Children’s Hospital loses friend
LLUCH has lost a friend. Last week, 96-year-old Eddie Mayo, a former Major League Baseball player, passed away at his residence in Banning. At 96, Mr. Mayo was the oldest living former Detroit Tiger and the eighth oldest living former Major League Baseball player.
“The children at Children’s Hospital have lost a great friend,” says Patti Cotton Pettis, MA, executive director, LLUCH Foundation and executive director of philanthropy for LLUMC.
“Mr. Mayo would regularly stop by the Children’s Hospital Foundation office and leave toys for the children. In addition, he would have garage sales with the proceeds to help the children at Children’s Hospital.”
Mr. Mayo would frequently receive requests for his autograph. He would never charge for his autograph, but he always sent along a personal letter with an envelope requesting that a donation be made to Children’s Hospital.
His best years came in a Detroit Tiger uniform. He played second base for the Tigers from 1944 through 1948. In 1945, he helped lead the Tigers to the American League pennant and to victory over the Chicago Cubs in the seven-game World Series. Sportswriters referred to Mr. Mayo as “Steady Eddie.”
He batted a team-leading .285, hit 10 home runs, and in addition to The Sporting News MVP Award, he earned a Golden Glove for his league-leading .980 fielding average during the 1945 world series.
As a rookie, Mr. Mayo played for the New York Giants in the 1936 World Series against the Yankees. After a year playing third base for the Boston Braves, he spent the next five years playing for the Los Angeles Angels in the Pacific Coast League. In 1938, Los Angeles sports writers chose him as the Angels’ MVP after he batted .332 and set a Pacific Coast League record for playing in 34 consecutive error-free games.
His post-baseball career included owning several restaurants in northern New Jersey. After retiring and moving to Southern California, he became very active as an advocate for the children at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital.
“Mr. Mayo’s smile and enthusiasm will be greatly missed here at Children’s Hospital,” Ms. Pettis says.
By Richard Weismeyer