Stubby Magner was a Cornell grad who served in World War I and played 13 games for the 1911 Highlanders. Not only a great shortstop, he was captain of the hockey team. Stubby was so named because he was short – listed at 5’3″ tall, he’s one of three players (Yo Yo Davalillo and Harry Chappas) listed as potentially the shortest position player in MLB history (not counting, of course, Eddie Gaedel).
Edmund Burke Magner was born to Edmund L. and Delia (Werner) Magner on 10 February 1888 in Kalamazoo, Michigan but wasn’t long for the area. The family moved to Buffalo where Edmund’s athleticism allowed him to excel on the diamond and the ice for Lafayette High School. The first Cornell hockey team to win a championship was one led by their diminutive center. The Yankees took him right out of college and put him on the diamond. Magner didn’t hit much, but he was in the middle of some action – he had four runs batted in and three runs scored despite getting only seven hits.
His baseball career didn’t last long – he was dispatched to Jersey City briefly, then spent 1912 with Rochester (a city he didn’t like) and Wilkes-Barre. And that was about it. While finishing his law degree, he was an assistant coach with the Cornell club where he coached the frosh players. In time he took on a job as a lawyer for a bank in Buffalo. World War I called him to service; Edmund Magner wound up a Lieutenant with the US Naval Reserve Force based in Florida. Upon his discharge, he married Edith Carpenter – a Virginia native who was a few years older than Magner.
After moving to Ohio, Magner opened up his own law firm and Edith became a nurse for a nearby veteran’s hospital which, sadly, would house Edmund Magner by 1940. He died in relative obscurity while living at that home on 06 September 1956 – his death notice escaped the local newspapers. At some point along the way, Edith returned home to the Richmond, VA area to live nearer to her own family, where she died a few days after falling and breaking her hip on 01 January 1964. The Magners never had children.
1900, 1920, 1940 US Censuses
1905, 1915 New York Censuses
Application for Military Headstone (1956)
VA Death Certificate (Edith Carpenter Magner, 1964)
(Photo) Cornellian, Wm. H. Hoskins Co., 1911 (Cornell Junior Class Yearbook), Pages 504, 522
“Legal Records”, Buffalo Evening News, 15 September 1920, Page 24.
“‘Stubby’ Manger To Wear Skeeter Spangles”, Buffalo Courier, 19 September 1911, Page 9.
“Cornell Navy Now In Action”, Buffalo Sunday Morning News, 22 January 1911, Page 10.
“‘Stubby’ Magner Assistant Coach”, Buffalo Sunday Morning News, 23 March 1913, Page 42.
“About Tiny Magner, Who Gets There by ‘Scrappin'”, Washington Herald, 14 August 1911, Page 8.