Daniel Kravitz, age 82, of Dushore, Pa., passed away on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at the Geisinger Medical Center.
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Danny was born in Lopez on Dec. 21, 1930, a son of the late John and Eva Hubiak Kravitz. He graduated from the Dushore High School a member of the class of 1948. Then the 18-year-old son of Russian immigrant parents, who started playing baseball at age 16 in the Bradco Sullivan League, boarded a bus that was taking him out of Pennsylvania to begin a new era in his education. He was bound for Greenville, Ala., the site of a tryout for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He remembered that of the 500 kids attending, 60 were signed by the Pirates farm team organization and he was one of seven that eventually made it to the major leagues.
He married Mary Jane Cole of Lopez, Pa., in St. Vladimir's Church on May 18, 1952. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary before her passing on May 8, 2003.
Danny was a professional baseball player with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a catcher in Major League Baseball from 1956–60 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Athletics. Kravitz batted left-handed and threw right-handed. His first major league home run occurred on May 11, 1956, in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the Pirates trailing the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2. Kravitz' walk-off grand slam gave the Pirates a 6-5 win. He was a reserve catcher for the Pirates from 1956 through 1959, and he also began the 1960 season with the Bucs, but was traded to the Athletics on June 1, 1960. Danny was part of a catching platoon with Pete Daley and received the most playing time of his career, batting .234 with 4 home runs and 14 runs batted in in 175 at-bats. After the 1960 season, his contract was sold to the Cincinnati Reds. He played three more seasons in the minor leagues before retiring in 1963 after moving 32 times in his career. He then began working for GTE Sylvania in Towanda until his retirement in 1995.
Danny's career was interrupted during the Korean War; he served with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1954 and 1955 where he played baseball with the Marine Corps League.
In 1998 Danny was inducted into the Northeastern Pennsylvania Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Danny was a member of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Church in Lopez, the Pittsburgh Pirates Alumni Association, Professional Major League Players Association, White Ash Land Association and McDermott Post #452 American Legion in Mildred, Pa.
Surviving him are his two daughters, Pamela Kravitz Arthur, of Muncy, Pa., and Lisa Miller, Dallas, Pa.; two sons-in-law, Ron Arthur and Scott Miller; and five grandsons Christian Tanner Arthur and special friend Stacy Sysock, Nicholas Cole, Tyler Matthew and Darren Michael Kravitz and Jagger Daniel Miller; a granddaughter, Sienna Jane Miller; a sister, Mary (Mamie) Kravetz of Lopez, Pa.; brother-in-law and spouse, Edwin and Sandra Cole of Dushore; sister-in-law and spouse, Kathryn and Robert Hippenstiel, of Montoursville, Pa.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Danny was predeceased by a son, Daniel Cole Kravitz, who passed away on Nov. 20, 2002; and seven brothers, Andrew, Metro, John, Frank, Michael, Stephen, and Nickolas, all who served in WWII.
A burial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 24, 2013, at the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, with Rev. Archimandrite Michael Thier, his former pastor, officiating. Interment will be in St. Vladimir's Cemetery, Lopez, Pa.
Friends may call from 2 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, Pa., and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Monday.
Memorials are directed to Dushore Fire and Ambulance Assn., P.O. Box 1, Dushore, PA 18614, or the Mildred Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 74, Mildred, PA 18632, or St. Vladimir's Church, P.O. Box 211, Lopez, PA 18628.
Graveside military honors will be conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps and members of McDermott Post No. 452 American Legion, Mildred, Pa. Members are asked to assemble and pass in review at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at the funeral home.
To send condolences or sign the e-guestbook, please go to www.homerfuneralhome.com.
P. Dean Homer Funeral Home - Dushore
206 Water Street Dushore, PA 18614
Published in Daily Review from June 21 to June 22, 2013