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Charley Schanz

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Charles Murrell Schanz

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A tall, bespectacled right-hander, Charley Schanz pitched for several years in the majors.

He spent six years in the minor leagues (1938-1943) before the then-named Philadelphia Blue Jays drafted him from the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League on November 1, 1943 in the 1943 Rule V Draft. Charley had put together three fine seasons while learning his trade early on, going 14-11 and pitching 204 innings in his second year out in 1939. He then really fired up the heater with a 18-9 record in 1940, again pitching over 200 innings for the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International League. He was back with Tacoma again in 1942, with 18 wins and 13 losses, pitching 270 innings and producing a well-earned 3.00 ERA. He won 17 times for San Diego in 1943 before making ready for the big show with the Philadelphia Blue Jays in 1944.

Although World War II had taken a lot of the quality players away from the majors, it didn't take Schanz long to learn that this was a different show than he was accustomed to. Charley would be with the Shibe Park club for the next four seasons (1944-1947) and won 13 times in 1944, but he lost 16, although he showed a good 3.32 ERA and pitched 241 innings. The big bats were back in 1945 and he fell to a 4-15 mark. In 1946, he split at 6-6 but had a 5.80 ERA. 1947 took its toll and all those innings he had pitched began to wear on his strong right arm; he went 2-4 in 101 innings that season. In the long look, Charley didn't get much help from his teammates: they finished dead last in three out of the four years he played in Philly, and in 1945, when he had his nightmare year, the club lost 108 games and hit for a league low of .246 despite playing in a hitter's park.

Schanz dropped back into the minors in 1948 and became a fixture in the starting rotation for the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League from 1948 to 1952, going 22-17 with a 3.25 ERA while pitching 321 innings in 1952. He returned to the majors to work 14 games out of the Boston Red Sox bullpen in 1950. This gave Charley an overall major league record of 28-43 with 14 saves, and a five-year major league ERA of 4.34. When Schanz finished in 1954, he had 13 minor league seasons under his belt. He finished out with a 145-144 record and a 3.96 ERA while pitching 2,510 innings. Charley had become another pitcher who had survived 18 years of playing time over three decades of baseball, 1938 to 1954.

Charley called his greatest thrills in baseball a game-winning bases-loaded triple he hit at the Polo Grounds to beat the New York Giants, and pitching the PCL pennant-clinching win for Seattle in 1951. Charley died on May 28, 1992, at the age of 72, in Sacramento, CA, where he had been a plant manager for a petroleum company.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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