Eddie Klep

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Edward Joseph Klep (October 12, 1918 – November 21, 1981)[1] was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. Most notably, Klep became the first white American to play baseball in the Negro leagues when he pitched seven innings for the Cleveland Buckeyes on May 29, 1946, in an 8-6 win over the Chicago American Giants in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[2]

Eddie Klep on the cover of Elysian Fields Quarterly.

Klep was featured on the cover and in a highly regarded feature article in the Spring 2002 issue of Elysian Fields Quarterly.[3] This article covers Klep's breaking the color barrier.

  • Singer-songwriter Chuck Brodsky memorialized Klep's time in the Negro leagues in a song entitled, The Ballad Of Eddie Klepp.
  • A few years after Klep's turn with the Buckeyes he was playing baseball at Rockview State Prison in central Pennsylvania.
  • Klep died in 1981, in a state home in Los Angeles, of conditions related to long-term alcoholism.
  • A film based on the story of Eddie Klep has been sold to Adam Sandler's production company.


  1. ^ baseball-reference.com
  2. ^ "Baseball's other 'great experiment': Eddie Klep and the integration of the Negro leagues", by Larry R. Gerlach, Journal of Sport History (Fall 1998) p465
  3. ^ Elysian Fields Quarterly, vol. 19:2, Spring, 2002


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