Edward Anthony Knoblauch
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 10", Weight 160 lb.
The brother of Ray Knoblauch and uncle of Chuck Knoblauch, Eddie Knoblauch never played above AA but spent 16 years in the minor leagues, batting .313 and collecting 2,543 hits and scoring 1,420 runs. He had 117 career triples and 391 doubles. Not a slugger, he only cracked 20 HR in 8,126 AB with a career high of four in his final year. He led his league in runs three times, won one batting title and led in doubles and triples each once. He spent 12 of his 16 seasons in the Texas League.
Eddie broke in during the 1938 season, as the 20-year-old played for the Monett Red Birds (hitting .356/~.434/.470 in 63 games) and the Asheville Tourists (.297/~.386/.344 in 55 games). The next year, he ran roughshod with the Kilgore Boomers, scoring 125 runs in 139 games to lead the East Texas League. He hit .335/?/.426 with 37 doubles and stole 28 bases, the most of his career.
In 1940, Eddie began a two-year stint with the Columbus Cardinals. He batted .345/?/.430 the first year with 72 RBI (the most he would get), 135 runs (a career high as well) and 25 steals. He led the South Atlantic League in runs scored. He repeated the feat in 1941 when his feet crossed home 114 times in 139 games. He also had 11 triples and batted .336/?/.417, placing him approximately fourth in the SALLY League in average.
Knoblauch made it to AA with the 1942 Houston Buffaloes and batted .308/?/.380 with 20 steals and 9 triples. He scored only 77, the second-lowest mark of his career when he spent a full season with a club.
Ed then missed the 1943-1945 seasons when he served during World War II. Given the talent drain of the time, had he not been in the military, he might have played in the majors.
Returning to Houston in 1946, the 28-year-old put up a .306/~.411/.374 with a career-low 54 runs. He had 19 outfield assists in 72 games in center field and added four more from left field, possibly giving him the second-highest outfield assist total in the Texas League. In 1947, Knoblauch scored 93 for Houston and hit .275/?/.337 with nine triples.
The 1948 season was Eddie's fourth in Houston. He batted .295/?/.365 and scored 102 runs for the Buffaloes. The next year, he bounced from Houston to the Shreveport Sports and finally to the Tulsa Oilers, posting a composite .313/?/.417 line. He scored 95 runs and hit 10 triples while tying his career high of 72 RBI.
Eddie had his fourth and last 20-steal season in 1950, pilfering 22 in 29 attempts for Tulsa. He hit .298/~.381/.406 and only struck out 28 times in 534 AB. His 15 triples led the Texas League that year and his 20 assists tied for the lead among league center fielders. Eddie played for the Navegantes del Magallanes in the 1950 Caribbean Series and went only 3 for 22 but hit a home run and scored five runs, tying for second on the team behind Johnny Davis.
In 1951, Knoblauch hit .308/~.407/.405 for Tulsa and the Dallas Eagles and went 15 for 18 in his stealing attempts. Eddie led TL center fielders with 13 errors in 1952 and was caught in 13 of 24 steal tries but still batted .306/~.411/.416, scored 84, had 12 triples and 31 doubles and coaxed 96 walks. He was third in the league in walks and tied for second in three-baggers.
During the 1953 campaign, the 35-year-old veteran batted .304/~.410/.367 for Dallas. He drew 102 walks, fifth-most in the TL, and had 370 putouts, second among center fielders. He scored 98 runs. Splitting 1954 between Dallas and the Beaumont Exporters, he batted .305/?/.365. In his last year, also split between Beaumont and Dallas, he scored 98 runs and led the TL with 48 doubles. His .327 average also led the circuit; he slugged .435.