Edward Joseph Konetchy (September 3 1885 - May 27 1947), nicknamed "Big Ed" and "The Candy Kid", was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball for a number of teams, primarily in the National League, from to . He played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1907-1913), Pittsburgh Pirates (1914), Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League (1915), Boston Braves (1916-1918), Brooklyn Robins (1919-1921), and Philadelphia Phillies (1921). He batted and threw right-handed.
In his years with the Cardinals, who often finished in last place, Konetchy was considered a bright spot, getting 25 stolen bases in , hitting .302 in , and picking up 88 RBIs in . He also had a 20-game hitting streak in 1910. In 1911, with the Cards only three games out of first place in early July, the team was involved in a train crash on its way from Philadelphia to Boston. 47 passengers were injured, while twelve died. None of the Cardinals were seriously injured, due to a pre-trip change in the location of their car to the rear of the train. Konetchy and Cards manager Roger Bresnahan led the rescue effort, carrying many passengers to safety, some of whom may have died. Despite posting their first winning season since 1901, the Cardinals never recovered from the incident, finishing a distant fifth; but Konetchy led the NL with 38 doubles, and his own team with six home runs and 88 RBIs. When Konetchy moved to the Pirates in 1914, he had a below-average season, followed by an above-average one in the same city, but on a different team in a different league. Playing for Pittsburgh of the Federal League, he tied his career high with a .314 average, with 10 home runs and 93 RBIs.
Soon, he was back in the National League, and he was picking up hits in droves. In with Brooklyn, Konetchy got his only shot at postseason play during his career, although Brooklyn (93-61) lost the World Series in seven games to the 98-56 Cleveland Indians. In the Series, Konetchy picked up four hits in 23 at bats, a .174 average. However, he did have 2 RBIs in the Series, and three walks.
By the end of 1920, he had surpassed 2000 career hits and was quite high on the all-time leaderboard (into the top 25). His final season was spent in Brooklyn and then Philadelphia, when the Phillies selected him off waivers on July 4, .
Konetchy's major league career ended there. Besides playing first base, he had tried out pitching, having thrown in 3 games. One of them was a fairly bad start in which he pitched a complete game and allowed 8 runs (6 earned). However, in one of his two relief appearances, he went 4 and 2/3 innings and gave up no runs on one hit to get the win.
In 2085 games, he batted a solid .281 with 74 home runs and 992 RBIs. He had 2150 career hits in 7649 at bats. Konetchy also picked up 255 career stolen bases. He ended with a total of 344 doubles, and after having reached doubles figures in triples ten times, retired with 182, tying him for the 11th highest total in history.
He died in Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 62. The cause was heart disease. He was posthumously inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1961. His interment was located at Fort Worth's cemetery Greenwood Memorial Park.
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