22 AUG 2009: Ed Kranepool, first baseman for the 1969 World Series champion New York Mets, waves to the crowd during pre-game festivities at Citi Field in Flushing, NY celebrating the 40th anniversary of the historic team. (Photo by James Escher/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images) Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images / Icon Sports Wire
Ed Kranepool, who was only 17 when he began his 18-year career with the Mets in 1962, fully intends to be at Citi Field in 2019 when the team celebrates the 50th anniversary of its first World Series title. Right now, however, he needs a little help to make sure he is in top condition when his name is called.
Kranepool, 72, has two failing kidneys and needs a transplant, he said Thursday night from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.
Kranepool — who hit .261 and is the Mets’ all-time leader in pinch hits with 90 and games played with 1,853, 270 more than runner-up David Wright — is on the waiting list. A longtime diabetic, he recently had surgery to have his left big toe amputated after a months-long effort to treat an infection failed.
“When you have a bad kidney, you can only take so many antibiotics, and when you take less, it doesn’t work,’’ Kranepool said by phone. “We did it for six, seven months, all kinds of things trying to save the toe. The doctor finally said it’s not going to get any better; this abscess could spread at any point. I said, ‘OK, let’s schedule it.’ ’’ Continue reading