Obituary: Eddie Basinski, Brooklyn Dodgers’ infielder—and violinist, 99

Posted on: January 18, 2022

“Eddie Basinski, an infielder with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates of the 1940s who, in an unusual combination of abilities, was also a concert violinist, died on Saturday in Gladstone, Ore., near Portland. He was 99,” writes Richard Goldstein in Thursday’s (1/14) New York Times. “Basinski, who had taken classical violin lessons since childhood, played with the University of Buffalo’s symphony orchestra before embarking on his major league career in 1944…. He played in 39 games for the Dodgers in his rookie season, mostly at second base, and in 108 more games in 1945…. He joined the Pirates in 1947. He later played in the Pacific Coast League, mostly for the Portland Beavers, and serenaded fans there with his violin. He retired from baseball after the 1959 season…. Edwin Frank Basinski was born in Buffalo on Nov. 4, 1922…. Soon after his arrival at Ebbets Field, Basinski was in the Dodger clubhouse, in uniform, playing Strauss waltzes, when Manager Leo Durocher … walked in. ‘He stopped and looked at me and said, “Well, I’ll be a son of a bitch,” ’ Basinski said. ‘While he was shaving, I was right next to him, giving it to him with my violin,’ Basinski said.”