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Ed Kranepool – 1973 Topps #329

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ImageEdward Emil Kranepool (born November 8, 1944) is a former first baseman who spent his entire Major League Baseball career with the New York Mets. After batting a combined .301 at three levels of the Mets’ minor league system in 1962, Kranepool received a September call-up in just his first professional season. At age 17, Kranepool was six years younger than the next-youngest ’62 Met, a reflection of the disastrous decision of Met management to select mostly older veterans in the expansion draft. He made his major league debut wearing number 21 on September 22, 1962 as a late inning defensive replacement for Gil Hodges at first base in a 9-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at the Polo Grounds. He grounded out to Cubs second baseman Ken Hubbs in his only at bat. He made his first start the next day, September 23, where he played first, and went one for four with a double.
Prior to the start of the 1965 season, the Mets acquired future Hall of fame pitcher Warren Spahn from the Milwaukee Braves. Kranepool gave up his number 21 to Spahn, who had worn that number his entire career, and began wearing number 7. Kranepool was batting .287 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs to be named the sole Mets representative at the 1965 Major ImageLeague Baseball All-Star Game, though he did not play. By the end of the season, Kranepool’s batting average fell to .253, but that was still enough to lead the team that lost 112 games that season, and finished in tenth place in the National League. He also led his team with 133 hits and 24 doubles. In 1966, Kranepool paced the Mets with a career high sixteen home runs to help the Mets avoid a last place finish and 100 losses for the first time in franchise history (95). Ed Kranepool made a living after retirement as a stockbroker and restaurateur, and was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1990. He is currently living in New York.

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