”
2 Boston Globe, April 9, 1970, and author interview on January 20, 2015.
3 Author interview on January 20, 2015.
4 Richmond Times Dispatch, August 20, 1967.
5 Author interview on January 20, 2015.
6 Richmond Times Dispatch, March 15, 1954.
7 Author interview on January 5, 2015.
8 Richmond Times Dispatch, March 9, 1954.
9 Washington Post, January 19, 1954.
10 Richmond Times Dispatch, March 18, 1954.
11 Author interview on January 20, 2015.
12 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 27, 1957.
13 Boston Globe, April 9, 1970, and author interview on January 20, 2015.
14 The Evening Star, July 9, 1957.
15 Trenton Evening Times, August 21, 1957.
16 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 21, 1957.
17 Author interview on January 20, 2015.
18 Richmond Times Dispatch, February 27, 1963.
19 New York Times, October 4, 1958.
20 Los Angeles Times, February 16, 1959.
21 Los Angeles Times, January 28, 1961.
22 Washington Post, May 3, 1961.
23 Cincinnati Post & Times-Star, March 8, 1963.
24 Houston Post, January 24, 1964.
25 See, for instance, The Sporting News, January 8, 1964 and the Dayton Daily News, December 10, 1969.
26 New Orleans Times-Picayune, April 10, 1966.
27 Larry Claflin, The Sporting News, November 19, 1966.
28 Boston Herald, September 24, 1969.
29 Springfield Union, September 25, 1969.
30 Boston Herald, October 3, 1969.
31 Boston Globe, February 17, 1970.
32 Providence Journal, October 3, 1969.
33 American League press release, March 30, 1970.
34 Worcester Gazette, October 2, 1969.
36 Larry Claflin, The Sporting News, November 21, 1970.
37 Boston Herald, September 25, 1971.
38 Author interview on January 20, 2015.
39 Boston Herald, April 17, 1973.
40 Author interview on January 5, 2015.
41 Author interview on January 5, 2015, and Salem News, April 1974. Undated clipping found in Kasko’s Hall of Fame player file.
42 Author interview with Eddie Kasko on January 5, 2015.