The Obit For Eddie Mayo

He played ‘when it was a game'

The Banning-Beaumont Record Gazette

By Charles G. Ferrell


One of Major League baseball's oldest living players, Eddie Mayo, passed away at his Banning residence on Monday night at the age of 96.

A resident of the Sun Lakes Country Club senior citizen community in Banning since 1989, ill health had required him to move into The Lakes, an assisted living facility in Sun Lakes.

“He was a wonderful guy,” said friend Ann Edner, who was by his side as he died. “I held his hand when he died. I gave him a kiss.”

After he has passed, she noticed he was wearing his 1945 World Series Championship ring. She removed the ring and gave it to his son, John, when he arrived after hearing the news.

Although he was no longer physically able to take care of himself, he remained lucid right up to the end.

“He could talk baseball for hours. His body just gave out,” said Edner. “He had a wonderful life. He was so sweet.”

The staff at Loma Linda Medical Center's cancer ward will also attest to that. Mayo collected dolls and would regularly take them to the children in the cancer ward.

Edner added she will cherish the baseball he had given her.

Edward Joseph (Eddie) Mayo was born April 15, 1910 in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

He broke into Major League Baseball with the New York Giants in 1936 and also played for the Boston Braves (1937-1938), Philadelphia Athletics (1943) and Detroit Tigers (1944-1948).

Mayo batted left handed and threw right handed. He was nicknamed "Hotshot."

In a nine-season career, Mayo posted a .252 batting average with 26 home runs and 287 RBI in 834 games played .

He had his best season in 1945 with the Tigers when he posted career-highs in average (.285), home runs (10), doubles (24) and on base percentage (.347), made the American League All-Star team, and won the The Sporting News Most Valuable Non-Pitcher Award.

He played in the 1936 World Series with the Giants and the 1945 World Series with the Tigers.

Highlights of his career including leading American third basemen in fielding percentage (1943), leading A.L. second basemen in double plays (1944) and field percentage (1945).

Was part of a double-play tandem with shortstop Skeeter Webb that helped the Tigers win the 1945 World Series. He started two triple plays off the bat of Gil Torres, on July 20, 1945 and May 8, 1946.

There is always speculation over who is the oldest living Major League baseball and Mayo was certainly one of the oldest.

According to a Major League baseball website on the oldest living Major League baseball players, as of Nov. 15, Mayo was eighth on the list.

Those players, as of Nov. 15, included:

1 - Rollie Stiles, born Nov. 17, 1906 who played in the majors from 1930-33.

2 - Ray Berres, born Aug. 31, 1907 who played in the big leagues from 1934-45.

3 - Bill Werber, born June 20, 1908 and a big league player in 1930 and from 1933-42.

4 - Sol Carter, born Dec. 23, 1908 and in the big leagues in 1931.

5 - Ernie Koy, born Sept. 19, 1909 and in the majors from 1938-42.

6 - Tony Malinosky, born Oct. 5, 1909 and in the majors in 1937.

7 - Emil Mailho, born Dec. 16, 1909, who played in the majors in 1936.

Listed as eighth is Mayo.

Mayo failed to hit in major league trials during the 1930s, but later benefited from the WWII player shortage. Returning in 1943 with the Athletics, he led AL third basemen in fielding average. He had never played a ML game at second base until he joined the 1944 Tigers, but he led the position in double plays that year and in fielding the next. Detroit won the 1945 World Series with 35-year-olds at shortstop and second base - Skeeter Webb and Mayo. Mayo hit .285 that year, and he remained with the Tigers well after the younger players returned from the war.

In 1936, the Giants tied a Major League record with four triples in the same inning. Joe Moore, Mel Ott and Hank Leiber hit them in succession, then one out later Mayo also hit a triple to equal the Major League record.

On July 13, 1941 while playing for Los Angeles in the Pacific Coast League, he spit in the face of umpire Ray Snyder and was suspended by league President W.C. Tuttle for one year.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Weaver Mortury in Beaumont, but there will be no public ceremonies.

Family and friends, including son John Mayo, daughter Barbara Reed and two other children, gathered at the Lakes Thursday morning to share their memories. He was to be cremated and his ashes returned to Virginia to be buried next to his late wife.

“He was just a wonderful guy. He was so polite to all the neighbors,” said Edner. “He was so sweet.”