August 2, 1948
Hank Edwards, the outfielder who grew up in Norwalk, Ohio, has finished his season prematurely thanks to an injury sustained in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader.
In the top of the third inning, Edwards leapt high and robbed Boston first baseman Stan Spence of a three-run home run in Cleveland’s important 12-2 victory. The injury comes at the worst possible time for Edwards and the Indians, as the Tribe currently sits in second place, just one game behind front-running Philadelphia and just percentage points ahead of both Boston and the New York Yankees.
Edwards scaled the right field wall, snared the deep drive and then slammed his shoulder into the top of the Municipal Stadium fence. As he lay writhing in pain on the warning track, many teammates and trainer Lefty Weisman assisted him. The Indians sent him to Lakeside Hospital, where X-rays revealed a dislocation in the shoulder.
“I think my shoulder snapped out when I reached back of the fence and then my back cracked on the fence when I came down,” said Edwards in a quote in The Plain Dealer. “I knew what it was right away.”
The injury will land Edwards on the 60-day disabled list, therefore allowing the Indians to replace him on the roster. As the rules state, if an injury is not severe enough to put a player on the 60-day list, no replacement can be recalled or purchased.
Injuries are not uncommon for Edwards, who injured the same shoulder during spring training of 1947. This particular trip to the disabled list may end up being the worst on a long list of injuries to the always-hustling player. Previous injuries have included a broken ankle and a fractured collarbone as well.
Edwards’ professional career began in 1939 when he started playing for the Mansfield Braves in the Ohio State League. Afterwards, Edwards was promoted to play for the Cedar Rapids Raiders of the Class Triple I League and won the Triple Crown in 1941. That September, Edwards was called up to Cleveland where he has spent his first six years in the Major Leagues.
Edwards has been a bit of a spark plug since joining the Tribe seven years ago, earning regular playing time in 1946 and leading the American League with 16 triples. He also hit a career-best .301 that season and then walloped a high of 15 home runs in 1947. Edwards also lost some baseball-time enlisting in the Army from 1943-46.
This season, Edwards has been sharing time in the outfield, mostly with second-year player and first-year Indian Allie Clark. Clark is expected to receive most of the playing time in right field for the rest of the season in Edwards’ absence.
Photo: Cleveland Memory Project