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Monday, March 28, 2011

Canonsburg Native - Hall of Fame Inductee

The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame: Washington-Greene County Chapter

2001 - BASEBALL Hall of Fame 
Edward "Babe" Butka
A Canonsburg native, Edward "Babe" Butka played his way through amateur and minor league baseball into the major leagues as a first baseman with the Washington Senators. He began his career locally playing sandlot ball for Home Furniture, the Polish Falcons, and finally, the Canonsburg Elks.

While playing with the Elks in 1940, Butka was recruited by Joe Tinker to travel to Florida where Clark Griffith, owner of the Senators, gave him a tryout and signed him to a minor league contract. In the next couple of years he played minor league ball for Newport, TN; Orlando, FL; Utica, NY; Williamsport, PA; Buffalo, NY and Springfield, MA. Throughout his minor league years, Ed consistently batted over.300. Sold to the Washington Senators in the American League in 1943, Ed made his major league debut as a pinch hitter for Mickey Vernon. A newspaper account said he "slammed it on a line into deep left center for a double." He ended his career with Washington at the end of 1944 and was named manager ofthe New London, CT team in the Colonial League. His team reached the play-offs his first year, but Ed made his decision to end his career on the diamond and return home to Canonsburg. Ed and his wife, the former Helen May Meeks of Canonsburg, have resided in their hometown for the past fifty years. They are parents off five children.