Ed Kranepool, who played 18 seasons for the New York Mets and holds the team record for games played, has two failing kidneys and is in need of a transplant.
Kranepool, 72, who lives on the border between Old Westbury and Jericho, said several donors have come forward but a match has yet to be found.
“I’m still looking for a donor,” he said. “I’m hoping there is one out there. If he’s a Mets fan, great. If he’s a Yankees fan, that will work too.”
Last September, on his way to a boat trip in Essex, Conn., Kranepool experienced severe difficulty breathing, he said.
“Instead of going to the marina, I went to the emergency room,” he said.
He was rushed to St. Francis Hospital, where a doctor told him that his kidneys were failing.
Kranepool said his kidneys are currently functioning at 20 percent, and he will have to go into dialysis if he does not receive a transplant.
A diabetic since 1979, Kranepool had his left big toe amputated on March 1 after an infection could not be cured with antibiotics.
“They couldn’t give me massive antibiotics for the infection because then that would affect my kidney,” he said.
He has received a variety of treatments and tests at North Shore hospital in Manhasset, though the doctor for his prospective kidney transplant, Dr. Frank Darras, is at Stony Brook University Hospital, he said.
He said the response among Mets fan has been “all positive.”
“It’s been very warming to my heart,” he said. “A lot of get well wishes. People come out of woodwork when things are looking the darkest.”
Kranepool hit for a career .261 batter’s average and is the Mets’ all-time leader in pinch hits with 90 and games played with 1,853.
He was 17 years old when he began playing for the Mets in 1962.
He has spoken publicly about his diabetes for many years, and has collaborated with the American Diabetes Association.
“It’s a very crippling, terrible disease,” he said. “I’ve tried to get the awareness out for people to take care of themselves.”
Kranepool remains upbeat about his own condition.
“I’ve got to be positive about it,” he said.