Report: Mets Great Ed Kranepool Finds Kidney Donor

Mets great Ed Kranepool
Photo credit USA TODAY Images

Mets great Ed Kranepool has reportedly found a kidney donor.

Kranepool, 74, had been searching for a donor for two years. He told Newsday on Monday he is set to undergo a transplant in early May at Stony Brook University Hospital. The Mets are expected to make an official announcement before Monday night's game against the Phillies.

"I'm nervous, but also ecstatic," Kranepool, who has lived with diabetes for much of his life, told Newsday. "It’s very exhilarating, no question about it. It's life-saving. But I am nervous. It's a 3½-hour operation."

The 1969 World Series champion said he has not met his donor and is not sure he will have an opportunity to do so. Kranepool added that his existing kidneys will not be removed, leaving him with three -- two of which will eventually "die off."

Doctors have told Kranepool he will be in the hospital for about five days after the procedure but that he should be cleared to attend the 50th anniversary of the 1969 championship in late June at Citi Field.

Kranepool was signed by Mets scout Bubber Jonnard as a 17-year-old amateur free agent in 1962. He made his lone All-Star Game appearance in 1965 and is a member of the Mets' Hall of Fame after being inducted in 1990. 

The lifetime Met hit 118 home runs and batted a career .261 in 18 MLB seasons. Kranepool batted a combined .396 as a pinch hitter from 1974 to '78. His pinch-hitting average of .486 in 1974 is still a major league single-season record. He is also the Mets' all-time leader in games played with 1,853.

A diabetes-related infection led to the amputation of all the toes on Kranepool's left foot as well as about two inches of bone in the foot.