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.