The Obit For Ed Bailey

Former baseball pro Bailey dies at 75
Congressional aide, city councilman diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago

The Knoxville News Sentinel
March 24, 2007

Ed Bailey, former professional baseball catcher and a Knoxville City Council member for 12 years, died at 10 p.m. Friday at Parkwest Medical Center. He was 75.

Mr. Bailey survived a bout with prostate cancer in 1993, his brother-in-law, Al Neil, said Friday night. Neil, a former Knoxville Smokies outfielder, said Mr. Bailey became ill with throat cancer about six months ago.

Mr. Bailey served on City Council from 1983 to 1995. Prior to that, he was an aide to the late U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Sr. for 12 years.

The father of four sons - Jeff, Jack, Joe and Jim - began his baseball career on Knoxville-area sandlots and at the University of Tennessee where he played on the Vols' freshman team. After a two-year stay in the U.S. Army, he went on to play for the Reds, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Braves and California Angels.

Freshmen were not eligible to play varsity athletics when Mr. Bailey signed with Tennessee. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in late 1949 and played on the Fort Jackson, S.C., post team before playing pro baseball.

The Strawberry Plains native hit 28 home runs in 1956 for Cincinnati, including three in one game. That year he won the major leagues' Sophomore of the Year honor. In winning the award, he beat out St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer. In all, he played professional ball for 17 years. Mr. Bailey was inducted into the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

He leaves his widow, the former Betty Carr, of Knoxville; sons Jack, Jeff, Joe and Jim Bailey of Knoxville. Joe Bailey is a Knoxville City councilman. He also is survived by a sister, Jean (Mrs. Al Neil), and a brother, James Hopkins "Hop" Bailey of Roane County. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.