Edward Joseph “Koney” Konetchy (1885-1947) played the game, “not only for the salary connected with it, but I really truly love the game,” and he let his playing ability reiterate that statement as he led all Major League first basemen in fielding percentage eight times and has more triples than any player not in the Hall of Fame. The St. Louis Cardinals plucked the big first baseman out of the fields of Wisconsin and inserted him in the place of veteran Hall of Famer Jake Beckley. Though Koney didn’t always hit for average, he showed a reasonable amount of power and excellent speed on the base paths finishing nine times in the top ten in triples. Also known as The Candy Kid or Big Ed, Konetchy had a knack for breaking up no-hitters, four in his career and he also tied a record slapping ten consecutive hits in 1919. Ed played 15 years in the Major Leagues with St. Louis (1907-1913), the Pittsburgh Pirates (1914_, the Pittsburgh Rebels of the short-lived Federal League (1915), the Boston Braves (1916-1918), the Brooklyn Robins (1919-1921) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1921). He had eleven straight seasons with 10 or more stolen bases to start his career including six consecutive with 20 or more (1911-1915) and on September 30, 1907, he stole home twice in one game against the Boston Braves. On August 5, 1912, Koney hit two inside-the-park home runs against the Brooklyn Dodgers helping the Cards win 8-4. In 2,083 games, Konetchy posted a .990 fielding percentage with 1,297 assists, 224 errors and 1,094 double plays. He led the National League in games twice and once in doubles and total bases, but annually among the league leaders in triples. Big Ed Konetchy retired following the 1921 season having hit .281 with 2,150 hits including 344 doubles, 182 triples and 74 home runs, scored 972 runs, stole 255 bases and drove in 992 RBI. Once retired from the Majors Leagues, he played two years for the Fort Worth Panthers (1925-1926) of the Texas League and led the league in home runs (41) and batting average (345) in 1925.
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