A steady left-hander for the powerhouse Yankees, Eddie Lopat got by on good accuracy and not heat like Yankee peers Allie Reynolds and Rifle Vic Raschi. Steady Eddie won five World Series rings during his tenure with the Yankees and thanks to pitching for the juggernaut, posted an impressive .597 career winning percentage.
A minor league veteran when World War II broke out, Lopat was called up by the White Sox in 1944 to help their depleted mound corps that lost Ted Lyons, Gordon Maltzberger and others to the war effort. A reliable pitcher as a rookie for Jimmy Dykes’ White Sox, Steady Eddie posted a 3.26 ERA as a 26-year-old rookie. He struggled in ’45–the last year of the war–but regained his form in 1946 when the players returned from the colors.
In 1946, Lopat led the White Sox, who had the American League’s best staff ERA, in complete games. He notched 16 wins for the Sox in 1947 and finished second in the junior circuit with 22 complete games. He had a terrific 2.81 ERA, but since the White Sox strength was pitching, they used him as trade bait after the season to land on-base machine Aaron Robinson from the Yankees.
Although Eddie had success with the Pale Hose he became a winner with the Yankees. In all his full seasonS with the Bronx Bombers, Lopat never had a losing record. He began his stint with the boys in pinstripes by posting 17 wins in 1948. He led them to a World Series victory in 1949. During that Fall Classic, Steady Eddie won Game IV. The 1949 season kicked off a five-year string of World Series wins for Lopat and the Yankees.
Lopat went 18-8 for the Yankees in 1950 and fashioned a trim 2.25 ERA in the World Series. In top form in 1951, Eddie went 21-9 during the regular season and capped the year with a brilliant showing in the Fall Classic. Against the Giants of New York, Steady Eddie tossed two complete game victories with an astounding 0.50 ERA.
A league leader in 1953, the 35-year-old Lopat topped the junior circuit in winning percentage and ERA. He participated in his final World Series that year and led all Fall Classic performers in ERA. Always a reliable strike-thrower, Steady Eddie averaged just 0.194 walks per inning in 1954; superior to Hall of Fame peers Bob Lemon (0.357), Whitey Ford (0.479) and Warren Spahn (0.304). Late in the 1955 season, Lopat was traded to the Orioles where he rounded out his career.
W 166/L 112/PCT .597/G 340/CG 164/IP 2,439/H 2,464/BB 650/SO 859/SHO 27/ERA 3.21