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Eddie Kasko, former Boston Red Sox manager and Army veteran, dies at age 88

By JACKSON COTE | MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. | Published: June 25, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — Former Boston Red Sox manager and All-Star infielder Eddie Kasko died Wednesday, just three days shy of his 89th birthday, the team said.

A player, a manager, a scout — Kasko wore numerous hats during his decades of work in Major League Baseball.

After spending 29 seasons playing for the Red Sox, Kasko became a minor league manager in 1967 and then served as a major league manager from 1970 until he was fired in 1973. He worked as a scout from 1974 to 1977 and later as an executive up until 1994.

In 2010, the former infielder was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. Kasko’s 10-year major league playing career included an All-Star selection with the Cincinnati Reds in 1961, the Red Sox noted in a statement.

Kasko appeared in 1,077 major league games from 1957 to 1966, playing for four teams — the Saint Louis Cardinals, the Reds, the Houston Colt .45s/Astros and the Red Sox.

“A right-handed hitter, he batted .264 (935-for-3,546) with 22 home runs and 261 RBI,” the Red Sox’s statement said. “Kasko made 483 starts at shortstop, 361 at third base, and 47 at second base.”

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1931, Kasko graduated Linden High School in 1949 and at only 17 years old signed a minor league contract with the New York Giants, according to the Red Sox.

Before he could play major league baseball, though, Kasko served two years in the United States Army Combat Engineers stateside during the Korean War.

When he started in MLB in 1961, Kasko played shortstop in the All-Star Game at Fenway Park, the Red Sox said. Entering in the fourth inning, he went 1-for-1 with a sixth-inning single.

“Later that season, he led the Reds with seven hits in the World Series, as Cincinnati lost to the New York Yankees in five games,” the Boston team said. “For the 1965 season, he served as the first team captain in the Houston franchise’s history.”

Kasko was married for 57 years to his late wife, Catherine, who died in 2015. They had two sons, Michael and James.

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