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Looking Back to 1976-My Mom Marries Eddie Mayo-1945 World Series MVP

A famous athlete becomes my stepfather.

Baseball is in full bloom right now. We’re rooting for the Tigers. Why? Among other reasons, my stepfather, Eddie Mayo also played for them. In fact, he was World Series MVP in 1945. How cool is that?

My mom started seeing Eddie around 1975, after his wife passed away. Eddie had always admired his “Ginny”, largely because he was also her brother-in-law. Yes, you guessed it. Eddie married his wife’s sister. 

Hey, it kept the family intact. If you marry your sister-in-law, you don’t have to explain yourself over and over again. Mom and Eddie had known each other for decades, so it made perfect sense. After the wedding, they spent many years on Pacoima Court, spending summers in Maryland where Eddie had a home, before they finally moved to the desert in 1989.

In watching these riveting baseball games, I wonder what it must have been like for Eddie to be a professional athlete. There’s the discipline, the traveling, the fans, and all the pressures from the crowds.  I’m sure the celebrity status was trying at times, along with the challenges of raising a family and supporting a wife.

Eddie used to say that baseball was the most difficult sport. You had 1/10th of a second to assess the pitch and decide whether to swing or let it go by.  As I watch the pitchers on TV, I wonder about the recipe of a ball before it is thrown. Will it be a fastball, a curve, slider, changeup or something else? Teresa and I used to play softball, and even those slow pitches were sometimes impossible to hit.

Imagine a hardball hurling toward you at 100+ mph, and you can see how difficult it would be for any professional athlete to execute a swing correctly.

 According to the Internet, Edward Joseph Mayo, nicknamed "Hotshot" and "Steady Eddie," was an infielder for nine seasons in Major League Baseball, playing for the New York Giants, Boston Braves, Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers.

But Eddie’s best years were with the Tigers, where he played second base from 1944 through 1948. In 1945, he helped lead the Tigers to the American League pennant and to victory over the Cubs in the seven-game World Series. That year, the Sporting News crowned him MVP. The gold and diamond ring he wore was like a large satellite on his hand, and a physical tribute to his athletic accomplishments.

After his career in baseball ended, Eddie ran a very successful tile business, and then did very well as a restaurateur.  The competitive spirit was always with him, and after marrying my mom, he even taught my twin sister Teresa and I the fundamentals of golf.  Now that’s the toughest game in my book!

Eddie was married to my mom for about 24 years and deeply devoted to her. After she passed in 2000, he continued with life without her, until he passed away in 2006 in Banning, California. At the time, he was 96, and considered the oldest living former Detroit Tiger, and the eighth oldest living former Major League Baseball player.

Eddie and I had our tough moments at times, especially after my mom died, but for the most part, we got along pretty well. And it’s the good times that I try to remember. Life’s too short to harbor negativity.

So, here’s to you Eddie, wherever you may be. May your Tigers be victorious!

Mary McGrath October 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I don't recall that scene in the movie, but I do recall the flick. Doubt it was Eddie Mayo though...He would have been too busy playing golf by that time...
Mark Hussey October 25, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Hey DON'T I GET ANY CREDIT FOR MY PREDICTION? I had the "tone" of the game right, I had the winner, and I had the run total of the loser!! All I had wrong was the run total of the winner! Please talk to Mike S, Mary and ask him if I can at least get a sawbuck for providing a very on-target handicapping of the first game of World Series 2012. Any of his wagering Patch readers could have made a bundle by going with my pick. Also, I checked the imdb.com site for casting details of NAKED GUN. Of course this was yet another crazy spoof movie starring Leslie Nielson, that very funny guy--RIP. NO, Eddie Mayo was NOT in this movie at all, sorry to say. Besides I said that a REAL tiger slid into 2nd base in this movie! Not a human pretending to be a tiger, or someone in costume. According to the imdb archives, the tiger's name was Tony.
Mary McGrath October 25, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I think you should open a side business as a psychic Mark. I know you'll make millions! We saw a bit of the game and I assumed the Giants would win as well. Loved Leslie Nielson...those Airplane movies were a riot!
David W. Abbott October 29, 2012 at 06:48 PM
This takes me way back. Last night I was watching the Giants/Tigers game (No. 4) and a bunch of old and faded memories came flooding back (both on the Tigers and Giants side). Then when I googled Eddie Mayo and saw your article it all started to click. Ya see - I grew up in the 1960s in Natick, MA; Eddie, your aunt, and family were our next door neighbors. John and I were the same age, best of buds, and went to the same schools. We were a very close neighborhood living on the shores of Lake Cochituate. Since 1986 I have lived iin Oakland, CA. I remember Eddie as being so good to us kids. Good article - I do remember that Eddie married his sister-in-law. David Abbott
Mary McGrath October 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Hi David! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful memories with the Patch readers. Wow, I'd love to hear some personal stories about what it was like growing up next to Eddie Mayo! Do share!

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