By: Nick Wells
At the young age of 17, Ed Head was on a bus headed to play baseball in Louisiana when another bus drove directly into theirs. Head was knocked out cold, and the girlfriend he had under his arm on the ride did not survive the accident. After coming to, Ed noticed that his left arm, his throwing arm, was all sorts of ruined. The doctors said amputation was the only solution. Head said otherwise. With the help of his uncle’s fluoroscope and a long surgery, Head was able to keep his left arm and even able to return to writing left-handed. However, he needed to learn how to pitch with his right hand if he ever wanted to play baseball again. The challenge was accepted.
After years of training with his right arm, Head eventually made it to the majors on the Brooklyn Dodgers roster. He spent five years with the team while spending some time in the Army during the second half of the 1944 season. He was the physical trainer while serving with the Tank Destroyers Recruit Training Corps, and organized athletic leagues including baseball. When he returned to the MLB in 1946, Head was coming back from a two-year absence and his arm was sore from shooting guns that were used to combat tanks. However, in his first game back on the mound for the Dodgers, Head no-hit the Boston Braves in a 5-0 win, only a day after becoming a father to a little boy named Rickey Head. His sore arm couldn’t hold up however, and his MLB career ended weeks after his no-hitter against Boston. He went on to work at the International Paper Company for the rest of his life as assistant to the regional manager/preventative maintenance coordinator. To commemorate his fantastic name and his unlikely success story, I am honoring Edward Head with this celebratory plaque that will be hung in the halls of Nosebleed history.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference
Bio courtesy of Society for American Baseball Research
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